The Lauderdale County School District has received a grant through the Barksdale Reading
Institute, it will assist parents of Pre-K students to help them prepare for kindergarten.
“The parent academy will be for the parent of four-year-old students who are not yet at our school but will be coming to kindergarten in the next school year,” said Lisa Shelly, Northeast Elementary principal.
There are other kindergarten preparedness programs such as head-start but not every student enrolls; which can affect them academically. “Sometimes those students are a little bit behind, there is so much more that students have to have in those fundamental skills to be ready for kindergarten now compared to even 10 years ago. Sometimes those students: no fault of their own; they’re just not prepared and ready, and it takes them longer to catch up,” said Karen Williams assistant curriculum director. That’s why administrators are excited about The Parent's Academy, because not only will it allow parents to prep kids in learning, it will create an early bond between teacher and parents. ‘It’s a really important thing that we can have this again; another opportunity to develop a relationship with parents that way they can know us prior to starting kindergarten as well;they can call us and ask questions,” said Lisa Shelly, Northeast Elementary principal. Teachers will have to travel out of town for the training. “So, what they do is they send three staff members including an administrator who will go to Jackson because Barksdale Reading Institute is in Mississippi and Barksdale Institute will then train these people,” Williams said. After training is complete teachers will then be ready to start the The Parent's Academy where parents will receive information on reading skills, the alphabet, phonics, math, and social-emotional growth.