New preschool program utilizes local high school - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

New preschool program utilizes local high school

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Four-year-olds and high school students may not have the same schedule, but they are in the same building at Bishop Heelan Catholic Schools.

"We can see them walking around the halls now, and we can talk to them and interact with them. It's just sort of a new presence at the school that we've never really had before," Bishop Heelan Junior Joe Verschoor said.

Kiddie Crusaders, also known as Sacred Heart Preschool, is a new program that opened this year in Heelan because there was no space at the Sacred Heart building in Riverside.

"We had an ICN room, it's kind of like a cable classroom that we didn't use very often, it was kind of outdated. It's in a real nice area of the building. It's centrally air conditioned and I kind of just offered up that as a reasonable alternative for a preschool room," Bishop Heelan Principal Christian Bork said.

"Everyone here has been so welcoming to the kids, it's just been a great environment," Preschool Teacher Jenny Petty said.

And while there may be an age difference, Bork said he had no concerns about the youngsters fitting in.

"I knew that they'd fit in great. We have such an outstanding student population, that I knew that they would embrace them," Bork said.

Some Heelan High School students said they like running into the preschoolers in the hallway and it keeps them on their best behavior.

"They have the advantage of looking up to high schoolers and seeing how they interact at school and how they should maybe do so," Verschoor said.

Verschoor said the kids already know him.

"They call me bionic man because I had a big boot lugging around, so I'm also kind of a hero to them" Verschoor said.

The preschoolers will have the same teachers as high schoolers for their "special" classes like gym, art, and music. And high-schoolers taking child development will get to work with the preschoolers during the year.

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