“We are celebrating the beginning of your child’s education journey,” said Eugene Field Principal Angela Graham as she kicked off the Pre-K Promotion ceremony. “What you have done by having your child here every day is lay a very successful foundation in academics, social emotional learning, and learning to be consistently in an education setting.”
Three classes of Pre-K students gathered in the gym to celebrate their achievements. As their families watched, each student received a unique certificate that highlighted their Pre-K journey. Some of awards featured a Future Architect, for a student who loved building with blocks; Fantastic Friend, for a friendly student who always supported her classmates; Sight Word Hero, for a particularly quick budding reader; and Delightful Dreamer, for one girl who is already aiming high.
After a musical finale of “We’re Moving Up to Kindergarten,” the students returned to their classrooms, joined shortly by their families for a reception complete with graduation hats, cake, and slideshows to commemorate a year of learning. Smiles, hugs, and photo ops filled the hallways as parents shared how much the year has meant to them.
“I love it. They were awesome,” said Patrice Hackett, Jyson’s mom. “When he first started, he was really shy and didn’t want to open up. Now, he’s awesome. He loves coming to class every morning. He’s learned a lot since he’s been here. It’s just been a wonderful experience for us.”
“It’s so fun,” said Jyson. “I learned the ABCs. I learned sizes and shapes.”
Rosa Serrano said in addition to learning letters and numbers, Pre-K helped her son with language development. She said he was having trouble speaking in two languages, but now he is now talking a lot more.
His teacher, Kyleigh Brewer, said learning how to socialize is a crucial role of Pre-K education, and she wants the students’ first experience with education to be an encouraging one.
“We always want to set an environment that is inviting and welcoming,” she said. “When they come in, we want them to feel immediately at ease, immediately comfortable, immediately happy so they can have a positive experience and want to come back every day.”
Their reliable presence at school is important as teachers work to lay the groundwork for the students’ future education.
“We’re playing every day purposefully,” she said. “Everything we play with we’re building fine motor and gross motor skills. We’re jumping and we’re hopping and we’re skipping to develop those skills. We’re holding our pencil, we’re grasping, we’re gripping, we’re pinching – all of those things so we can have that fine motor development to move on to kindergarten.”
She said they also focus on social emotional learning.
“We’re teaching them how to share, how to identify feelings, why you want to identify those feelings, how to proceed with those feelings, how to self-regulate,” she said. “Four-year-olds have a great capacity for empathy and sympathy, and so social-emotionally, we want to harness that and broaden their scope.”
As these students finish out the year, they are already getting excited about what they will learn next year – a passion for education has blossomed.
To enroll your child in Pre-K, click here.