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Inclusive Roane County preschool prepares students for kindergarten

The free preschool is for three hours a day to prepare kids for kindergarten.
Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 4:39 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A Roane County preschool is working to give all students the skills they need for kindergarten, regardless of their abilities.

Midtown Educational Center in Roane County is doing something different this year. In Amanda Woody’s class, 3, 4 and 5-year-olds are in a blended classroom.

“This is a passion of mine to be able to help students of this age.” said Woody.

It’s a mix of special education and typical preschool, an idea from Missy Bokor.

“What our special needs children teach us is there’s just other ways to learn,” said Bokor. “We’re really hoping this grows and becomes the norm for everyone.”

“We’ve noticed a huge difference already with our typical students really helping out those with special needs to get them to sit down at the rug, or to get them to sit down during snack time and they follow along with them and are helping them come out of their shell.” said Woody.

In this class of eight students, half of them have special needs including down syndrome, autism and developmental delays, but they’re all making friends and developing a routine.

“I think this is the best thing for this age group. it’s much harder in elementary school and beyond middle and high school to keep students together,” explained Woody. “But at this age we can teach them now to be accepting of those that may be different than us.”

The free preschool is for three hours a day to prepare kids for kindergarten. Any Roane County family can sign their child up.

Those interested are asked to call Missy Bokor at 865-882-1033 or email her at mjbokor@roaneschools.com.

The preschool is Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

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