Efforts ramp up to prepare children for Kindergarten - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Efforts ramp up to prepare children for Kindergarten

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FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - Early childhood development has been a big talker at the state level and those efforts are continuing right here in the Pee Dee.

"What we find is that children who are more ready for Kindergarten, when they get there just accelerate more quickly in learning," said Dr. Floyd Creech with the Child Development Center.

Throughout the school day at the RN Beck Learning Center, kids are fed a nutritious meal and learn using state of the art equipment.

Program leaders said there is an intense effort to teach students language skills, because that's where most kids get tripped up on when transitioning from preschool to kindergarten

"If you have a child prepared with language, they can take great advantage of the instruction they're getting and they can grow much quicker, learn to read much quicker," said Creech.

But running an early childhood program like the one at the RN Beck Learning Center costs money.

While Florence School District One has allocated millions of dollars to this program, last year Senator Hugh Leatherman secured a lilt more than half a million dollars to ramp up the program's outreach.

Leatherman presented an installment of the money he promised to the school readiness program on Monday. "If it does here what I think it will, I'll be pushing for it to go statewide."

The curriculum being taught inside of the classrooms will help to lay down basic understanding of subjects like math, reading and writing, but the learning doesn't stop there.

"We send home visitors into the home for one hour twice a month. And at that time the home visitor helps to increase the parent child interaction," said Melanie McMillan with the Child Development Center.

The home visitors show those parents how to help their student learn.

"We got to get those children at an early age, very early age in order to get them ready for kindergarten," said Leatherman.

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