Why Choose Pre-K? An MNPS Parent Shares her Experience

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Metro Nashville Public Schools’ (MNPS) early childhood education programs focus on a high-quality, play-based curriculum that supports the development of the whole child and prepares children for kindergarten.

Amanda Vernon is the parent of an MNPS prekindergarten (Pre-K) student at Ivanetta H Davis Early Learning Center. With one child who went to Pre-K and one who went straight into kindergarten, she can see how getting her child into school earlier has benefited her youngest already. Although both children have adjusted well, Vernon sees the benefits of early childhood education.

“We didn’t send our older child to Pre-K and I felt he had a hard time adjusting to kindergarten without it,” Vernon said. “It really is beneficial for any child to have a head start in education.”

MNPS Pre-K curriculum is focused on the constructivist approach, which provides diverse learning environments where activities are driven by the students, and teachers encourage and support children to play and explore as a path to learning. But what does that mean for a parent and a student? How do you choose a school and decide if Pre-K is right for your child? For Vernon, it was proximity and programs.

“I toured five Pre-K schools around my area and decided on Davis because it was the closest to our home and also I loved the gardening program,” Vernon said.

Davis ELC has a full garden in the back of their school and with the help of the Plant the Seed program, students learn important lessons on tending to even the smallest living things. Pre-K curriculum focuses on fun and playful learning but all while playing they are advancing their social skills, academics and basic personal tasks, independence and much more.

“The biggest change I have seen is his social and emotional skills develop,” Vernon said. “He has also learned a lot academically this year. I love watching him learn something new every day!”

While Vernon loves Pre-K from a parent’s perspective, her son is taking his own liking to school.

“He always talks about Farmer Mike and what they did in gardening class- and checking out a book on Fridays!” Vernon said.  “It has been wonderful at Davis ELC, everyone there is so welcoming and supportive.”

The Pre-K application period is open until Friday, March 29 (3:30 pm) to be part of the initial selection process.