“Savannah had a great experience at Amazing Kidz,” said Tamisha Drummond of Northeast Philly. “That’s why I don’t feel like I’ll have to worry about Malcolm – because I have a relationship with the school. I feel like he’s in excellent hands, especially with this being his first experience in any daycare or school setting.”
This fall, siblings Savannah and Malcolm will both be able to say they’ve attended PHLpreK at Amazing Kidz Academy on Cheltenham Ave. Savannah, 5, just graduated from PHLpreK. She is entering kindergarten in the fall while her younger brother, Malcolm, is 3 years old and on his way to PHLpreK.
Tamisha enrolled Savannah at Amazing Kidz two years ago after hearing about the City’s free, quality pre-K program on television.
“I called (the Mayor’s Office of Education), got the list of PHLpreK centers, and saw amazing Kidz Academy. I rode around the neighborhood and liked the area it was in. It’s right in between where we live and where my in-laws live. It was the perfect mix, if they need to pick them up.”
Tamisha said PHLpreK helped Savannah learn her letters, colors, shapes.
“But the main thing was that she got to socialize with other little people,” said Tamisha. “I’m not from Philadelphia, so I don’t know a lot of people up here. I felt like she needed to be somewhere she could continue to be social and learn as well. That’s what she was missing when she was home with either me or her grandparents.”
Enrolling Savannah in PHLpreK also allowed Tamisha to take care of Malcolm, and start working full-time as a social worker. Tamisha’s husband David is an over-the-road trucker.
“David is sometimes away for weeks,” said Tamisha. “PHLpreK allowed me to get chores done, run errands, and when I started working, it was a relief because I knew where Savannah was going to be for certain hours and I knew I could spend those hours and not have to worry about her. That’s the same thing with this school year for Malcolm.”
Tamisha said Malcolm got to know the center and teachers over the years while she dropped off and picked up Savannah. And when Tamisha volunteered during a family reading day last year, Malcolm came along.
“He was able to sit down and help the teachers read the book. They were very welcoming to him and included him. When they had lunch, when they had a party, he was able to be a part of it all,” said Tamisha. “He’s comfortable with his surroundings. So I knew he would flourish there.”
Tamisha encourages all Philadelphia families with children who will be 3 or 4 by September 1 to enroll in PHLpreK.
“Pre-K is amazing because they get to be in a school setting, but it’s a smaller classroom, so it’s not as intimidating. It’s structured as a school so they understand this is how it’s going to work going forward,” said Tamisha. “This is a prep course to be ahead of the class.”
Since graduation, Savannah’s pre-K teacher has called the house to see how she is doing.
“Savannah cried on graduation day because she didn’t want to go to another school. She didn’t want to leave. She fell in love with the teachers and she met great friends in PHLpreK. So I would say that her pre-K experience was amazing,” said Tamisha.
Visit phlprek.org/programs to find a center near you and enroll your child today. PHLpreK is free, and has no income or work requirements.
Act fast; seats are filling up quickly! Go to phlprek.org or call 844-PHL-PREK to learn more and find a program near you!