JOPLIN, Mo. - A transitional kindergarten class catered towards students with late birthdays is coming to 3 Joplin schools this fall.

Officials say the new SOAR program for kindergarten-age students offers an opportunity for developmentally young children to prepare for the academic rigors of kindergarten in a small group setting.

The structure of the day in a SOAR classroom will be similar to that of a kindergarten classroom, but will focus the following:

  • play-based activities to foster fine motor skills
  • self-regulation
  • cooperation
  • emotional maturity
  • early literacy¬†

In Missouri, students can enroll in a Kindergarten class as long as they are five years old before August 1, however, members of the district hope its new program will help children with later birthdays.

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