WSVN -- These 4-year-olds are learning their ABCs at Kingswood Montessori Academy in Homestead, but that's not all. They're also learning geography, math, even basic multiplication. It's called the VPK Program.
Evelio Torres: "VPK stands for Voluntary Pre-kindergarten, and it's a great thing the Florida legislature did for the children of Florida. It gives all 4-year-olds the opportunity to participate in a quality early education program, and it's totally free."
To be eligible, kids have to be a Florida residents turning four by Sept. 1. Kids go for eight weeks in the summer, and by fall they're ready for the big K.
Cathleen Caves: "Our goal is for them to know their letters by name, know their letters by sound, be able to write their own name, be able to count at least to 10."
But many of the kids go far beyond that. Denise Scanziani's daughter went through the program two years ago. Now it's her son's turn.
Denise Scanziani: "My daughter is going into second grade, yet she's reading at the fourth grade level. My son, who hasn't even started kindergarten officially, can read and write almost as well as my daughter."
Karla Rubio's daughter Regina is also doing well.
Karla Rubio: "I'm excited, and I feel like I'm doing the right thing for her."
Whether it's in the classroom or on the playground, the program gives kids not only knowledge but self-esteem and confidence to face school as well.
Denise Scanziani: "There's no words. You can't put a price tag on the foundation that they get through the VPK program, you just can't."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
The Early Learning Centerhttp://www.elcmdm.org/