The New Mexico PreK Program is a voluntary program created by the Pre-Kindergarten Act of 2005 and jointly administered by the New Mexico Children Youth and Families Department and the Public Education Department.
When Christina Kent Early Childhood Center became part of the New Mexico PreK program in 2012, it was confirmation that our mission, since the beginnings of the Albuquerque Day Nursery was aligned with current practices that support the health, wellness, and nutrition of our students.
The objective of PreK is to ensure that every child in New Mexico has the opportunity to attend a high quality early childhood education program before entering kindergarten.
The PreK classroom at Christina Kent is known as the Busy Bee’s room. Approximately twenty 4-5 year old students and their four teachers engage in meaningful learning activities, both indoors and outdoors. While the children view these activities as play, the teachers are preparing them with the skills they need for success when they move to kindergarten.
The children in Christina Kent’s PreK program come primarily from the areas near the Center, and will enter schools in the Rio Grande cluster when they graduate from our program.
The purpose of New Mexico PreK is to:
- Increase access to voluntary, high-quality early education;
- Prioritize the enrollment of children who do not have access to high quality programs;
- Provide developmentally appropriate activities for New Mexico children;
- Focus on school readiness;
- Expand early childhood community capacity;
- Provide PreK programs based on the comprehensive framework as described in the NM PreK Program Standards;
- Support linguistically and culturally appropriate curriculum.
The information gathered by teachers using the authentic assessment and curriculum cycle is used to support children at their current developmental level and to plan ways to scaffold them to the next level. PreK teachers carefully plan indoor and outdoor activities based on what children need to learn in the following seven areas:
- Listening, language, reading and writing
- Counting, shapes, sorting, and measuring
- Coordination, hygiene, health and well-being
- Art, music, and movement
- Independence, problem-solving, thinking, and perseverance
- Appropriate behavior, social skills and being part of a group.
Some implementation strategies found promising by the New Mexico PreK program have been used for many years at Christina Kent, including
- Utilizing local culture, language and history in learning activities;
- Engaging parents and the extended family
- Emphasizing professional development, technical assistance, and mentoring
Teachers in the PreK classroom use English, Spanish, and Navajo languages in working with the children. We believe language is the key to culture, and by introducing children to different languages we can open the door to discussion and appreciation of different cultures.
In addition to conferences with parents, we hold several late afternoon and evening events for parents and children during the year. An example is our Literacy Night. Children created stories which the parents wrote down. The event featured a talk by Albuquerque Poet Laureate Hakim Bellamy on the importance of reading to children.
For more information on the New Mexico PreK program, please visit New Mexico Pre K.