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Lyle’s Pre-Kinder Program Paving Way for Successful School Future

Lyle School District is currently enrolling students into its pre-kindergarten program. Parents are encouraged to apply regardless of financial standing. Financial assistance is available. (Submitted photo)

Lyle School District is currently enrolling students into its pre-kindergarten program. Parents are encouraged to apply regardless of financial standing. Financial assistance is available. (Submitted photo)

The Lyle School District pre-kindergarten program is enrolling new students for the 2018-2019 school year.

Since its launch in the 2015-2016 school year, enrollment has grown steadily, leading the district to operate two pre-kindergarten classes in the 2017-2018 school year. Now, as the staff and families celebrate its older students confidently moving on to kindergarten, and the rest to a second year of pre-K, more parents are invited to consider giving their three and four-year-olds this opportunity.

Parents recently expressed gratitude for a high-quality pre-kindergarten program in the small, rural school district. Joey and Darren Lacock both expressed how pleased they are with son Andrew’s experience, adding they are glad they made the decision to have him participate. “He’s kind of a quiet, shy child, but they’ve brought him out of his shell,” Darren notes. Mom Joey credits the program for Andrew’s social growth, noting that Andrew played t-ball this year and was proud to be able to tell his teachers that he was participating. Andrew knows his letters and can write his name, Joey says, but she’s especially grateful he has had the opportunity to grow socially and emotionally before entering kindergarten.

Shira Skybinskyy, whose daughter, Isis, is in her first year of pre-K, also points to the social/emotional benefits of the program. She’s “totally impressed,” Shira says, adding, “We feel like Isis gets a lot of support from her teachers.” She also appreciates the teachers’ classroom management skills. “The pre-kindergarten program is great. In fact, I encourage people moving to the Gorge to check out Lyle,” Shira added.

Irene Rodriguez, who has the perspective of the mother of an English as a second language family, also enthusiastically endorses the program. Daughter Cynthia is in her second year of pre-kindergarten while son Dylan is in his first year. She says she was initially worried it would be difficult for the kids since the family speaks primarily Spanish at home. Now, she says, she’s amazed by the things Cynthia knows, like ABCs, shapes, and colors.

She thinks both kids have experienced the most growth in their English skills and their social abilities. “My children were shy and didn’t know how to speak up, but now they are more open and playful, and they talk all the time,” she says.

Parents are encouraged to apply for the pre-kindergarten program regardless of financial standing. The district’s program is a mix of paid-tuition positions and ECEAP positions. Children are accepted into ECEAP based on their age, family income, and other developmental or environmental risk factors. The goal of ECEAP is to help ensure all Washington children enter kindergarten ready to succeed. The program staff works closely with the families to provide foundational skills children need to be successful and confident.

The ECEAP component provides a comprehensive preschool program that provides free services and support to eligible children and their families, and all students in the program benefit by the high-level training and other extras ECEAP brings to the program.

“Our program’s primary focus is on the social and emotional growth and that better prepares them for the academics,” Ping Killian, Lyle pre-kindergarten teacher. “We think the most important thing we can instill in preschoolers is to be able to develop their personality and their own ways of thinking and moving through life.”

The first day of pre-kindergarten in the 2018-2019 school year is Sept. 10. Students attend from 8 a.m. to noon, four days a week: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. You can find more information about Lyle’s pre-kindergarten program at https://www.lylescho


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