Governor Rendell Announces Grants for 'Pre-K Counts' Early Childhood Initiative

Program will Benefit 11,000 Children in 2007-08 School Year

Aug 10, 2007, 01:00 ET from Pennsylvania Office of the Governor

    HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Edward G.
 Rendell today said more than 11,000 3- and 4-year olds will benefit from
 new, quality pre-kindergarten programs with the state's $75 million
 investment in Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts, a program designed to help
 children who are in the greatest need of academic support.
     "My education strategy has been to target resources to programs that
 have been proven to increase student achievement, and early childhood
 education is a crucial part of that strategy," Governor Rendell said of the
 money that will help some 150 entitites. "Providing children with a solid
 educational foundation in their earliest years will help them reach their
 full potential in high school, college and beyond.
     "Thousands of Pennsylvania preschoolers who might face the risk of
 failing in school now will be able to get a solid start and a better chance
 to succeed," the Governor said.
     Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts enables school districts, Head Start
 providers, child care centers and nursery schools to deliver high-quality
 pre- kindergarten to more children, with an emphasis on those who are at
 the greatest risk of future academic failure. Any public or private school
 meeting the state's standards for educational quality was eligible to apply
 for funding.
     Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts requires grantees to provide a qualified
 teacher and teacher's aide, small class sizes, a curriculum that is aligned
 with the Pennsylvania Early Learning standards, regular assessment of the
 children's progress and reporting of the program's performance. These
 quality expectations will ensure that the children will have a high quality
 early learning experience.
     "Our mission is to provide Pennsylvania's children with an education
 that prepares them for life," Education Secretary Gerald L. Zahorchak said.
 "Making investments in early childhood education is one of the wisest and
 most rewarding ways we can accomplish this goal."
     Children age 3 until they enter kindergarten are eligible to apply.
 Priority enrollment will be targeted to children who may have economic,
 language, cultural or other disadvantages that put them at a higher risk of
 failing in school. In addition, children living in families earning less
 than 300 percent of the federal poverty level (such as a family of four
 earning $61,950 a year) would be considered at-risk for this program.
     "For our at-risk children, in particular, the early years provide a
 crucial window of opportunity that can determine their progress and
 achievement throughout their lives," Zahorchak said. "If we can take full
 advantage of these earliest years of intellectual and social development,
 we can reap the greatest rewards for each child and for society as a
     Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts is among several innovative educational
 initiatives funded in the 2007-08 budget recently signed into law by
 Governor Rendell. Other programs include "Science: It's Elementary," which
 brings science to life in the classroom, the "Project 720" high school
 reform initiative, and "Classrooms for the Future," which provides
 professional development for educators and puts laptop computers and other
 high-tech tools in Pennsylvania's high school classrooms.
     For more information on these efforts or the Governor's 2007-08
 education budget, visit the Department of Education Web site at
     The Rendell administration is committed to creating a first-rate public
 education system, protecting our most vulnerable citizens and continuing
 economic investment to support our communities and businesses. To find out
 more about Governor Rendell's initiatives and to sign up for his weekly
 newsletter, visit his Web site at:
     EDITOR'S NOTE: A list of the grant recipients follows.
     2007-08 Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts grantees
     Many grantees listed below have partnered with other early learning
 programs to provide services and may be serving other cities in addition to
 those listed. Contact the lead agency for information on additional
 locations. Because some funding amounts are not yet finalized, exact
 funding figures will be available at a later date.
