A great start

Krystle Wagner • Jul 21, 2015 at 1:15 PM

The Spring Lake school district’s Great Start Readiness Preschool began Monday with 16 students for the all-day, first-year program.

Throughout the day, students have snack time, choice time, and music and movement.

Great Start Readiness is a state-funded program for 4-year-olds "at risk of school failure," Spring Lake Public Schools officials say. It is different than Head Start Readiness, a federally funded preschool program for children ages 3-5.

The Spring Lake program is free for families, but families must qualify for the program by meeting two of the following criteria: low income, unemployed parent, divorced parents, single parent, teen parent, low birth rate, diagnosed handicap, non-English speaking, language delay or immaturity, and more.

As 4-year-old Ariana placed plastic pegs into a toy, she said her first day at Great Start was fun, but it wasn’t easy.

“It’s too hard work,” she said.

Jeffers Elementary School Principal Shelley Peets said the preschool program follows the creative curriculum, which aligns with what they are expecting of students in kindergarten through fourth grade. She said students are given choices, and the teacher makes observations and notes about what each child does and how they spend their time.

The program received attention of many parents hoping to give their child the chance to learn, meet new friends and begin a school routine.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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