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Askewville, C.G. White help students

WINDSOR – During a far-reaching interview recently, Bertie County Schools’ Superintendent Dr. Chip Zullinger addressed the changes in the Pre-K program of the district.

During the 2007-08 academic year, Bertie County Schools opened the former C.G. White High School as a More At Four site, moving all of the pre-kindergarten programs in the district to the site, which closed in 2006.

Director of Federal Programs Constance Richardson told the Bertie County Board of Education in June that she would also like to see the district open the former Askewville Elementary School as a More At Four site.

Weeks later, the board made the decision to reopen the school.

“It’s taking a vacant space and seizing the opportunity to do more for kids,” the superintendent said. “More At Four is funded by state lottery funds. There are dollars available, so if you have facilities, there is no reason you can’t serve every four-year-old child.”

All four-year-olds in Bertie County are eligible to attend pre-K in the county free of charge thanks to the two sites being open. Students in the northern end of the county will attend the C.G. White Pre-School and More At Four Center while those in the Windsor and Askewville areas will go to the Askewville Pre-School and More At Four Center.

Having those children in a school setting could be a foundation for success at a later time, according to the superintendent.

“In a county where children come to us behind because of environmental situations, getting them early in a school setting could go a long way to helping them graduate and ready to be successful,” he said.

Another change Dr. Zullinger is considering is moving the Kindergarten classes from Windsor Elementary School to the Askewville site.

“Windsor, Colerain and West Bertie are crowded,” he said. “Getting the Pre-K into other buildings helped us to get more classroom space.

“We are considering moving the Kindergarten classes from Windsor Elementary to Askewville,” he added. “That would give us three badly needed classrooms at Windsor Elementary.”

The two buildings (C.G. White and Askewville) which were closed and not being used are now open and ready to start educating the next generation of students in Bertie County Schools.

“We are excited to take these facilities and use them for our children,” Dr. Zullinger said.

(Editor’s Note: The following is part three of a three-part series looking more in-depth at changes in Bertie County Public Schools.)