The Bright From the Start Pre-Kindergarten program in Decatur County includes 14 classrooms housed throughout the system's five elementary schools. The program serves at a maximum 286 children through age appropriate instruction learning experiences. Each class is limited to 22 students and is taught by a certified early childhood teacher and an assistant teacher. Included in the 14 classrooms is an Inclusion classroom that serves developmentally delayed students with 14 normally developing students. This class is unique and includes a certified lead teacher with two assistant teachers in this classroom. The Georgia Pre-K program is successfully preparing children for school by providing an opportunity for them to develop school readiness skills in an environment that encourages children to have fun while learning.
Georgia's Pre-K Program provides children with experiences that foster the essentials for school readiness. In Pre-K, children learn through play and learning centers, which are integral parts of Pre-K classrooms. Pre-K programs reflect an understanding of how children learn by emphasizing active learning, consistent daily routines, and the use of positive behavioral management and assessment strategies. The school readiness goals of the Pre-K program provide appropriate preschool experiences emphasizing growth in language and literacy, math concepts, science, social studies, arts, health and physical development, and social and emotional competence.
Support services are a vital component of the Pre-K program. On a voluntary basis, families are provided access to services that promote stability and aid in the child's preparation for kindergarten. Parents are provided with opportunities to obtain needed health services for their child, attend informational seminars, attend child development seminars and receive information on topics of interest to them. The Pre-K Program no longer provides Resource Coordinators to work with families. Decatur County was awarded a competitive grant for a Transition Coach who is now responsible for helping vulnerable families who have a number of risk factors that might impede their Pre-K student's education and transition into kindergarten. The key focus of the Transition Coach Program is to provide services and activities to help prepare student and their families for transition into new educational settings, to provide language and literacy development for children and their families and to collaborate with community agencies to provide support for families in need. Parents themselves are provided with community resource help as needed, such as GED information, employment counseling, financial assistance through community resources and access to literacy classes.