2290 State Route 121 North    Mayfield, KY 42066    270.328.2656 | 270.674.2656
Graves County School District opens registration for its Early Eagle Academy daycare; program to start in August

The Graves County School District’s Early Eagle Academy daycare program for ages 3 to 5 and a limited number of 2-year-olds, will provide an early educational daycare setting where the children get all the skills they need for kindergarten readiness. Pictured, discussing possibilities for the classroom at Graves County Middle School are Graves County Schools’ early childhood consultant/community liaison Melissa Bazzell (left) and program coordinator Courtney Hayden.

Parents have the option of full-day childcare for those working families who need it. The program is designed for children up until they enter kindergarten. A change statewide this year is that the date for a student to enter kindergarten previously was to turn 5 by Oct. 1, but now the birthday deadline has moved up to Aug. 1, altering plans for some families. With registration on a first-come, first-served basis and since non-residents of the Graves County School District also are eligible, now is the time for anyone interested to register for the Early Eagle Academy. To learn more and/or to register, phone (270) 328-1555 or email
Melissa.Bazzell@graves.kyschools.us or Courtney.hayden@graves.kyschools.us.

“Our tentative start date is Monday, Aug. 7, which is the first full week that Graves County schools are in session,” said Bazzell, the Graves County Schools’ early childhood consultant/community liaison. “We have four different locations, but we’re only offering the full-day, full-year option for daycare at three locations: the elementary schools at Fancy Farm and Farmington, as well as Graves County Middle School. The program runs Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. year-round, with five weeks off built into that calendar: fall break, spring break, a week at Christmas/New Year’s, and two weeks in the summer.

Sedalia Elementary will offer a half-day option for preschool students that runs Monday through Thursday and follows the Graves County Schools calendar. Sedalia simply will be an extension of the preschool program there for those families who need that full daycare option.”

Plans currently are to add centers at Symsonia and Wingo elementary schools in coming months.

“This project is a response to a need. Graves County’s daycare needs are underserved,” Bazzell continued. “We’ve had requests from parents for some time now, asking us to provide a full day option for preschool and/or daycare. Our current funding structure for preschool does not allow us to offer full-day services at every school. So, this is a positive alternative to meeting that need.” She added, “Parents must provide transportation, unless it’s a child getting preschool ‘wrap-around care.’ Current pre-school children can ride the bus to school for the a.m. class and from school for the p.m. class.”

Hayden has taught preschool at Sedalia Elementary for 13 years. Her new position is the Early Eagle Academy program coordinator. “I chose to accept this position because I firmly agree that Graves County needs this type of program. I strongly believe in it and want to be a part of it,” Hayden explained. “Our goal of the Early Eagle Academy is not only to provide an option for full-day care, but to equip young children with the necessary kindergarten readiness skills. The instruction will be very similar to preschool, where we learn through play and hands-on activities. In addition to an educational atmosphere, we will have various times throughout the day to offer children time to socialize through play, both indoors and outdoors. We also will offer a two-hour nap time in the afternoon and we will offer two family-style meals. No extra cost is charged for meals because of federal food program funding.”

“We’re promoting play skills that are integrated throughout the early childhood curriculum,” Bazzell added. “We will teach children how to be imaginative, how to solve problems, and how to figure out things on their own. This approach to learning is offered in such a way that the kids might not even realize they’re learning. They just think they’re having fun!”

Bazzell concluded, “We also need to emphasize that we are accepting children from out-of-district. So, if it is a child who is a Mayfield resident or a resident of a nearby county, those children also are eligible. It’s first-come, first-served at each specific location. We’ll have approximately 18-20 kids in each class.

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