First day of Pre-K at Coolidge

By Amanda Hari

March 24, 2014 Updated Mar 24, 2014 at 7:04 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) It may be the middle of the school year for most students but Monday was the first day of Pre-Kindergarten for four-year olds at Calvin Coolidge Elementary.

The elementary school had its first of full day of Pre-Kindergarten for 12 kids enrolled in the class.

Most of the students were already in half day pre-k programs in the Binghamton school district and switched to full day when it became available.

“Very exciting to bring them all together in the same room,” said Victoria Snow, Pre-Kindergarten teacher. “Lots of fun things in store, getting to know each other, lots of dancing activities, movement, reading books."

The school is able to offer full day pre-k for the first time thanks to a New York State grant. The Binghamton City School district received a full day expansion grant for $300,000.

The money will be used to give Coolidge a full day pre-k and extend the half day pre-k at Franklin and Roosevelt elementary schools to a full day. New teachers have also been hired a long with a curriculum specialist.

"A half day program really isn't enough time to do as much as you want to do with the children and this will give them a lot more exposure to the language than they would in a half day program,” said Brenda Lidestri from the Binghamton City School District.

This program will allow the students to get a jump start on their academic career.

"A lot of the things that they're learning here they're going to be doing next year,” Snow said. “You know learning to go to specials, scheduling and routines, and making it through that long day of school so I think it's really going to help set them up for success next year."

Children moving to the full day program has freed up space in the half day classes so more students can sign up.