MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Building off successes from Alabama’s nationally recognized First Class Pre-K program, Gov. Kay Ivey announced Tuesday the state’s Pre-K Through Third Grade Integrated Approach to Early Learning program, or P-3 for short, will expand in the upcoming year.
Funding will allow the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education to add another 41 classrooms to the P-3 program, which is moving into its third year.
That translates to 32 more kindergarten classes, five more first-grade classes, and four more second-grade classes. Once the expansion is complete, there will be a total of 117 P-3 classrooms across the state, the governor’s office said, up from just 35 in 2017.
Currently there are 1,348 children in the program, but that number will climb to 2,100 with the upcoming year’s expansion.
“Alabama children have reaped the benefits of our nationally recognized First Class Pre-K program, and our P-3 program works to build upon those gains all the way through the third grade," Ivey said. “Those early years are vitally important for a student’s future success. By expanding this program even further, we are certainly taking advantage of those valuable years in a child’s learning journey.”
The funding will go toward covering classes in the following locations:
- Zion Chapel, New Brockton & Kinston in Coffee County – $160,000
- Wetumpka Elementary in Elmore County – $45,000
- Skyline, North Sand Mountain & Woodville High in Jackson County – $90,000
- Lexington High, Central High, Brooks Elementary & Rogers High in Lauderdale County – $105,000
- Brewbaker Elementary in Montgomery County – $30,000
- Odenville Elementary & Moody Elementary in St. Clair County – $180,000
- University of North Alabama Kirby Laboratory in Florence – $30,000
- University Charter School in Sumter County – $90,000
“A high-quality early education provides the foundation for student success in school during the years when children have the greatest growth potential,” Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education Secretary Jeana Ross said. “We are excited to have these new models of seamless learning continuum from pre-K to 3rd grade that align and integrate a comprehensive approach to student learning.”
P-3 is funded by the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education through the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Governor’s Strong Start Strong Finish education initiative, and the federal Preschool Development Grant, Birth through Five.