DOTHAN, AL--A new Troy University initiative launched by faculty in the college of education is ready for kick-off.
"We're seeing a lot in research out there saying that our 4 year olds are coming into Kindergarten at various levels from very little literacy knowledge to high and that's very hard for a Kindergarten teacher," said Troy Dothan University Professor of Education Dr. Cynthia Hicks.
So Dr. Cynthia Hicks and professor Pam Wimbish applied for an almost $24,000 grant from the Wiregrass Foundation in hopes of bridging the gap.
"We want to provide curriculum materials, we want to provide professional development and on going support to the teachers and the students."
The professors selected three child care centers that serve children from low-income families.
Angels Child Care and Academy, ABC Academy and Brenda's Preparatory school.
"I feel honored I'm looking for more advancement for my teachers and God answered my prayers," said ABC Academy Director Yvonne Potter Lee.
Brenda's Preparatory school the director says her and her staff welcome the extra training.
"I'm at all times wanting to do something that's going to better our kids and help them," said Brenda Guilford.
Directors say the program will do wonders for their kids and their centers.
"Merging with troy state in this collaboration will only strengthen our program," Guilford said.
"I want to be one of the best," said Lee.
And they hope being one of the best is visible when their students move on to Kindergarten.
"The school system is going to be really proud of what we produce," said Guilford.
The program begins in August.
Selected teachers from each child care center will go through a day-long workshop.
Afterwards the professors will visit each center once a month.
The students will also take an assessment test before and after the program to test its effectiveness.