PreK4Ward, a kindergarten preparation program offered by United Way of South Mississippi, will begin accepting applications for the 2020-2021 school year on Feb. 1.

An information session for interested parents is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Jan. 28 in the Regions Room of the Knight Nonprofit Center on Seaway Road in Gulfport.

The application is available online at To be eligible, students must live in the Harrison County or Gulfport school districts and be 4 years of age by September 1, 2020.

Students are admitted on a first-come, first-serve basis by location. The program emphasizes early literacy and utilizes a comprehensive curriculum to prepare 4-year-old students for kindergarten.

Parents pay only a $250 registration fee; the remaining costs, including tuition and program costs, are covered by grants.

In the 2019-2020 school year, 140 students were enrolled in the program across seven classrooms. Each classroom has 20 students, a lead teacher and an assistant teacher.

For more information on PreK4Ward, call (228) 896-2213 or email