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Registration opens Saturday for JSU’s Little Tigers early education program

This Saturday, parents can enjoy a free movie with their children and become part of an early education initiative sponsored by Jackson State University.

The Little Tigers Program opens registration on Saturday, allowing parents to enroll their preschoolers in an early education initiative at Jackson State University.

The program begins at 10 a.m. in the JSU Student Center movie theater. Refreshments will be served.

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The Little Tigers program grew out of the Washington Addition Prenatal Early Childhood Project, which received a $1.6 million, five-year grant from the Robert M. Hearin Support Foundation. The Washington Addition project only targeted children from that neighborhood. However, there was a lot of interest from families outside of Washington Addition, said Ingrad Smith, Ph.D., College of Education associate dean and co-project director.

“We didn’t want to turn anyone away,” Smith said.

There were about 40 families enrolled in the program during its last session. Parents who enroll on Saturday will receive a membership card. Smith said tentative plans call for monthly weekend sessions. Smith said the program accomodates up to 100 families.

The children participate in a number of activities designed to ensure they are ready to begin — and thrive — in kindergarten and first-grade. The children are given books, and they spend time in the Harris-Gambrell Reading Center located at the college.

“We take them on field trips and show educational, fun movies,” said Angela Gobar, Ph.D., project director for the Washington Addition Project.

Gobar said parents are encouraged to be a part of their children’s learning experience by reading books aloud to them and initiating other school-readiness activities.

For more information, call 601-979-7043.

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