LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – At Myrtle Tate Elementary School in North Las Vegas, a group of three and four-year-old students are preparing for Kindergarten.

Here, kids are introduced to a creative curriculum that teachers describe as “hands-on and play-based.”

“We also are very thematic and very seasonal, so based on what is happening in the world around them at the time, we do bring those experiences in,” said Leigh Todd, a Pre-K teacher.

There is also a focus on social and emotional learning.

Clark County School District offers more than 13,000 free Pre-K spots in over 600 childhood programs. Most are half-day programs.

“Parents want to get students to get that early childhood experience, many of our families are not able to afford daycare,” said Principal Sarah Popek. “But by bringing them into a Pre-K program, they get that early childhood experience and get them those foundational skills that are necessary to be successful in school.”

The district is currently accepting enrollment requests for the upcoming school year. To be considered for the Pre-K Program, a student must be three years old by August 2024.

They cannot be eligible for Kindergarten enrollment and parents must provide transportation.

Principal Popek added, “We don’t have a waitlist yet. It depends, as word gets out about Pre-K in our neighborhood, certainly, we will fill up.”

Families must complete an interest form. If selected, students will be offered a spot at their zoned or closest school, or be placed on a waitlist.

In the meantime, there are things parents can do to prepare their children for the program.

Todd suggests including your child in household chores. “Maybe give your kiddo a job at the house, and say, ‘You know what, I am going to take these cups to the kitchen, can you take those two plates… and you can help mommy in the kitchen’?”

She adds, “Make sure you are reading with your kids at home.”


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