Posted on April 11, 2012
Written By: Ana Tintocalis
About a dozen kids buzz around a colorful classroom at Walteria Elementary in Torrance, just north of Long Beach. Some kids are stacking Legos and playing with dolls. Others are at tables with jumbo crayons.
At the center of the action is teacher Lisa Rodeski.
"In my classroom, when they first come in in the morning, this is what I call table time, so everything out on the tables is focused on small motor development or it's math skills," Rodeski says.
But this is not your typical kindergarten class. It's called "Preppy K," a transitional kindergarten program for kids just shy of their fifth birthdays. Rodeski says these kids are not quite ready for the structure of regular kindergarten.
"They stand out in a number of ways," she says. "It might be academic, it might be physical, it might be social, it might be emotional or it might be a combination of all of those things. So this program has been developed to meet all of their needs."
The program here has been around for about 20 years. The district makes a commitment to fund it because they see the benefits. Learn more about this important topic.