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Four-Year Old Preschool Filling Fast

By Staff | Jul 8, 2010

Classes are filling quickly for the new collaborative preschool program at Emmetsburg West Elementary and Emmetsburg Catholic School.

According to West Elementary Principal Matt Pugh, the public school and Catholic School are working together, along with Head Start and other area preschools, to provide a preschool program for area four-year olds for the 2010-2011 school year.

“I’ve been talking to the preschool teachers at the public and Catholic schools about meeting on staff development days and working and collaborating with other preschools in the area. Classes are filling up,” said Pugh. “Overflow will go to the Catholic School’s Little Irish Preschool program.”

As of June 1, the Emmetsburg Community School District, in conjunction with Little Irish Preschool, was awarded a state grant for the four-year old preschool program. The amount was larger than initially thought.

“The preschool grant did come through, and instead of 28-percent of the money they were talking about, we ended up getting 37-percent,” explained Pugh. “So, instead of $74,000, we ended up getting $95,000. We will still be operating with a deficit this first year, but it’s a smaller amount than we first thought. There’s a possibility that there may be more money coming in later, as well.”

At West Elementary, Rita Garrelts will teach the preschool class. Garrelts has taught at West Elementary for 13 years. At the Catholic School, Sherry Bredehoeft will teach the four-year old preschool. Bredehoeft has 16 years of teaching experience in preschool and is certified to teach in early childhood.

Mrs. Garrelts and Mrs. Bredehoeft will be holding 30-minute conferences with parents of enrolled students on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, Aug. 25-27.

The preschool program is free, although a $25 registration fee will be charged. Students who will be attending will also need updated immunizations for four-year olds. Separate morning and afternoon sessions will be held; each session will contain a maximum of 20 preschool students.

For more information about the preschool, call Emmetsburg West Elementary at 852-4485 or Emmetsburg Catholic School at 852-3464.