     Adams County
     --  Little Life Enrichment Center, New Oxford
     Allegheny County
     --  Allegheny Intermediate Unit Head Start, Homestead
     --  Butterfly Garden Early Learning Center, McKees Rocks
     --  Council of Three Rivers American Indian Center, Pittsburgh
     --  Highlands K-4 Modular, Natrona Heights
     --  McKeesport Area School District, McKeesport
     --  Pittsburgh School District, Pittsburgh
     --  Quaker Valley School District, Sewickley
     --  West Mifflin Area School District, West Mifflin
     --  Wilkinsburg Borough School District, Wilkinsburg
     --  Woodland Hills School District, Pittsburgh
     Beaver County
     --  Big Beaver Falls Area School District, Beaver Falls
     --  Civic Senior Citizens Club, Aliquippa
     --  Hap Enterprises Inc., Beaver
     --  Lifesteps, Inc. -- Beaver County, Butler
     --  Riverside Beaver County School District, Ellwood City
     --  Western Beaver County School District, Industry
     Bedford County
     --  Tussey Mountain School District, Saxton
     Berks County
     --  Berks Community Action Program, Reading
     Blair County
     --  Child Advocates of Blair Co./Head Start, Altoona
     --  Lily Pond Child Development Centers, Hollidaysburg
     --  Tyrone Area School District, Tyrone
     Bradford County
     --  Athens Area School District, Athens
     --  North Penn Comp Health Services, Blossburg
     --  Wyalusing Valley Children's Center, Inc., Wyalusing
     Bucks County
     --  Bristol Township School District, Bristol
     --  Morrisville Borough School District, Morrisville
     --  Neshaminy School District, Langhorne
     --  United Way of Bucks County, Doylestown
     Butler County
     --  Butler County Children's Center, Inc., Butler
     --  Life Steps, Inc. -- Butler County, Butler
     Cambria County
     --  Community Partnership School of Cambria County
     --  Conemaugh Valley School District, Johnstown
     --  Greater Johnstown School District, Johnstown
     --  Penn Cambria School District, Cresson
     Cameron County
     --  Northern Tier Community Action Center, Emporium
     Centre County
     --  Bennett Family Center, State College
     --  Cen-Clear Child Services, Inc., Philipsburg
     --  Child Development Council, State College
     Chester County
     --  Childtime Childcare, Inc., Coatesville
     --  Creative Play Day School, Toughkenamon
     --  Owen J. Roberts School District, Pottstown
     --  Phoenixville Area YMCA, West Norriton
     --  Warwick Child Care Center, Inc., Pottstown
     Clearfield County
     --  Children's Aid Society in Clearfield County, Clearfield
     Columbia County
     --  Columbia Child Development Program, Bloomsburg
     Crawford County
     --  Penncrest School District, Saegertown
     --  YWCA Twin Creeks Head Start, Meadville
     Cumberland County
     --  KinderCare Learning Center 301716, Enola
     --  Mechanicsburg Area School District, Mechanicsburg
     Dauphin County
     --  Halifax School District, Halifax
     --  Harrisburg City School District, Harrisburg
     --  Heaven Sent Learning Center, Inc., Harrisburg
     --  Steelton-Highspire School District, Steelton
     Delaware County
     --  Chester-Upland School District, Chester
     --  Delaware County IU 25, Drexel Hill
     Erie County
     --  Benedictine Sisters of Erie, Erie
     --  Dr. Gertrude -- A Barber Center, Erie
     --  Early Connections Early Learning Center, Erie
     --  Erie City School District, Erie
     --  Greater Erie Community Action Committee, Erie
     --  Millcreek Township School District, Erie
     --  YMCA of Greater Erie, Erie
     Fayette County
     --  Frazier School District, Perryopolis
     --  Private Industry Council of Westmoreland-Fayette, Uniontown
     Forest County
     --  Forest Area School District, Tionesta
     Franklin County
     --  Chambersburg Area School District, Chambersburg
     --  Fannett-Metal School District, Willow Hill
     Greene County
     --  Community Action Southwest, Washington
     Huntingdon County
     --  Huntingdon County Child & Adult Development Corporation, Huntingdon
     Indiana County
     --  Indiana County Child Day Care Program, Inc., Indiana
     --  Marion Center Area School District, Marion Center
     --  Penns Manor Area School District, Clymer
     Jefferson County
     --  Jefferson-Clarion Head Start, Punxsutawney
     Lackawanna County
