A Day in the Life of a MECK Pre-K Student

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a MECK Pre-K student? We have asked our students and their parents/caregivers for the inside scoop, and here’s what they had to say!  


Arriving at School 


Around 8am, children start arriving and greet their teachers. Children choose from a list of greetings – a fist bump, a dance, a wave, or other greeting. Children enjoy this routine. As one parent told us, “Meck Pre-K has helped Chelsea become an independent little girl. Every morning, she has been eager to get ready to head to school.” Another parent, Valerie, said of her daughter, “I have never seen a four-year-old more excited about going to school.”  


A Typical MECK Pre-K Day 


After the students arrive and get settled, teachers use a variety of interactive activities to engage children in learning throughout the day. Large group activities like story time, small group learning led by teachers and children, and independent choice time in interest enters constructed with the children’s interests in mind are a part of every day. Gabriel’s mom told us, “I love the activities that they have the children do in class.” Another mom, Jasmine, told us, “Amir has grown in his abilities to reason and analyze space, form and time. His word vocabulary has increased due [to] more social activity.”  

Children participate in fun, hands-on activities that integrate their learning objectives with other skills. For example, children learning about clothing may design and create their own scarf by measuring a piece of fabric, cutting it, and putting it on. Another parent, Dania, told us, “Students are always engaged in learning and having fun with their friends.” Children learn through lessons and play and in the process develop social skills. Crystal, parent of Danni, says, “The program focuses on the child’s growth instead of just getting through a curriculum. I can tell that the children are excited to learn and share what they have learned!”  

In addition to the social skills developed through the intentionally planned and shared lessons, there are other times of the day set aside for specifically working on being and staying healthy, social friendships, and being a member of a community.  The 6.5-hour school day includes breakfast, lunch, snack, a “quiet/rest” time and, weather permitting, an outdoor recess. Each of these activities provided further opportunity for children to practice healthy eating and living and getting to know others in a safe and relaxed environment. 


Heading Home 


Before they know it, the day is over, and the children head home. They may be picked up by their caregivers, or they may take a bus. Some locations provide transportation for a nominal fee. Once they get home, students are eager to share what they have learned with their families. Michelle, parent of Tristan, says “I love that he comes home and is excited to tell me all the new things he has learned.” Danni’s mom says, “She wants to show me what she’s learned, and she wants to be the teacher at home.”  

Most locations also offer before-school and after-school care in addition to the 6.5-hour MECK Pre-K day to accommodate schedules of working parents.  Although there is a fee for before and after school care, much of it is covered by Mecklenburg County.  Parents pay only the difference between what the center charges and the County provides. 

The MECK Pre-K 6.5-hour day, like all public-school programs, is provided at no cost to parents. 


Favorite Things 


We asked parents, “What have you enjoyed the most about MECK Pre-K?” Chelesa’s parent said, “Their well-rounded curriculum and watching Chelsea outgrow and conquer fears while loving and enjoying the entire learning process. Meck Pre-K makes learning fun!” Other parents love getting to know teachers and being engaged with the learning process. Elizabeth tells us, “I have enjoyed developing relationships with Francesca’s teachers! They have been great! I have also enjoyed hearing about all the topics our pre-k students are learning, such as insects, the construction of buildings, how to recycle, etc.” 


Importance of Pre-K 


The foundation created in a high-quality pre-K program prepares children for the demands of life — not just in the short-term as they succeed in school, but also in the long-term as they grow up, become employed, and contribute to the strength of the community. The MECK Pre-K day is designed to help children learn, socialize, and get ready for kindergarten. Marie, mother of Lila, says, “My daughter has thrived in Pre-K! Her social skills have grown, she is beyond prepared academically for kindergarten, and the Pre-K school schedule has been such a help for our family.” Dania, whose son Christian graduated from MECK Pre-K, was pleased with his transition to kindergarten. “My son was more than ready for kindergarten. He knew his numbers up to 100, most of his letter names and sounds, and was so excited about learning.” 


About MECK Pre-K 


MECK Pre-K is open to all four-year-old children in Mecklenburg County at no cost to families. Classrooms are located in licensed childcare centers and taught by licensed teachers and highly qualified assistant teachers. You can apply online at MeckPreK.org.    

Do you have a child who is not old enough for pre-K this year? Sign up for our email list and be notified when they’re eligible for MECK Pre-K. Simply go to MECKPrek.org/future-meck-pre-k-students and select your child’s age group.