Lafayette Elementary School Principal Stephen Clark spoke to the Rotary Club of Mayo about the school’s VPK program.

MAYO — Registration will soon begin for the VPK program at the Lafayette Elementary School.

LES Principal Stephen Clark spoke to the Rotary Club of Mayo on March 11 about the program.

Clark said the voluntary pre-school program, which is for children who are 4 years old before Sept. 1, benefits those students as they enter kindergarten the following year. According to Clark, students who attend VPK the year before kindergarten show fewer signs of anxiety and being overwhelmed, and more signs of interaction, growth, focus and better reactions towards the school schedule.

There are two classrooms at LES that house 40 VPK students in total, Clark said, with two teachers and two assistants that are split between the two classes of 20 students each.

VPK students are released earlier than the students in grades K-5, however for $10 per day, VPK students can stay and be released at the same time as K-5. This helps students to be able to get accustomed to the normal school day schedule that they will face in the rest of their school years ahead of them.

Superintendent Robby Edwards followed Clark and provided the Rotarians an update on the COVID-19 cases rising in the areas surrounding Florida. Edwards reminded everyone in attendance to be careful, ensure proper hygiene by continuing rigorous hand washing, as well as to practice “social distancing” in order to help increase safety and reduce the risk of infection.

Kara M. Compo is a reporter for the Suwannee Democrat, Jasper News and Mayo Free Press. Her beats include general assignment, government, politics, law enforcement and first responders. ​

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