First Class Pre-K opens in Clanton

Published 10:15 am Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Chilton County celebrates new pre-k program August 2nd at Clanton Elementary

Chilton County celebrates new pre-k program August 2nd at Clanton Elementary


The Chilton County School System’s Pre-K Celebration was Tuesday night, August 2nd at Clanton Elementary School. It was a night full of excitement and anticipation as parents learned about the new First Class Pre-K program the school is starting this fall.

First Class Pre-K is a part of the Office of School Readiness. It is Alabama’s voluntary pre-k program and provides high quality education to prepare children for a successful path through school.

Principle Rebeccah Threlkeld opened the evening by explaining to parents how the new program will work. There are many things that the program will do this year that are intended to boost the performance of students. One such effort is the implementation of assessments, one in December and one in May. These will ensure that students in the program are learning at an appropriate pace.

A roster of other speakers appeared at the event. Among them were Superintendent Tommy Glasscock, Stacy Ferguson from the Department of Early Childhood Development, Rhonda Mann of Alabama Voices for Children, local pre-k advocate Elizabeth Huntley, and Executive Director Allison Muhlendorf of the Alabama School Readiness Alliance. Many members of the Chilton County Board of Education were in attendance as well.

Some statistics mentioned at the event shed light on how important pre-k education is. Students in early education programs are twice as likely to be ready for school at age five, are more committed to school at age 14, and are 28 percent more likely to graduate high school. Sadly, around three-fourths of the children in Alabama do not have access to First Class Pre-K.

Although so many lack access to pre-k education, the state has made great progress. According to First Class Pre-K officials, funding has increased by over 300 percent in the last three years, and there are over 800 classrooms now providing pre-k education across the state. The program is funded in part by Title I money, and some of the classrooms are funded by grants.

The Chilton County School System is proud to be a part of this important step for the education of its children. To find out more about First Class Pre-K, visit the website at