Pre-K isn't required in Georgia, but some teachers at the Early Learning Center in Milledgeville are working to make sure each of their students are prepared for the transition to Kindergarten.
It's a part of the state's summer transition program that's been free to about 1,000 rising kindergartners at about 60 public and private Pre-K centers across Georgia.
But now, the program is expanding to 126 classes and more than 2,000 students statewide, Baldwin County being one of them.
"You look at this little person who's a baby, what felt like two days ago, and now they're tying their own shoes and singing the alphabet," Mother Erica Macklin said.
Erica Macklin is getting ready to send her daughter Raegan to kindergarten next year. Macklin says Raegan is enrolled in Pre-K at the Early Learning Center.
"She tested well all year and did great in her classes, but I felt as though I didn't want all that information to be lost over the summer," Macklin said.
Macklin says she wants Raegan to continue her education over the summer leading up to her first day of Kindergarten.
"Daycare centers are great but they're not always the most productive thing in the summertime for children," Macklin said.
So she enrolled Raegan in the Early Learning Center's summer transition program for rising kindergartners.
"Academically, it can be a lot of pressure because they're expected to do and know so much when they get to kindergarten," Cynthia Mosley said. "Letters, numbers, colors, beginning sounds, ending sounds, being able to put sounds together to formulate words..."
Cynthia Mosley, a Family Services Advocate for the school, says this program is for students that didn't score as well on tests this year and may need a boost before kindergarten, but it's also a way to keep them focused over the summer.
"Just because the school year is over doesn't mean that their brains stop working," Macklin said. "The brain is a muscle, you always need to exercise it to keep it strong."
The summer transition program starts June 5th and goes for 6 weeks. It will be structured like a regular school day from 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., providing meals and transportation for students. Instruction will be Monday through Thursday. Only 32 students will be participating in the program in Baldwin, creating two classrooms of 16 students each.
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