Edna Webb and Demetrice McDuffy welcomed their new class on Tuesday. Several months ago the Journal reported that the school board had authorized the new class and facilities were being prepared.
Webb worked with young children at the Lawson Center on the Springville campus for many years. It was phased out as the school board decided to switch from providing daycare to a three-year-old education program. The first students reported for classes this week.
Webb and McDuffy seemed to be in heaven with fifteen new kids and a large classroom of their own. It isn’t exactly as quiet as the library, but it is just as orderly. Their new room is located in the kindergarten wing of Red River Elementary. They have their own playground just outside the classroom door.
Inside there are many learning stations. Three or four children were working busily at each. Three girls were “preparing lunch” in the make-believe kitchen. There was a music station with several drums, guitars and other instruments. Several kids were selecting a book and reading in the small library. One corner of the room was devoted to building blocks of various sizes and colors.
Each station had been designed to challenge young minds. Children move from station during the day. And each week there is a color, letter and shape to study. Webb said, “The letter for the week is A, the number for the week is 1, and our color this week is Red.”
So what happened on the first day when parents dropped off their three year old son or daughter? Webb told the Journal, “There were more tears from parents than from the kids. They got right into the program exploring all there was to do.”
The daily routine was established quickly. The three year olds all wear the same uniform as other elementary students. They held their morning opening including saying the Pledge of Allegiance.
The classroom was orderly. Webb and McDuffy see to it that as children leave one station everything is picked up and returned to its proper place. Every different station offered play opportunities that Webb said reinforced the study of the letter, number and color of the week. She said, “You hear the kids shout ‘I did it’ as they accomplish things. They all work together and help each other.”