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Springfield Public Schools Wonder Years Program helps prepare students to enter kindergarten.

The Wonder Years Program provides Springfield Public School students with an opportunity to interact with their peers while becoming better equipped to enter kindergarten. This program is aimed at closing the achievement gap of children going into kindergarten. KSMU's Joe Morgan reports on the program and what difference it is making in the Springfield School District.

There are 15 Wonder Years classrooms in the Springfield School District with 2 more being added next year. In this particular classroom, a group of students was playing legos, another group was playing cards, and meanwhile another girl was making a teacher's appreciation card on the computer with a teacher's aid. The Director of Wonder Years, Melissa Riley says students get a wide variety of interaction and knowledge while in the program but there are certain things that she feels are crucial to a student's success.

Not all students are eligible to be in the Wonder Years Program. There is a specific process each student must go through. Riley explains.

Riley says that getting into Wonder Years is difficult because of the lack of space needed to accommodate all students. She says that even though the program will be expanding next year, there will still be some students left out.

Riley says that the program has been a huge success.

Even though not all students can be in Wonder Years, Riley says she believes that getting a child into a pre-kindergarten environment is essential.

Riley says that the goals of the Wonder Years program are to encourage students to succeed as well as prepare as many students as possible for kindergarten. For KSMU news, I'm Joe Morgan.