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High school students go next door to learn about teaching preschoolers

Margy Kincaid, director of the Family and Consumer Science program, will prepare her students for the opening of Little Packer Pre-School.

Piper Castillo | Times

Margy Kincaid, director of the Family and Consumer Science program, will prepare her students for the opening of Little Packer Pre-School.

Margy Kincaid's, favorite children's books, Love You Forever and Runaway Bunny are perched, front and center, on the bookshelf inside the new location of the Little Packer Preschool.

Her collection of more than 100 oversized puzzles are categorized and displayed, and the miniature ironing board and wooden cupboards await little visitors in the housekeeping area.

"Our new classroom will be ready to open on Sept 16th,'' said Kincaid, 61, the head of Largo High School's Family and Consumer Science Program, which operates the preschool. "We're in a bigger space, so we are presently enrolling more preschoolers. We have room for 30.''

Largo Central Elementary, adjacent to Largo High School, closed last year. Because of the availability of classrooms, Kincaid's program will now move to the old kindergarten facility.

"We hardly had enough room for the 30 teenagers and the 14 children in our old class next door at the high school, but we are now using a space where there were three kindergarten classes with a total of 60 kids," she said. "We've even got four restrooms instead of one.''

Kincaid, who has been at Largo High School for nine years, believes the preschool is a blessing for both the "teen teachers,'' and the community.

"My students work toward their certificate to teach in Florida preschools, and while they do that, they learn about early childhood development as well as learning parenting skills,'' she said. "For the families in the community, we're a convenient preschool where the child can receive one-on-one attention."

The teenagers are screened for the program, Kincaid said.

Other requirements? "They must be responsible, and they must show good behavior,'' she said.

Along with the preschool, the former Largo Central Elementary site will house Largo High's ninth grade magnet program, ExCEL, and the special education program.

>>FAST FACTS

How to get involved

Little Packer Pre-School, 250 First Ave. NE, operated by the Largo High School's Family and Consumer Science Program, has openings for 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds. The part-time program, which opens on Sept. 16, is from 7:30 a.m. to 11:40 a.m., Tuesday through Thursday, during the Pinellas County school year. It costs $18 a week, with a $15 registration fee. To apply, call (727) 588-4907 or e-mail kincaidm@pcsb.org.

High school students go next door to learn about teaching preschoolers 08/16/08 [Last modified: Saturday, August 16, 2008 4:35am]
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