NEWTON, Ala. (WTVY) -- Dale County parents are gambling for their kids to have a better education.
Ariton, G.W. Long, and Newton Elementary schools held lotteries today.
This lottery is a chance for children to win a spot in one of the pre-k programs.
Dale County has been awarded three grants to house three elementary schools with a pre-k program.
July 16th is the day parents find out if their child’s name will be drawn in this lottery.
Dale County schools are part of 40% of Alabama schools to have pre-k programs.
"The ability to have a pre-k program at all of our elementary schools is going to have a huge impact on not just the social development but also the academic development," said Dale County Superintendent Ben Baker.
Three schools in Dale County are receiving their first pre-k program grant. One of those schools is Newton Elementary.
"We’re very fortunate to have this opportunity. The entire Dale County School System now has a pre-k program in each school and I know that's been a big emphasis for Mr. Baker since he's taken office and we're excited to be a part of that," said Newton Elementary Principal Patrick Reed.
Superintendent Baker says the earlier children start school, the more likely they will enjoy school.
"The data shows that a child that is in a structured organized pre-k program is more successful when they get to elementary school and high school and they're not likely to drop out of school."
The grants do not cover the entire cost of the program, but Superintendent Baker says it’s still a great deal.
"We’re willing to put the extra money in because we believe in this program and we're excited to provide this program for our communities in Dale County."
The pre-k program gets more students into schools at a young age but also provides an extra job for every school.
"We've moved Ms. Haley Johnson one of our long time kindergarten teachers to the pre-k position and we have hired a new teacher that we are excited about as our kindergarten teacher to fill her position," said Reed.
The drawing was at the Dale County School Board Office at 2 p.m.
16 to 18 students have been drawn for each school.