Governor Rendell Announces Grants for 'Pre-K Counts' Early Childhood Initiative
Program will Benefit 11,000 Children in 2007-08 School Year
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 whole." 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 http://www.pde.state.pa.us. 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: http://www.governor.state.pa.us. 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- Barre -- 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 CONTACT: Gary Miller 717-783-1116 Michael Race (PDE) 717-783-9802
SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor
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