David Holloway looked wistful as his four-year-old daughter, Shirah, confidently played with her new classmate Genesis Terry, 3, on the first day of preschool at Russellville Independent Schools’ Kaye W. Wilkins Early Childhood on Monday.
“It’s kind of sad having to give her up the way I am,” the 1996 graduate of Russellville High School said, “but I’m really glad she can start school. She’s really been excited.”
Three-year-old Fountain Shifflett’s mom, Rachel Barrow, echoed the sentiment as Fountain easily mingled with new preschool friends.
“I’m excited for him but I’m sad for me,” she said.
Barrow said her other children attended Kaye W. Wilkins and she feels having Fountain attend as well will give him an excellent start in school.
“We love the teachers here,” she said.
Barrow thinks the program helps children “learn well.”
Brieyia Fox’s mom, Brittney Fox, also thinks preschool will give her child a good start.
“I think this is really going to help her because she doesn’t really get to be around kids,” she said. “She will learn to share and be around other kids” in a social setting.
Preschool Coordinator Linda Shelton said the first day of preschool went “very smoothly.”
“I think that’s because the teachers have worked so much to prepare,” she said.
Shelton said the students this year will “learn not just academic and social skills, but adaptive and motor skills, so when they transition into Kindergarten they’ll be more prepared.”