Richland School District offering free, full day Pre-K program

Richland School District will be launching a free, full-day Pre-K program in January.

Promise Kindergarten is open for children who will be heading into kindergarten in Fall 2020. The program has room for a total of 36 students, which will be divided into two separate classes at Badger Mountain and Lewis and Clark elementary schools.

Belen Lopez and Cynthia Wheeler will be teaching the classes in January. The goal is to get the kids adjusted to the schedule for when fall comes.

“They will have a similar schedule as our other kindergarten classes,” Lopez said. “They will even have exposure to music, physical education. It’s going to be very powerful for these kiddos.”

Superintendent Rick Schulte pushed for the program after hearing about it at a conference.

“There are students who come from backgrounds who don’t have access to daycare,” Schulte said. “We felt there was an opportunity to bring those students in early to kindergarten so that they could have a head start in getting the school skills they need to be successful.”

Classes start on Jan. 22 and end on June 9. From there, students will have the tools they need to continue on.

“We can create leaders in the fall next year in kindergarten classrooms,” Wheeler said.

Parents can get application forms at any elementary school or the district’s administration office. The deadline to apply is Dec. 1.

For more information, you can visit Promise-K’s program website.