Aspire Academy celebrates its pre-kindergarten students

On the last day of the summer learning session at Aspire Academy, a small group of children who started school as four-year-olds in August 2015 celebrated their achievements as pre-kindergartners.

Among the many lessons learned, the children know their colors, shapes, numbers, days of the week and months of the year. They learned capital letters, lowercase letters and beginning letter sounds. They can write their first and last names, with space between, and they know sight words. They are reading books, sharing with friends and looking forward to kindergarten.

The celebration marked the second year of full-day pre-kindergarten at Aspire Academy, a Confluence Charter School.

The early education program began as a pilot in 2014-2015. An art room was converted into a classroom for 20 children and two teachers. It was the first effort at early childhood education within Confluence. At the end of the first year, 17 children (85 percent) enrolled as kindergartners at Aspire. As 2015-2016 comes to a close, 16 of the 20 children (80 percent) are enrolled as kindergartners at Confluence.

For the first two years, Confluence Charter Schools paid for the program without funding from the state of Missouri.

In 2016-2017, Confluence will have three full-day pre-kindergarten classrooms with a total of 60 students. Twenty children each will be enrolled at Aspire, Confluence Academy-Old North and Confluence Academy-South City. The program will be supported with funds from the state.