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New Silver Streak Academy Gives Youngest Students a Leg Up


Last updated 10/30/2019 at 5:18pm

The new Little Silver Streak Academy at Janie Howard Wilson Elementary is giving 20 young students an early leg up on their educational journey this fall at Janie Howard Wilson Elementary School in Lake Wales.

The full day pre-K program includes traditional components like outside play time, work on social skills, and breakfast and lunch every school day.

But it adds a hefty classroom component as well, with a computer and listening station, and small group instruction in science, math, literacy, reading and art.

Individual assessments are done in the first weeks a student enters the program, something that teacher Genetha Zellner says is critical.

"If they're low, we can call resources in right away. If they can get help here, it goes with them all the way from K through 12. They don't have to lag behind here," she noted.

Along with assistant teacher Aidalis Colon, the duo are creating a challenging yet nurturing environment to lay a strong educational and social foundation for years to come.

"I like to have fun, and we have rules. That's what I notice in kindergarten, and we're an extension of kindergarten, it's not day care," Zellner said. "So things that would help them in the transition to kindergarten, they'll learn in here."

She said the flexibility and attention starting such a program as part of a charter school system is a blessing as well.

"I'm not one of 200 teachers dealing with 3000 kids and my concerns and my kids are on the bottom," she added. "If I see something I think we need to change, I get to work with the principal directly."

Cost to attend the new academy is $115 per week, although "students may qualify for free or reduced fees through the Early Learning Coalition." The school's voluntary Pre-K program will start Dec. 16 and is free to everyone. For more information on either, contact Zellner at 678-4211 or via email at [email protected]


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