Our School

Our Staff gives each student special attention

Donna Agnew, Hands Up! executive director, is a former public school teacher who saw first-hand, students who did not learn well because their sense of curiosity and a desire to learn was not nurtured in their early childhood years. She has researched effective preschool methods and assembled  a large group from the Jackson community who share her passion for serving at-risk children and their parents through a quality preschool education. Along with the Hands Up! Board members, Donna has dreamed about and carefully thought through each stage of the process to develop Hands Up! Preschool.

Hands Up! seeks highly trained professionals to teach and care for our children.  Training is ongoing, in and out of the classroom.  An 8:1 student-teacher ratio allows for individual attention throughout the school day.


Operating Hours/Aftercare Hours

Just like a regular school, the school day begins at 8:00 am and ends at 3:00 pm, Monday-Friday.  Afterschool  care, for working parents, is offered between the hours of 3:00 pm and 5:30 pm, Monday-Friday.

The school year at Hands Up! runs mid-August through May and closely coincides with the Jackson-Madison County school system.  However, we do reserve the right to change our schedule as the need arises.


The preschool education we offer is hands-on and family-inclusive

Hands Up! is a non-profit preschool designed to serve the at-risk community in Jackson, Tennessee. The preschool opened with its first class of three year olds in August of 2012.

Our goal is to educate three- and four- year old children in a quality-learning environment, while also empowering their parents to be active in the education of their children. All parents agree to a two-year commitment for their child. Parents also sign a contract that includes a commitment to three volunteer hours per month, parenting classes, and two home visits per year. We provide volunteer opportunities and classes to accommodate working parents. We also encourage continuing education for the parents. Through these measures we hope to prepare both the children and their families for a lifetime of learning.



Regular assessments improve our teaching methods

The Bracken School Readiness Assessment is administered to all students upon entering Hands Up! Preschool. The test is repeated upon completion of the students’ second year. We rely on this measurement to assess the student’s knowledge of the concepts that parents and preschool teachers traditionally teach children to prepare them for formal education. We use the information from the tests to improve the effectiveness of our teaching methods.