Fort Payne’s First Pre-K Class Prepares to Graduate High School

FORT PAYNE, Ala. (WHNT)- In November of 2000, America was focused on the outcome of the disputed election between George W. Bush and Al Gore.   However, some teachers in Fort Payne were concerned about another outcome, their first Pre-K class.

The state initially had eight locations for Pre-K around the state.   Fort Payne was chosen as one of the first.    Although in the beginning, they had to recruit students.

“We had it in the newspaper, you know announce it in the newspapers and we just had to do it by word of mouth to try and get four year olds to come,” said teacher Lisa Clark.

Now there are more than 300 locations across the state and a waiting list at the Fort Payne location.

“I think this is a very very good program,” said teacher Charlene Hayes.  “I think the state was very smart in starting these pre-K programs.  When we get they children they make a whole lot of progress.”

As the students in the first glass prepare to graduate in May, they will first take a trip to Montgomery.   There they will meet with Governor Bentley and members of the Alabama Legislature to express their support for the program.

The vast majority of the students are headed off to college.

“We are really excited for them,” said Mary Davis, the executive director of the Child Resource Network.  “We think so many of them really have good futures.  They are going to college.  They’ve had really good high school experiences.”