     --  Infant Care Program @ Covenant Church, Scranton
     --  Northeastern Child Care Services, Scranton
     --  Scranton-Lackawanna Human Development Agency, Inc., Scranton
     --  Wee Care Day Care, Blakeley
     Lancaster County
     --  Cocalico School District, Denver
     --  Hildebrandt Learning Centers, LLC, Dallas
     --  KinderCare Learning Center 073018, Lancaster
     --  Lancaster School District, Lititz
     --  Little People Daycare School of Columbia d/b/a SSB Corp., Columbia
     --  Owl Hill Learning Centers, Lititz
     --  Lancaster-Lebanon IU 13, Lancaster
     Lawrence County
     --  Lawrence County Social Services, Inc., New Castle
     Lehigh County
     --  Community Services Children Inc., Allentown
     --  Lehigh Valley Child Care, Inc. -- Lehigh County, Allentown
     --  The Cuddle Zone Learning Center, Inc., Allentown
     Luzerne County
     --  Child Development Council of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Inc., Wilkes-
     --  Greater Nanticoke Area School District, Nanticoke
     --  Hazleton Area School District, Hazleton
     --  Luzerne County Head Start, Inc., Wilkes-Barre
     --  Rainbow Hill School, Shickshinny
     Lycoming County
     --  East Lycoming School District, Hughesville
     --  Lycoming-Clinton Counties Commission for Community Action (STEP),
         Inc., Williamsport
     --  Montgomery Area School District, Montgomery
     McKean County
     --  Otto-Eldred School District, Eldred
     --  Smethport Area School District, Bradford
     Mercer County
     --  Mercer County Community Action Agency, Farrell
     --  Zion Family Services Inc., Farrell
     Mifflin County
     --  Snyder Union Mifflin Child Development, Inc., Lewistown
     --  Hide N Seek Nursery School, Belleville
     Monroe County
     --  Pocono Services for Families and Children, East Stroudsburg
     --  The Growing Place Child Care Centers, Kresgeville
     --  Tobyhanna Kids Day Care Center, Tobyhanna
     --  Wee Wons, Inc., Pocono Pines
     Montgomery County
     --  Jenkintown Day Nursery, Jenkintown
     --  Calvary Baptist Children's Learning Center, Norristown
     --  Day Care Centers, Inc., Ardsley
     --  Pottstown School District, Pottstown
     --  Step By Step, Inc., Abington
     Montour County
     --  Danville Area Head Start, Danville
     Northampton County
     --  Bethlehem Area School District, Bethlehem
     --  Family YMCA Early Childhood Development Center, Easton
     --  Lehigh Valley Child Care, Inc. -- Northampton County, Allentown
     --  Northampton County Area Community College, Bethlehem
     Northumberland County
     --  Central Susquehanna IU 16, Sunbury
     --  Mount Carmel Area School District, Mount Carmel
     Philadelphia County
     --  Philadelphia City School District, Philadelphia
     Pike County
     --  Delaware Valley School District, Dingmans Ferry
     Potter County
     --  Austin Area School District, Austin
     Schuylkill County
     --  Child Development, Inc., Schuylkill Haven
     Somerset County
     --  Tableland Services, Inc., Salisbury
     --  Turkeyfoot Valley Area School District, Confluence
     Susquehanna County
     --  Forest City Regional School District, Forest City
     --  Northeastern Child Care Services, Scranton
     Tioga County
     --  Southern Tioga School District, Mansfield
     Venango County
     --  Child Development Centers, Inc., Meadville
     --  Oil City Area School District, Oil City
     Warren County
     --  Corry Area School District, Corry
     --  Warren-Forest County Economic Opportunity Council, Warren
     Washington County
     --  Community Action Southwest, Washington
     Wayne County
     --  Forest City Regional School District, Forest City
     --  Myrtis's Preschool And Creative Learning Center, Honesdale
     Westmoreland County
     --  Monessen School District, Monessen
     --  Riverview Children's Center, Verona
     --  Seton Hill Child Services, Inc., Export
     Wyoming County
     --  H.A.N.D.S. of Wyoming County, Tunkhannock
     York County
     --  Crispus Attucks Association, Inc., York
     --  Kinder-Care Learning Center 301025, York
     --  York City School District, York
     --  York Day Nursery, Inc., York
     --  York Jewish Community Center, York
     --  York YWCA, York
     Gary Miller
     Michael Race (PDE)

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor