The Sun Prairie School Board on Jan. 27 called for a special electors meeting to take place at 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 24 in the Sun Prairie Area School District Office at 501 S. Bird St. to seek approval of a property purchase.

Following a closed session, the board voted 6-1 to approve the offer to purchase 303 W. Main St., a house currently owned by Margaret Zickert for $158,000, with board treasurer Dave Hoekstra voting no.

The offer is contingent upon approval of the purchase within 30 days. The special electors meeting, set to begin at 5 p.m. on Feb. 24, will consider the district’s purchase of the property, presumably for the Ashley Field project and associated improvements.

Donation accepted

Members of the Sun Prairie Masonic Lodge #143 donated a check for $5,000 for the Hunger Hero Campaign to offset lunch balances in the Sun Prairie Area School District.

Dave Mahoney — who introduced himself as “not the sheriff” — from Lodge 143 said the lodge will continue to make the donation each year as part of a continuing campaign to give back to the community.

Sun Prairie School Board President Steve Schroeder thanked the lodge for its donation and reiterated the district’s position that no child will go hungry in the Sun Prairie Area School District because they can’t afford to pay for lunches. Members of the school board and administrative team posed for a photo with lodge members after the donation was announced.

Proclamations approved

Board members heard and approved proclamations in honor of School Bus Driver Appreciation Week Feb. 10-14, and recognizing February as Black History Month.

The district has 4,500 students who ride school buses driven by 72 drivers, according to the proclamation.

In 1976, as part of the nation’s bicentennial, Black History Week was expanded and became established as Black History Month, and is now celebrated all over North America, according to the district proclamation.

4K Growth and

Strategies outlined

Struggling to overcome a lack of understanding about the district’s 4 year-old kindergarten (4K) program, SPASD 4K Coordinator Elizabeth Knudten outlined some strategies. Among the problems for kids not attending:

“Statistically we have found that most of the kids who do not attend 4K are children of color. We believe that the majority of these students reside in the attendance boundaries of our Title 1 schools. We believe that some of these families simply do not know about 4K. [Another misperception is] That it is free and that we provide busing. We believe that we can enroll more 4K students by offering our families as many options for 4K as possible,” Knudten told the board during her report.

Knudten suggested adding a second 4K site in a school building, with elementary locations in neighborhood schools and some outreach beginning with targeted mailings in the district’s Title 1 neighborhoods.

Currently, the SPASD has two school-based 4K sites — at Token Springs Elementary in the Early Learning Resource Center, and at Creekside Elementary. Other sites are located at child care facilities including Teddy’s Place, Sun Prairie Nursery School, Sacred Hearts, Rock-A-Bye, the Sun Prairie YMCA, Play Haven, Head Start, Gingerbread House and Bright Horizons.

She said among the other outreach efforts are postcard mailings, posters and ads in the Sun Prairie Star.

Another outreach effort will take place with the free screening of the film, “No Small Matter” on April 14 from 6-8 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center at Sun Prairie High School, 888 Grove St. The movie screening will be followed by a panel discussion about the benefits of early childhood education.

More information about the district’s 4K program enrollment is available by phone at 834-6672.

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