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VPK classes begin Tuesday in Lee County

Educators hope enrollment picks back up
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Posted at 6:30 AM, Jun 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-22 07:53:16-04

FORT MYERS, Fla -- The School District of Lee County Summer VPK program will kick off Tuesday morning.

The program helps students get ready for kindergarten. But across the country, educators said they saw a drop in enrollment during the pandemic and they're hoping to get it back on track.

Children in Lee County will begin VPK classes at 7:00 a.m. at Sunshine Elementary School in

Lehigh Acres and Early Childhood Learning Center in Fort Myers.

The program focuses on school readiness and social and emotional well-being. Kids are introduced to language, literature, and social skills in a play-based environment.

Some Florida counties have reported that enrollment numbers are starting to climb back up. Teachers say that's important because the program plays a critical role in your child's success.

“Learning how to listen to their teacher, to take directions, to follow directions, to sit and listen to a book, to listen to a story, to be engaged with a science project, all those things that they haven’t done before,” said Sandra Show, Supervisor of VPK for Hillsborough County Public Schools.

Fox 4 sent a request to The School District of Lee County to find out how enrollment numbers compare to last summer.

According to our sister station in Tampa, counties like Hillsborough saw more than 300 kids last summer, compared to about 700 in 2019. They said enrollment is back up this summer from 2020 with parents still enrolling, but it is still down from previous years.

Pinellas County said participation is down about 19% compared to pre-COVID. But its Fall enrollment looks like it will be back on track.

To learn more about Lee County's summer VPK program, click here.