PETAL, MS (WDAM) - Walking into a classroom for the first time can be scary. Petal Primary School is hosting Panther Prep to make the transition easier.
"The purpose is to get students acquainted with the big school environment," said Kelly Lambert, Petal Primary School principal. "We want to get the kids ready for kindergarten. It's a little orientation before they kick off their educational career."
Ninety incoming kindergarten students started the program Monday and will attend for three weeks. The school targeted students who have never been to Pre-K or are one year's worth of vocabulary behind their peers. The state awarded Petal Primary a grant to fund the program for three years. It will serve as early intervention for students who may be at risk of failing the Third Grade Reading Gate.
"This week, they're getting used to the school (and) getting used to the routines," Lambert said.
The kids start the day by eating breakfast in the cafeteria and then spend time doing various activities. They get to use computers, do science experiments, go to recess and interact with teachers and other students. Some students even get to ride the bus.
"For many of them, it's their first time on the bus," said Lambert. "It's pretty neat to see them get off the bus and be excited about coming to school."
And that excitement won't likely fade by the time the school year starts.