Malta Bend preschool continues to grow

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Malta Bend's preschool program is off to a good start, according to teacher Lora Kiehl, with nearly full enrollment and a bigger grant this year.

Kiehl informed the board of education Monday, Aug. 21, that grant funding had increased from $45,000 last year to $75,000 this year from the Missouri Preschool Project, a Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education program.

This will be Malta Bend school's seventh year participating in the program, and Kiehl said DESE officials indicated that funding would likely be available again next year.

The grant will not only pay for routine program expenses, including teacher salaries and training and educational materials, it will also provide $9,000 for a climbing structure to be added to the playground.

"It's a lot of work," Kiehl said of the grant process, holding up a thick binder of paper work for the board to see. "But it's worth it."

The program will serve 18 children initially, Kiehl said. The school is licensed to enroll a maximum of 20 students.

Kiehl said nine girls and nine boys were enrolled, including 12 4-year-olds and six 3-year-olds.

She also noted that six of the children were from families who live outside the school district, and three of those were from families whose mothers were Malta Bend school alumnae.

Superintendent Ryan Nowlin told the board the district had 128 students enrolled as of Monday, up three from the first day of school last year.

He reported that a recent benefit golf tournament had raised $3,000 for the band's trip to the Liberty Bowl in December.

He also announced that the baseball and softball seasons had been canceled because not enough players signed up.

The board set the district's annual tax hearing for Monday, Aug. 28, at 7 p.m. in the school library.

Contact Eric Crump at

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