DeKalb County Preschool Expansion Funded

07/07/2017
James Foundation Preschool Expansion.png
Article by Kathryn Bassett | KPC News | July 6, 2017 
 
WATERLOO — The DeKalb Central school district has received a $1.28 million grant from the Rick L. and Vicki L. James Foundation to support the district’s early learning initiative.
 
The foundation pledged the $1.28 million commitment over the next three years. It will help cover costs-associated with the expansion of the DeKalb Central Early Learning Initiative, said Superintendent Steve Teders.
 
Teders said the board approved a preschool initiative at Waterloo Elementary School three years ago. Teders said the program has flourished.
 
This past year, 96 4-year-olds benefited from full-day preschool in a Level 3 Paths to Quality environment, Teders said. This coming year, the program will expand into the three remaining elementary schools in the district — Country Meadow, J.R. Watson and McKenney-Harrison — Teders said. At least one preschool classroom of 24 students will operate at each elementary school. Through the James Foundation donation, additional classes may be added when appropriate, Teders said.
 
The classes, which run from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., are staffed by certified, licensed teachers. The program also provides bus transportation, breakfast and lunch.
 
Through the grant, the program is able to offer scholarships to qualifying families. The program will be offered at no charge to families of two with an annual maximum income of $15,732; families of three with a maximum income of $19,788; families of four with a maximum income of $23,856; families of five with a maximum income of $27,912; families of six with a maximum income of $31,968; families of seven with a maximum income of $36,036; families of eight with a maximum income of $40,092; families of nine with a maximum income of $44,148; and families of 10 with an annual maximum income of $48,216.
 
The program will be offered for $25 a week to families of two with an annual maximum income of $23,598; families of three with a maximum income of $29,682; families of four with a maximum income of $35,784; families of five with a maximum income of $41,868; families of six with a maximum income of $47,952; families of seven with a maximum income of $54,054; families of eight with a maximum income of $60,138; families of nine with a maximum income of $66,222; and families of 10 with an annual maximum income of $72,324.
 
Full pay of $50 a week will be for families over those annual income levels.
 
Preschool Director Sherry Crisp-Ridge described the positive impact the program has had on participating families.
 
“We just see so many wonderful things come from it, socially and emotionally,” she said.
 
Now the school district is looking to partner with an organization to provide after-school childcare for preschoolers who might need it.
 
“We know that’s a gap,” Teders said.
 
For more information on the preschool program, parents may contact Crisp-Ridge at 920-1016, ext. 6555. 




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