• PreK Screenings

    Screenings are conducted year-round to place students in the Pershing Early Learning Program. Keep in mind, the program may be at capacity. Students who are not able to be enrolled are placed on a waitlist.

    To schedule a screening, please contact the Pershing Early Learning Program at 217.362.3300 once your child is three years old. A certified copy of the child’s birth certificate is required at the time of screening.

    Early Beginnings

    Early Beginnings is a free home visiting program for families with children 0-5 years of age who live within the District #61 boundaries. This program is funded by the Illinois State Board of Education for children who may be considered at risk.

    Pershing Program

    Our program services include:

    • Home visits with a Parent Educator
    • Free periodic screenings and assessments
    • Free book/toy lending library
    • Parent groups
    • Family fun nights
    • Family counseling referrals
    • Parent support lending library
    • Curriculum variety to meet various learning needs
    • 0-5 Programs—collaboration within Macon County

    The goal of the Early Beginnings Program is to build a mutually trusting relationship with families, to provide access to programs and community resources, and to increase parent awareness of their children.

    One of the most important components of the Early Beginnings Program is parents. The Early Beginnings staff believes that parents are their children's first and best teachers. Therefore, to make a significant change in a child's life, parents must be given the tools, the information, and the resources to help their children.

    Early Childhood Special Education

    The Early Childhood Special Education program is available for students ages 3-5 with early developmental needs. Early Childhood Special Education classrooms have a variety of formats. Some classrooms are structured collaboratively with general education preschool classrooms and offer opportunities for students with disabilities to be educated with typically developing children. Others are structured for more intensive services in a smaller class-sized format. Decisions about student placements are made individually through the IEP process.

    Family Services

    We are proud to offer our Family Services Department to every family in Pershing Early Learning Programs. Family Services offers support services to families in many different ways, some of which include:

    • Food assistance
    • Clothing referrals
    • Furniture
    • Employment/job search
    • Parent questions and advice
    • Housing programs
    • Energy assistance
    • Mental Health Services
    • Transportation

    Look for us to send home information about Family Fun Nights, parent engagement opportunities, and news in our department. Please do not hesitate to contact the parent educator if you have any challenges they may be able to assist you and your family with. All family information is kept confidential. 

    We look forward to meeting you and working together soon!