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Two new VPK buildings coming to Washington County

Published: May. 11, 2022 at 10:51 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Kids seem to be growing up faster and faster with each passing year.

“The expectations now on your kindergarten and first graders are nothing like they used to be,” Superintendent Joseph Taylor said.

Many parents want to give their kids a head start on their education.

“Starting at Kindergarten is wonderful, you know, for reading and writing and arithmetic, ABC’s, 123′s,” Teacher on Special Assignment Linda Mincey said.

Officials say one way to do that is by enrolling kids in Voluntary Pre-K (VPK).

“Getting them earlier is helping to get them reading by 3rd grade,” Mincey said.

Many Washington County residents are enrolling their kids in VPK, and their limited classrooms are filling up.

“Currently we offer VPK in Chipley and in Vernon, so what we want to do is build separate buildings for them,” Taylor said. “It frees up space for us, and I think it’s a better utilization to be able to provide for the students.”

The new VPK center in Chipley will be built less than 100 yards from the current one. The one in Vernon will be built right next door to the elementary school.

We’re told the money for this project is coming from COVID relief funds. Even though the buildings won’t be ready by this coming school year, officials still encourage parents to sign their kids up for the current VPK programs.

“Not only is it social in nature, it’s actually starting the scaffolding for all the other grades,” Mincey said.

School District officials say they hope this program, and these new buildings, give students the head start they need.

To sign a child up for VPK in Washington County, visit www.elcnwf.org.

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