Petal part of UCLA kindergarten study - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Petal part of UCLA kindergarten study

PETAL, MS (WDAM) - In Petal this year, all 12 kindergarten teachers are answering questions about their students overall readiness for the school environments part of a university study.

It is all part of a United Way and UCLA pilot program. The southeast Mississippi chapter of the United Way is one of only 11 chapter's nationwide selected to participate.

"There's 102 questions that the teachers will answer about each child; it's done online," said Director of the Center for Families and Children Nadine Coleman.

"Our plan is to start with Petal in year one, and move to the Hattiesburg schools in year two, and then the outlying county schools in Forrest, Lamar and Perry counties in the third year," said United Way of Southeast Mississippi representative Dan Kibodeaux.

The information from Petal will be analyzed at UCLA and compiled into a community report. Educators say the results will be helpful considering Petal is an early childhood Excel by Five community.

"The seeds of success or failure are planted at a very early age before these children ever set foot in the school," added Kibodeaux

Petal expects to receive the information about their city's kindergarten students this summer. Officials said those results will be shared with the community to assist both teachers and parents.

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