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Archive for Monday, August 16, 2010

Preschoolers take dip into academic pool

Youngsters learn how to be students

From left, Kennedy preschoolers Kieran Bryant, Levi Cottrell, Mason Fewell, Madison Newman, Hannah Hillebert and Trey Green line up for lunch, Monday, August 16, 2010 at Kennedy School. It was the first day of preschool for approximately 130 students at Kennedy.

From left, Kennedy preschoolers Kieran Bryant, Levi Cottrell, Mason Fewell, Madison Newman, Hannah Hillebert and Trey Green line up for lunch, Monday, August 16, 2010 at Kennedy School. It was the first day of preschool for approximately 130 students at Kennedy.

August 16, 2010

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School Days

Experience the sights and sounds of the first day of school with Kennedy preschoolers. Enlarge video

Young students get start at new school

Four and five-year-olds were in their new classrooms at Kennedy Elementary Monday. The new classrooms were part of the plan made when an area early childhood center was closed. Enlarge video

In Donna Lang’s room at Kennedy School, there are no homework assignments, no math problems and not even any desks.

Talk about a dream: Sleeping for 90 minutes after lunch actually is encouraged.

“This is school,” Lang said with a broad smile Monday, before ushering her charges to one of four potty breaks for the day. “They’re learning how to sit and listen and stay on task.”

Welcome to the first day of school for the youngest pupils in the Lawrence school district: 130 preschoolers at Kennedy, the new home for the district’s Pre-K program.

Preschooler Keyon Free studies the high ceiling of the cafeteria as he sits for lunch with his classmates Monday at Kennedy School.

Preschooler Keyon Free studies the high ceiling of the cafeteria as he sits for lunch with his classmates Monday at Kennedy School.

The school at 1605 Davis Road, which is across Harper Street from the Douglas County 4-H Fairgrounds, is welcoming such youngsters for the first time. A reconfiguration and remodeling project brought kids over from East Heights School, a property that now accommodates the Boys and Girls Club.

At Kennedy, 4- and 5-year-olds now snack, nap and learn in rooms that formerly had been home to traditional elementary classes. Only now, the spaces have been outfitted with $70,000 worth of additional doors and other features designed to accommodate the needs of the pre-K crowd.

The program is operating at capacity, in both full-day and half-day versions.

“It’s an exciting day. It’s an emotional day,” said Cris Anderson, in her first year as Kennedy principal, after previously leading the East Heights Early Childhood Center. “This is the first time that a lot of parents have had their 4-year-olds leave home and be at someplace called school.”

Hannah Hillebert, 4, grinned her way through her first day of class — learning to sit quietly with her legs crossed, raise her hands in conjunction with music and line up before heading to the cafeteria for a yummy turkey sandwich.

She also managed to stomp playfully in the hallway, lighting up her new Twinkle Toes shoes while reflecting on her favorite part of school.

“We get to play in the pool,” she said, without a moment’s hesitation.

Ah, yes. Preschool.

The “pool,” of course, actually is a “Sensory” center by the classroom’s front door: a raised-edge table that for one day, at least, had been topped with water and a collection of rubber duckies, toy fish, a funnel and other items to give youngsters a chance to feel, play and learn.

“It’s going wonderfully,” Lang said, preparing for nap time. “I don’t think they get to ‘swim’ in any other class.”

No, Kennedy’s other 274 students — the ones in kindergarten through sixth grade — started last week, and already are getting homework assignments, working on math problems and sitting at their desks.

For Hannah and her 129 classmates in the Classes of 2022 and 2023, such responsibilities will just have to wait.

Comments

mdrndgtl 4 years, 4 months ago

I sure hope the pool is properly staffed. It is easy to lose track of this many kids when only a couple lifeguards are on duty.

nobody1793 4 years, 4 months ago

Parents, please don't give your toddlers mohawk haircuts.

whatnot 4 years, 4 months ago

Hey I dont think there is anything wrong with kids or any age having Mohawks. If the kid wants one and the parents are cool with doing the hair cut for them then thats it cool... It is between the child and the parent and i don't think anyone else has any say in the matter but them so anyone else that don't like it just needs to keep their mouths shut cuz its not like they are doing it to someone else's child just to their own so if you don't like it then oh freakin well don't look at it...

pissedinlawrence 4 years, 4 months ago

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Nikki May 4 years, 4 months ago

Two things, they aren't toddlers, and honestly the boys in this picture are wearing fauxhawks. They can comb their hair another way if they want.
So, luckily, you won't have to worry. No toddler mohwaks in this picture. But, if there were, so be it. Not that big of a deal, it grows back.

mohawkchildsmother 4 years, 4 months ago

Dear Mr. "NOBODY" 1973~ you are out of your right mind posting that about my son and the other boy in this picture, having a haircut that is more appropriate for their age and putting gel in their hair to form a mohawk pleases my son and i'm sure of the other little boy. For someone who i do not know if you have kids or not to experience the excitement that a little boy gets out of having their hair stand up on the top of thier head is "funny" and "cool" in there world because it is "silly" I will continue to give my son a fauxhawk because i would rather him be walking around with hair all over his head instead of having one where he is skindeaded on the side with a patch of hair down the middle thus this is not "appropriate" in my eye's. So i will continue to let my child do what he likes with his hair with a little bit of gel and the use of a comb. If you dont like it dont look at it and keep your comments to your self! And that is another thing that is wrong with people these days they are always putting their nose where it doesnt belong. Mind your own business!!

ashmcglinn 4 years, 4 months ago

Hey mohawkchildsmother~ I have this gel/hair glue you can have! It makes their hair stiff as a board until you wash it =) Worked great for when BOTH MY BOYS had them(6yrs and 3yrs)! They will get them again this winter when the weather starts to turn into Spring....Fauxhawks that is, you know so I can switch it up a little bit so when we go to CHURCH so we wont catch on fire....But then again the Pastor thought it was AWESOME last year! Pretty sure the baby(3 yr old) will be getting one this Spring for the first time~you know that Fauxhawk look. Oh well kids will be kids and some people are set in their ways, he is your boy and you are a GREAT MOM!!

cntrygrl 4 years, 4 months ago

"The school at 1605 Davis Road, which is across Harper Street from the Douglas County 4-H Fairgrounds, is welcoming such youngsters for the first time."

So, then I guess the Headstart class that was there for many, many years doesn't count??

But, since the Headstart class was so easily tossed aside when the changes occurred, I guess the key word would be "welcoming".

Nikki May 4 years, 4 months ago

I was thinking something very similar. I knew there were headstart classes. Maybe you are right, the pre k is welcome now.

FreshAirFanatic 4 years, 4 months ago

And so it begins. "Sit, listen and stay on task." Welcome to your new life in the factory kids.

So sad.

mr_right_wing 4 years, 4 months ago

Hhhhmmmm....which is more abusive?

Now--when they give little kids mohawks ..or.. Then--when they used to give kids mullets

frankfussman 4 years, 4 months ago

"Twenty years of schooling and they put you on the day shift" -- Bob Dylan

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