Pre-K 4 SA

Ryan Loyd / TPR News

When Pre-K 4 SA opens its doors for the first time ever, there will be no school bell like there might be in a traditional school setting, but there will be a lot of excitement.

Pre-K 4 SA, which started as Mayor Julián Castro’s Brainpower Initiative, has been nine months in the making. Voters approved the measure in November with nearly 54 percent of the vote, which officially raised the city’s sales tax to the state cap of 8.25 percent.

The sales tax revenue will generate $31 million each year for the program.

National exposure

Ryan Loyd / TPR News

San Antonio school districts taking part in the early education measure known as Pre-K 4 SA have until Friday to submit the names of the children who will attend classes.

Deputy City Manager Peter Zanoni credited the districts for their expertise in enrolling kids. Many of the districts are also concurrently enrolling children for their own pre-K programs.

He said Pre-K 4 SA needs to finalize its enrollment list to get ready for the first day, which is Aug. 26.

Ryan Loyd / TPR News

The Pre-K 4 SA master teachers and teaching assistants are hard at work training as the first day of school quickly approaches on Aug. 26.

The training this week consists of team building, social and emotional development in young children and building mathematical thinking.

At the Southside model education center, located at 2535 SE Military Drive, teachers got instructions on topics from dress code to keeping children engaged.

Amber Watson is a teacher's assistant who is going to school to be a kindergarten teacher.

Ryan Loyd / TPR

Eric Smith began his career as a journalist--reporting, copy editing and designing. But after a while, he felt something was missing from his life.

Smith became involved with the mentorship program, Big Brothers Big Sisters, so that he could inspire young people.

"I loved it,” he said. “It got to where I was looking forward to that more than I was looking forward to my job. That's when I knew I needed to change careers."

Frederick Gonzales / City of San Antonio Photographer

The Pre-K 4 SA board has voted to initiate a six-month study on a facility at St. Philip’s College.

The purpose of the study will be to find out how the facility could assist San Antonio’s new education initiative in providing educational benefits to the city’s four-year-old population.

"The St. Philips site is not really a fifth site because the footprint is much smaller," said Elaine Mendoza, the board’s chairperson.