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4 year olds to get MCS assist at ‘Pre-K Express’

prek-exThousands of families are expected to visit the Memphis Cook Convention Center for Memphis City Schools' 4th Annual Pre-K Express – a one-stop-shop for enrolling children in prekindergarten classes for the 2012-13 school year.

The event is June 16, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.,

The MSC Pre-K program provides 4,100 spaces at 205 locations, with classes held at elementary schools in the district, Shelby County Head Start Centers, and at community partner sites.

The initiative helps 4-year-old children to become adequately prepared for kindergarten. Studies show that Pre-K education helps students to make strides in grade school and beyond, which gave rise to the program's motto: "Pre-K is the answer!"

The family-friendly event signals the end of Pre-K enrollment for 2012-13 and is crafted to help parents to see what goes into Pre-K learning. Pre-K Express features model classrooms, learning games, children's books, free backpacks and school supplies, applications, onsite screenings, vendors and entertainment.

Families are encouraged to arrive early at the convention center. Last year, 15,000 parents and children were in attendance; many were in line before the 8 a.m. start time.

"Our children are, and should be, our first priority," said Carolyn Harvey, Ed.D, director of the MCS Pre-K Office. "We thank our community partners, civic leaders, and citizens for recognizing the importance of Pre-K learning, and for their diligent support of Pre-K Express."

The event will include a "Meet and Greet Breakfast" to allow Pre-K supporters an opportunity to discuss the value of Pre-K education. MCS Supt. Dr. Kriner Cash and Shelby County Schools Supt. John Aitken will be available, along with Mayor AC Wharton Jr., Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell, City Councilman Myron Lowery, State Representatives G.A. Hardaway, Antonio Parkinson and Karen Kemper, State Senator Reginald Tate, and School Board Commissioners Betty Mallot and Reginald Porter.

Pre-K applications will be reviewed until all 4,100 spaces are filled. To enroll, children must reside in Memphis and be four years old on or before September 30.

The program is free. Priority is given to families meeting low-income guidelines. Applications are available in both English and Spanish, and children are screened for eligibility.

To complete the application process, parents must provide a certified birth certificate, proof of income, two proofs of residency, and the child's health and immunization records.

(For more information, call the MCS Pre-K Office at 901-416-3450 or visit www.mcsk12.net/prek/.)


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