Young students get a sneak peek at South Hancock Elementary

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A stop by South Hancock Elementary School (Hancock County) yielded an early education surprise. The school, including principal Barbara Spindel and Family Resource and Youth Services Center coordinator Kim Mitchell, started a new program for preschool-aged children called Little Stars.

“It’s a transition into school life for those students who don’t have access to preschool or head start,” Spindel said. Adding the program is something they have been talking about for years and put into action this year.

A small group of students meets four times, for an hour each time, during the school year before they enter kindergarten. Spindel works with the students on activities that include learning and classroom skills, like counting and teamwork. Mitchell spends part of that time talking with the parents about kindergarten readiness skills.

“The concept eliminates first day tears,” Spindel said. “It’s already their school.”

Eli Swihart uses play-doh to make a snowman during the Little Stars program at South Hancock Elementary School (Hancock County). Photo by Amy Wallot, Jan. 4, 2013
Eli Swihart uses play-doh to make a snowman during the Little Stars program at South Hancock Elementary School (Hancock County).
Photo by Amy Wallot, Jan. 4, 2013
Memphis Ball waits for instruction on the days activities. Photo by Amy Wallot, Jan. 4, 2013
Memphis Ball waits for instruction on the days activities.
Photo by Amy Wallot, Jan. 4, 2013
South Hancock Elementary School (Hancock County) principal Barbara Spindel helps Eli Swihart, 4, count cotton balls during the Little Stars. Photo by Amy Wallot, Jan. 4, 2013
South Hancock Elementary School (Hancock County) principal Barbara Spindel helps Eli Swihart, 4, count cotton balls during the Little Stars.
Photo by Amy Wallot, Jan. 4, 2013
Claire Swihart uses a glue stick with cotton balls to make a snowman during the Little Stars program. Photo by Amy Wallot, Jan. 4, 2013
Claire Swihart uses a glue stick with cotton balls to make a snowman during the Little Stars program.
Photo by Amy Wallot, Jan. 4, 2013

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