LOOKINGGLASS — Laney Roberts and Spencer Ekelund were the only two preschoolers in class Wednesday at Lookingglass Elementary School. Principal Oriole Inkster would like to see that change.

“We would love to support kids and families by making the community aware of this new option,” Inkster. “We just know there are families out there who could benefit from this.”

Laney said on Tuesday the class painted, which is one of her favorite activities. They didn’t paint anything specific but instead learned how to mix colors to create others.

“To make orange you use orange and red,” Laney said. “Purple is blue and red.”

Laney and Spencer proudly showed off their work, which included big strokes and circles of mixed colors.

In total six children are signed up for the preschool program at Lookingglass, but there’s room for 12 more students.

On Tuesday, it was only the two girls because two other children were out hunting, one was going to get a puppy and the other student would start Monday.

Tammy Taylor is the teacher for the preschool, which was brought back by the school district with the help of Student Investment Account funding. There are preschool options at Lookingglass and Brockway elementary schools.

“We learn social skills, phonics, numbers, writing,” Taylor said. “There’s also a lot of free play. There are a few things we can’t do, like dress up. But there’s still all kinds of social-emotional development.”

When asked if there was a noticeable difference in incoming kindergartners between the ones who attend preschool and the ones who do not, Inkster said, “You almost don’t have to ask if they’ve been to school.”

Taylor added, “There’s such a drastic difference when you go from just being home to kindergarten.”

The preschool program is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday and each day is very structured. There is also some time set aside for the children to rest and maybe even take a nap on one of the cots in the classroom.

Students get their temperature checked when they first get to the school and parents will fill out a questionnaire and sign, the parents will sign again when they come to pick up the child.

These programs are operated by the school district and are open to children who were 4 years old by Sept. 1, but not yet 5.

For more information on the Winston-Dillard Preschool Program at Brockway, call 541-679-3037. At Lookingglass, call 541-679-3006.

Sanne Godfrey can be reached at sgodfrey@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4203. Follow her on Twitter @sannegodfrey.

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