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Rowan and Bath Counties set to receive mobile classrooms

Samantha Morrill

New early learning education opportunities are on the horizon for children in Bath and Rowan counties. With the help of grant money from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief fund, ESSER, officials plan to purchase a mobile classroom for use with preschoolers in their districts.

Kim Whitt, Director of Special Education and Early Childhood Education in Bath County, said preschool is an important milestone for children, no matter what form it comes in.

“Between us and HeadStart, we serve probably about half of the preschoolers that are in the county that are eligible for preschool, and the bus is to get the other half of the kids either interested, hopefully interested, and wanting to come to preschool or HeadStart or just give them a little taste of what school’s like,” said Whitt.

Whitt said the mobile classrooms will be a good tool for showing students and their parents that preschool isn’t scary and is just the next step in life.

Katy Ingles is Preschool Director for Rowan County. Ingles said sometimes it’s parents of preschool-age kids who need some encouragement.

“Sometimes they’re like, ‘Oh, they’re just three’ or ‘they’re just four’ or ‘they’re just little’,” said Ingles. “They can come on, experience it, see what we have to offer, get some ideas of things that they could be doing at home with their child, maybe they don’t want to enroll and that’s okay, but they could visit the bus every week.”

Ingles said the bus will be a model of a fully operational classroom and will give students and parents a glimpse into what preschool is like. Bath and Rowan County officials said there is not currently a set date for when they will receive the bus, as there’s currently a significant backlog in the state to purchase one.