COFFEE COUNTY, Ala. (WTVY) - The Coffee County School system has spent a few years developing a more hands-on approach to early learning.
Now, a grant from the State of Alabama will help grow the program even more.
From pre-k to third grade, students need more than just math, science and textbooks.
The P-3 approach gives them time every day to develop skills like creativity and teamwork.
"It gives them a chance to work together, to solve problems and just be creative," said New Brockton Elementary First Grade Teacher Rachel Purvee.
For about a half hour every day, Rachel Purvee breaks her students up into a few different groups.
She calls them art, blocks and constructions, and dramatic play.
"Even in first grade, they can take the things that they learn through this play and through these activities and take it with them to their next level,” said Purvee.
This portion of the school day is dedicated to P-3, a state-funded program for integrated learning, to get kids moving and developing other skills.
Coffee County Schools just received $160,000 from the state to develop the program further in New Brockton Elementary, Kinston School and Zion Chapel School.
"When you look at a whole child, there's multiple learning domains, and what this initiative does is it addresses all of those learning areas so children really can foster and learn academically,” said Coffee County Schools Federal Programs Coordinator Kelly Cobb
Not to mention, it lets them burn off a little energy.
Coffee County is the only local school system participating in the P-3 program.
By the start of next school year, 117 classrooms across the state will take this hands-on approach.
Coffee County Schools has received these grants for three years - this year is the largest.
New Brockton Elementary Principal Jason Hadden is expecting a spike in enrollment this summer, and hopes the increased funding will help offset that.