Pre-K Counts Welcomes 14 New Students!
PUCS’ Pre-K Counts Class Welcomes 14 New Students!
When new Executive Director Jonathan Ray thought about the vision for Pittsburgh Urban Christian School, his focus was on serving the Wilkinsburg community well. Out of this vision came PUCS’ most recent expansion: a second preschool classroom made possible through the PA Department of Education’s Pre-K Counts program.
Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts provides quality preschool to eligible three, four, and five year olds at no cost to families. This program is for families who earn up to 300% of the federal income poverty level and special consideration is given to students who may also be English language learners or have special needs.
The first day of school for our inaugural Pre-K Counts class was on November 30th and according to Lead Teacher Tashea Rawlings and Assistant Teacher Alexus Jackson, it has been great so far. “We have a really good group of kids,” says Tashea, “We had some criers for about a week, but they are all really trying and have gotten the concept of the routine down pretty well.”
Both Alexus and Tashea agree that their favorite part of the day is Circle Time and the kids seem to really enjoy it, too. Circle Time consists of singing morning songs, reviewing the month, day, and year, and discussing the letter of the week. Tashea and Alexus also ask students a “question of the week” that connects to their lessons. To go along with the Christmas lessons, the question has been “How can you spread joy, peace, and love?”
Our curriculum here at PUCS is meant to build on itself each year, moving from smaller, more concrete ideas to larger and more abstract, mirroring student development. The Pre-K Counts curriculum has been designed to follow the same units as our other Pre-K class, including incorporating Christian themes and ideas, and will prepare students just as well for their uniquely PUCS education that will follow in grade school.
So far, Tashea and Alexus feel like they’ve been able to foster good relationships with the parents of these new students and that communication has been really open. “We’ve gotten a lot of feedback that they [the parents] are so thankful and that their kids love it here,” says Tashea, “which means a lot to us.”
All of us here at PUCS are so proud of the work teachers and staff have put in to get our Pre-K Counts class started and are so encouraged by the response of the parents and of our Wilkinsburg community. As PUCS continues to grow and change, we pray that we will be able to continue to respond as community needs arise.
“PUCS wants to be a part of the Wilkinsburg community, not just as a resident, but as a provider of service and something that people will see as a benefit to the community,” says Jonathan. “It’s one thing to be here, it’s another thing to serve here.”
We have one spot open still in our Pre-K counts class! For more information and to register, please contact Jonathan Ray at firstname.lastname@example.org.