Transcription for Why Pre-K Video

[Narrator] Why Durham PreK? An Informational Video for Families

Durham PreK is Durham’s local investment in high-quality early childhood experiences for all 4-year-olds in Durham County. This is a partnership between Child Care Services Association, Durham’s Partnership for Children, Durham head start administered by the Chapel Hill Training Outreach Project, and Durham Public Schools.

Families can apply through Durham’s Universal Pre-K Application to be considered for pre-K seats in Head Start, Durham Public Schools and privately owned child-care centers.

Though classrooms may be in different types of child care centers, all classrooms share high quality standards, including birth through kindergarten licensed teachers, high-quality learning environments, 5-star ratings from the North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education, low student-teacher ratios, and research based curriculum that values play to keep children engaged and excited about learning

[Narrator] Why is play important? Let’s hear from Durham PreK teachers

[Ms. Stinnett] You know, learning through play is [the] most important thing to me. Having fun sometimes looks like playing, and people always ask “oh they’re just playing! What are they learning?”

So I always have this long list, “oh well it might look like they’re just building blocks, but they are […] figuring out how many blocks they can put up before the structure falls down, or they’re counting or making a pattern with the blocks”

Usually if we were in school right now, we would have a grocery store set up and a cash register and pretend food and bags. So that’s a really cool area where the kids can kind of imagine and create. In that area, so much language takes place. So you have to problem solve, right? Because if someone’s there and they’re using the cash register, but someone else wants a turn, then that child has to has to learn how to speak up for what they want and maybe ask for a turn or take turns with a friend [or] wait for a turn. They have to find the language to say “hey I’d like a turn with that, can I have a turn when you’re done.” So for a 4-year-old to wait [and] ask a question, there’s so much learning that takes place. There’s so much back and forth [and] social awareness that takes place just in that center alone, but [really in] all centers. We built the centers in our classroom around those things.

[Narrator} What does a Durham PreK Classroom Look Like? We will now explore the activities you can expect your child to enjoy in Durham Prek

In the morning, parents or caretakers bring their child to their classroom and help them to their cubby to start their day.

Then throughout the day, children participate in group story times, circle times, free choice  centers, small group work, outdoor time, meals, and quiet time.

Lets hear from teachers bout what happens during a typical day

[Mrs. Lucas] A typical day would be our circle time, and that will last about 15 minutes, and during our circle time, we would have our good morning introduction, name game song, “look who came to school today!” We will go over the weather, we will go over feelings – “how do you feel this morning?” Also, I have puppets. I love puppets. So I like to bring my puppets in the class just to fly through the classroom to ask kids, “are you ready for a fun day today?”

[Ms. Toth] If you have a teacher that really loves a conversation with a child the amount of work you that you can put it into that conversation will get that academic environment to blossom and explode in ways that maybe a worksheet isn’t a best way for a child to work. If a student comes in and they really love the block area, you can ask them to count the blocks, we can talk about the sizee, “do you understand that if this block has dimensions, it’s called a cube.” At this point, they need to play and really develop how they think about the world and a lot of that is brought on by lots of and really in depth questions, which I think is really important for them.

To apply for Durham PreK, visit durhamprek.org /enrollment to find our online application. You can also call 1-833-PREK-EDU, that’s 1-833-773-5338 for more information or to schedule a virtual application appointment. Appointments are available in English and Spanish, and can also be completed in other languages upon request.

We are so excited to have you child in a Durham PreK classroom.

See you soon!