New public funding begins soon for Desoto County pre-K - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

New public funding begins soon for Desoto County pre-K education

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(WMC-TV) – In January, public funding is rolling out for pre-kindergarten education, which is good news for future and current pre-K students and their parents. One of the big beneficiaries is Desoto County Schools.

Action News 5's Andrew Douglas talked with school leaders about the grant and how the money will be used.

Dawn Davis, pre-kindergarten resource coordinator with Desoto County Schools, said, "the impact of this program like this is life changing."

"We're going to take a four year old who may not have had the opportunities that others have," Davis said.

Desoto County was awarded a multi-year grant for a little over $300,000 over the course of about 2 and a half years. It's expected to directly affect 58 children a year, but the education and training will enhance teachers' skills for future kids enrolled in the program.

Davis explained, "Our children need to come into kindergarten better prepared and by having a program such as this we are giving them that opportunity."

The grant also requires teaching assistants have an associate's degree.

School leaders are working with Northwest Community College and its early childhood education program which offers an associate's degree.

The grant money will be in place January 1st.

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