Program offers preschool for 10-dollars a month

By Melanie Posey

MOUNTAIN BROOK,AL (WBRC) - Learning is never boring at Preschool Partners in Mountain Brook. In one class, children sing the days of the week. In another, they trace the capital and lowercase D's…the letter of the week. And in another room, they're painting, coloring and playing with dinosaurs. That includes Cassandra Given's 4 year old daughter Mikayla. "It was a little nugget in Birmingham I knew nothing about," Givens says excitedly. "And when I found out about it, it's like I opened up a treasure box and found something great." Her son attended the school before Mikayla. "When I say Johnny has made straight A's since the day he left here, he's still on the honor roll at Norwood," Givens beams. Norwood and Whatley elementary in Birmingham are the two schools the program targets. 16 years ago volunteers from St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Mt. Brook were at the school and saw a number of the students weren't on grade level. "And then they finally said, 'You know what? We need to start our own preschool because every child deserves access to a quality preschool program'," says Lella Carl, the program's Executive director. The result was Preschool Partners. Today, there are 66 3 and four year olds enrolled. And the tuition is just 100 dollars a year. The school feels parents pay with their time when they attend 4 hours of classes every Monday. "They're hearing from professional speakers on stress and anger management, nutrition, child development and budgeting, "Carl says. Ask four year old Layla Hatten what she thinks of her mom coming to school with her and she'll tell you. "I like her coming to school with me." Registration for next year's classes will begin in April. Carl also advises parents who live outside the Whatley and Norwood school zones to inquire about the program as well. You can do so by calling 951-5151.

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