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State officials put spotlight on Alabama’s First Class Pre-K program as part of 2019 inauguration festivities

Image via @GovernorKayIvey Montgomery - In the days leading up to her historic inauguration, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey visited First Class Pre-K classrooms in four communities across the state: Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile and Pine Hill. At each stop, Ivey emphasized First Class Pre-K’s role in forming early literacy skills. She read to students and passed out copies of The Very Hungry Caterpillarby Eric Carle and Where the Wild Things Areby Maurice Sendak for students to take ho...

Student from state’s first pre-k class set to become early childhood educator

Montgomery – On December 15, 2018, hundreds of students walked across a stage set up at the end of Warhawks Gymnasium on the campus of Auburn University Montgomery to receive their diplomas. Included among them was Shernelia Cook, who graduated summa cum laude with a degree in early childhood and elementary education. For most in Shernelia’s major, the commencement ceremony signaled the start of their early childhood career. For Shernelia, it marked her full-circle return to early childhood...

Alabama Pre-K Program Tops National Report Assessing Quality

A recently released report asserts Alabama’s First Class Pre-K program is the only state-funded pre-kindergarten program in the country that "comes close to having all the elements of a strong pre-k program." In its Implementing 15 Essential Elements for High-Quality Pre-K: An Updated Scan of State Polices report, the National Institute for Early Education Research found that Alabama’s First Class Pre-K program fully met 14 of the report’s 15 “essential elements” characterizing high-qu...

Voter poll: Alabamians strongly favor state funding for pre-k

In March 2018, Hart Research (D) and The Tarrance Group (R) conducted a statewide telephone survey of registered voters in Alabama to gauge their opinions about early education and their support for the state to fully fund pre-k. The overarching takeaway from this survey is that Alabamians widely recognize the importance of pre-k for four-year-olds, strongly favor the state funding pre-k so that all four-year-olds are able to attend, and significantly endorse the idea that improving children’s...

Governor Ivey announces 107 new First Class Pre-K grants

Today, Governor Ivey and the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education announced that the state’s high-quality, voluntary First Class Pre-K program is expanding by 107 new classrooms due to the $18.5 million increase in state investments approved by the Alabama Legislature last month. This will allow an additional 1,926 four-year-olds to attend the program in the upcoming school year. A full list of the new classrooms can be downloaded here. The Governor's press release is below, and yo...

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