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Pre-K classes to start in Duncan nursing home

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

DUNCAN, OK (KSWO) - Bringing generations together for education. Duncan Public Schools and Elk Crossing Nursing Home are coming together to provide a Pre-K program inside the nursing home. It’s called an Intergenerational Pre-K Program. On Monday night, they had an open house for parents to check out the new program.

The classrooms may be empty now, but this fall it will be full of children on their first day of school, ready for a unique learning experience with past generations.

"Well there is a bond between old people, and young children," said Wanda Champoux, Elk Crossing resident.

Champoux is excited about the new, younger group that will be joining the other residents.

"I think it'll just be just a good, good thing," said Champoux.

Elk Crossing owner Jeff Gregston says having a Pre-K built into the nursing home was part of the plan from the beginning.

He heard of positive results from other nursing home owners around the state with a pre-k in their facilities.

"Of course, you hear the stories from the families of the residents, or you hear of the families of the kids of how they have relationships,” said Gregston. “They go back for Christmas, or they go back and check. There are just some neat stories out there."

But their classroom went empty for about two years. Until Gregston asked Duncan Public Schools if they wanted to form a partnership.

"Yes! The reaction is yes, please we want to do that!" responded Duncan Public Schools Superintendent Melonie Hau.

After a year of preparing, they are now ready to welcome the first class of Pre-K kids in the nursing home.

She says while they are building a specialized curriculum to include the residents in the kids' education, some of the lessons they will learn won't be planned.

"It is about academics, but not as much as it is just about that relationship,” said Hau. “We're excited that the kids here will also be learning compassion and empathy. And that's something that's important for early learning."

Champoux says she can't wait for the kids to start school here, and wants to teach them everything she knows.

"Read or some crafts,” said Champoux. “Maybe they need a little help with 1 and 1 is 2. I remember that far back!"

Hau said that the program only has enough room for about 40 students. If you want to get your child in this program, you need to turn in your enrollment packet in as soon as possible because it's first come, first serve. The deadline for the Duncan Pre-K enrollment packets are this Wednesday.

Copyright 2017 KSWO. All rights reserved.

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