WACO, TEXAS — Waco ISD kicked off its prekindergarten registration in a big way on Saturday, with everything from bouncy slides and obstacle courses to snow cones in every flavor and color.
But to get to all of the fun stuff, parents and kids sat through a drive-through style registration line where they could sign their kiddos up for pre-k.
Which, after watching his first child succeed, Cody Beaty couldn’t do soon enough.
“I feel like they're already learning before they get in school, so that really helps them as well when they get in there,” the father of three said. “They can really be a little further ahead, so they can learn a little better and a little faster.”
Giving the students a head start is something Gwen James, the director of childhood at the district couldn’t agree more on.
She explained that the data coming out of Waco ISD was proof that children in their pre-k program performed better than those who were not in the program.
“There's an 83% that if you attended our pre-k in our district, you're going to pass star reading and star math,” she said. “That in and of itself speaks a lot.”
The event was an exciting time for administration, because according to Deena Cornblum, last year’s enrollment was down by 250-300 students.
“The pandemic, I think, was very impactful in causing the low enrollment last year,” she admitted. “You know, I think parents were fearful, unsure what to expect.”
Saturday’s event had everyone hopeful, after witnessing the large turnout.
“We want our students back,” Cornblum said. “We hope this is a good sign that we're going to be turning to kind of what we would consider traditional school.”
Because at the end of the day, pre-k is important for some families, like the Beatys.
“You got to start them young,” he explained. “That way, they can start learning and they can start growing.”
Registration is open until May 14. For more information about Waco ISD’s prekindergarten program, head over to their website.
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