Early childhood education has been at the center of much debate over how to improve educational outcomes for students. That conversation has become prevalent in St. Pete where five elementary schools are chronically failing.
Officials and elected leaders in the city have suggested finding money in the city’s budget to increase availability of pre-k programs above and beyond the VPK already available to 4-year-olds.
While that goal may be long-term and potentially costly, the city is launching another option. Miss Humblebee’s Academy is an online program for kids as young as 3 to prepare them for Kindergarten.
The program is now available at St. Petersburg libraries.
The program includes guided lessons and interactive activities designed to teach youngsters how to recognize letters by both sound and sight and to differentiate between upper and lower case letters. The program includes activities on rhyming, explanations on the parts of a book and reading comprehension, which are all integral components of entering kindergarten ready to learn.
Library members don’t have to own a computer to access the program. The activities can be used at a local library. They are also available for home use on a personal computer or a mobile device.
Seven community libraries have the program including the Main Library at 3745 Ninth Ave. N.
Subjects covered include math, science, social studies, social sciences, language and literacy, and art and music. The lessons use a step approach with a curriculum that gets more rigorous the further a student gets in the program.
The program does not require a child to already know how to read. It includes periodic evaluation of a student’s progress that send a parent or teacher progress reports.