CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) The Natrona County School District is accepting applications for preschool spots open for the 2019-2020 second semester.
Preschool students doing arts and crafts at Wyoming Child & Family Development, Inc. Head Start in Casper, Wyo. on Monday, Dec. 9, 2019.
The program is for low-income families. NCSD Spokesperson Tanya Southerland said parents interested in applying should call the district for more information.
“Early childhood learning is incredibly important to the district. We have multiple community partners who also offer preschool opportunities in our community. And we’re really grateful for that because we want every kiddo to have the opportunity to come to kindergarten ready to learn,” Southerland said.
One of those preschool programs is Wyoming Child & Family Development Inc. Head Start, located in Casper. A federally funded program, Head Start provides an early childhood education to low-income kids.
“These children really do get a look at what does the socialization of the classroom really look like and how do you make a friend and how do you be a part of a community in a classroom? And obviously, those experiences then help them become successful in school. They are ready to enter those classrooms and be participants,” Wyoming Child & Family Child Development, Inc. Assistant Director Mary Kugler said.
She said the early intervention programs, like Head Start, give kids experiences allowing them to see the importance of learning.
“An early childhood program does create the foundation for the learning that's going to take place for their whole lives. And so it helps them be a friend. It helps them learn some of those initial cognitive skills,” Kugler said.
It also gets kids ready for kindergarten.
“These programs, including the Natrona County School District preschool offerings, provide that opportunity for families to get their kiddos with those school readiness tools so they can come to school, on that first day of kindergarten, ready to learn,” Southerland said.
Kugler said elementary school teachers tell her they notice a difference when a kid previously attended preschool.