Slater Set to Start on Early Childhood Center

7 years 3 months 2 weeks ago Thursday, August 26 2010 Aug 26, 2010 Thursday, August 26, 2010 9:35:49 AM CDT August 26, 2010 in News
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SLATER - Slater Public Schools' preschool program is hoping to get more students in the classroom. The plans for a new Early Childhood Center aim to make that possible. A new facility would allow more students to enroll in the program. Preschool teacher Becky Drummond started the program at Slater nine years ago with a grant through the Missouri Pre-School Project. She said the addition will make a difference at the school, as well as in the community. "Not only will it be a wonderful addition to our school," Drummond said, "it will also be able to house another pre-school classroom for our community." The school board approved plans for the center at a meeting on Tuesday, but officials had talked about the possibility of moving the pre-school program as early as 2007. After a bond issue passed on the November ballot last year, the plans were put into action. The cost of the new building will be just less than $1.2 million when all is said and done. Slater superintendent John McEachern said the facility was much needed to get more kids into the classroom."The effort here is to expand the classroom," he said. "Every year I've been here and then prior to me coming there's always been a waiting list." This year the waiting list is 26 names long, while only 20 kids are in the class. With the new Early Childhood Center, ten more kids will be able to enroll. Drummond hopes it will help kids get to school rather than sit with a babysitter all day. "(The students) have the opportunity now to come to the Early Childhood Center and get a jump start on that early learning. Construction crews could be on site as early as Thursday to begin work on the new center. The deadline for completion is the end of April, 2011, but McEachern said he's hopeful it will be finished by April 1.

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