School accreditation impacts early learning centers -

School accreditation impacts early learning centers

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Outside of St. Louis Public School (Credit: KMOV) Outside of St. Louis Public School (Credit: KMOV)

ST. LOUIS ( -- Efforts to revitalize the city of St. Louis are focused on education. Last week, the state board voted to give full accreditation to the city's school system, but a local organization believes empowering kids starts way before the bell rings.

FLANCE Learning Center opened in Carr Square in June 2014. Parents like Jessica Mopkins say it was life changing. She's a teacher at FLANCE and a single mom of two young girls. She use to drive them to day care in south city, but now it's just down the street.

Lauren Brenner with Urban Strategies said, "We saw the need for a quality early childhood education center in the heart of the neighborhood that would eliminate the transportation barriers that many family’s face."

Urban strategies is an organization that works to connect local families to critical services. They say education is a big piece of that puzzle and the early learning center is a success.

"We see kids leaving here kindergarten ready which means they're passing the basic kindergarten tests but also critical emotional support," said Brenner.

As a teacher, Mopkins sees it firsthand and as mom, she couldn't be prouder.
"She began talking within three weeks of being here like speaking in sentences and i was like shocked it just showed me that what FLANCE represents and the curriculum its great and it works," said Mopkins.

A spokesperson with urban strategies says the accreditation of city schools was critical. Now the work they do at early learning centers like FLANCE will pay off.

Copyright 2017 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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