The Great Start Readiness Program is a developmentally appropriate preschool that helps prepare children for later school success. This free program, funded by a Michigan Department of Education grant and monitored by the state, helps provide area four-year-olds with the skills that will help them succeed in school and in life. Research shows that the earlier children are reached with academic and social lessons, the more likely they will succeed later in school and in life. This program allows children who may not generally have the chance to get the benefits of a quality preschool to get the skills needed to start kindergarten prepared.
Two programs are available: half days, Monday through Thursday or all day, Monday through Thursday. The program is licensed and staffed by experienced teachers certified in early childhood education. Children are stimulated, guided and encouraged in carefully planned activities that allow for development at their own rate.
Great Start Readiness recognizes that parents are children's first and most important teachers. Therefore, the program has a substantial outreach to families, including home visits, workshops and group meetings. Parents are also required to participate in the classroom.
Staff use developmentally appropriate practices, such as engaging children as active learners, individualizing work, allowing children to move at their own pace, encouraging children to use language for expressing ideas, praising children for their accomplishments and viewing errors as normal development.
To be eligible for the program, the child must be four years old by Sept. 1 of the year the child is applying and living in the Grandville School District. Also, two of eight state-developed criteria must be met, such as certain income factors. Information on eligibility is gathered through a confidential application and interview process. Call 254-6554 (option 2) for info.