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      BHK program lacks enrollment, classes consolidated

      The Great Start Readiness Program provided by BHK Child Development to local low-income families will see a few changes this school year due to a lack of enrollment numbers.

      Preschool classrooms at South Range, Dollar Bay, and Chassell will not be open this year if enrollment stays low, and those students will be sent to other GSRP locations. In Baraga, there will be one less classroom than last year.

      â??Typically when parents and family sign up, we ask them to give us their first choice, second choice of where theyâ??d like to go, so we basically just do our best with that calculus, if you will, and place the kids where we think theyâ??d be served best,â?? explained BHK Executive Director Chip Law.

      Law said there are approximately 60 fewer three- and four-year-olds signed up for the program compared to last year. Typically there are nearly 400 students.

      Law said enrollment fluctuations are normal, but unfortunately the low numbers this year forced the organization to make a few staff cuts.

      â??Theyâ??re the direct service. Theyâ??re the direct staff, and when the kids arenâ??t in the classroom, you just donâ??t have a lot of options,â?? he said. â??Thatâ??s been the toughest part of this, as with any business.â??

      Law said none of the programs are being cut, and if there are enough students next year, those classrooms will be open again.

      He also said thereâ??s still time for parents to enroll for this year, though the deadline is the end of September.

      â??If you apply, and if you qualify and if youâ??re eligible, your child is going to get into a classroom, and thatâ??s the most important thing,â?? said Law.

      You can find information about applying to the Great Start Readiness Program on BHKâ??s website.