Beyond The Bell: OKCPS Offers 'Smart Start' Program

Thursday, February 18th 2016, 10:51 pm
By: News 9

A classroom inside Coolidge Elementary in Oklahoma City was full of kids who were too young for school Thursday.

Zoe Marquez is only four years old, but she has big sisters that go to Coolidge.

“Every time I drop her sisters at school she always starts crying because she wants to stay,” said mother Brenda Marquez, “And she didn’t cry today.”

That’s because Friday her mom took advantage of one of the many programs in the Oklahoma City Public School District called 'Smart Start.'

Twice a month, parents can bring their little ones to school for a learning session in the morning. It's designed for infants and toddlers and each week there's a different theme. A teacher reads stories; they sing songs and play games.

It's a chance to get moving and also become familiar with the school they'll soon attend.

And Principal Melissa Brett said getting parents on board with school even before their child starts class gives them best opportunity for success.

“It teaches from a very young age that we are working together with the children. It’s not just the parent and just the school. We have to work together. And it lays the foundation and the ground work,” Brett told News 9.

They're having a two hour event similar to what they do in the ‘Smart Start’ program for infants and school age kids Saturday, February 27 at Coolidge Elementary at 5212 S Villa Avenue. The event is called ‘Early Birds.’ The event for Spanish speaking families starts at 10 a.m. and for English speaking families it starts at 1 p.m.