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Importance of Preschool Discussed at Florence Council

Boone County's Director of Early Childhood Learning, Dr. Michael Shires, presented to Florence city council this week on the school district's preschool program.

The district rents a space on Ewing Blvd. as it searches for a more permanent location.

Dr. Shires said that the preschool program works with students from three schools: R.A. Jones, Collins, and Ockerman, bussed to his location for morning or afternoon sessions.  

He said that the district is trying to enroll more students in preschool, arguing that the program positions young kids for success in the future.

"It may look like the children are just playing in preschool, but there is a lot of learning going on," said Shires. "Ninety percent of the human brain is formed in the first five  years."

He pointed out that 80 percent of kindergarten students at Florence Elementary who took the Brigance screening test (which gauges readiness) were determined to be not ready for kindergarten.

Dr. Shires said that he has tried to get information out about enrolling children in preschool in several different languages, but he hasn't been successful. He asked if anyone knew of someone who could benefit by enrolling their child in preschool they could come and visit at his new location on Ewing, or call 859-283-3251.

Mayor Diane Whalen reminded citizens that Saturday is the day to turn the clocks forward for spring.

She also talked about the Easter candy drive-through, which is planned for April 3, from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Government Center for children 12 and under.

Reservations can be made for shelters starting April 5 for the various parks in Florence.

-Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor

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