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The final recess…

Holley Cochran / The Prentiss Headlight—Sophia Mason and Davis Honea enjoy the sunshine and swings while they can. The Early Childhood Education Program at Prentiss Baptist Church will close May 29, 2015, after 41 years.

Holley Cochran / The Prentiss Headlight—Sophia Mason and Davis Honea enjoy the sunshine and swings while they can. The Early Childhood Education Program at Prentiss Baptist Church will close May 29, 2015, after 41 years.

Soon the swings will be still, the trucks will be put away and the rocks won’t be found in little boys’ pockets at home.

The Early Childhood Education Program at Prentiss Baptist Church will be closing May 29, 2015 after 41 years of teaching and loving the children in our community.

According to a Prentiss Headlight article dated July 11, 1974, The Early Childhood Education Program at Prentiss Baptist Church would begin in September 1974, offering child care and kindergarten for ages 2-5.

The director of the program at the time of the opening was Miss Kathryn Price and an Early Childhood Education Committee was elected by the church with the responsibilities of overseeing the administration of the program.

The original committee members were: Mrs. Bonita Bridges, Mrs. Emily Benzenhafer, Mrs. Mary Martha Berry, Mrs. Ann Dale, and Mr. Eddie Speights.

In the early years of the program, kindergarten hours were 8-12, while child care hours were 7:30-5:30.

Currently, the program is strictly child care only with 14 total students; 13 full- time and one part-time. It employs three teachers and one substitute teacher.

“I have enjoyed being the director of this program for the past nine years, and I am thankful for the opportunity to have been involved here. I have loved my job and it makes me sad to see it come to an end, said current program director Machelle Dyess.

The church cites decline in enrollment as cause for the closure.

Holley Cochran / The Prentiss Headlight—Gavin Walker, Mary Ella Bass and Gentry Cole are seen enjoying the playground while at the Early Childhood Education Program at Prentiss Baptist Church.

Holley Cochran / The Prentiss Headlight—Gavin Walker, Mary Ella Bass and Gentry Cole are seen enjoying the playground while at the Early Childhood Education Program at Prentiss Baptist Church.