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North Adams Awarded Grant to Expand Pre-Kindergarten
03:33PM / Thursday, March 07, 2019
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The grant will provide for a full-day of pre-kindergarten at Brayton School.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Families with 3- and 4-year-old children will soon have additional options for high-quality pre-kindergarten programs thanks to a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care.
 
In collaboration with Child Care of the Berkshires, the North Adams Public Schools has been awarded $285,549 to create a new full-day pre-kindergarten program located at Brayton Elementary School, and to expand an existing program currently operated by Child Care of the Berkshires at Monument Square.
 
Several communities from across the commonwealth submitted applications for funding through what is known as the Commonwealth Preschool Partnership Initiative. Along with North Adams, school-community partnerships in Boston, Springfield, Lowell, New Bedford and Sommerville were each awarded funding to open expanded programs.
 
The funds will support preschool programs from Feb. 1 through June 30, 2019. EEC expects to renew these grants in fiscal 2020. A total of 12 communities applied for the CPPI grant, and at least three additional communities wanted to apply but didn't because of their limited time and capacity to meet the Jan. 4 deadline. NAPS worked with Child Care of the Berkshires to get the application in over the holidays.
 
This is an opportunity for the whole North Adams community, according to Superintendent Barbara Malkas. 
 
"Education is a major factor of individual as well as community economic development," she said. "Studies have shown that educational attainment impacts the personal economic outcomes more than any other investment an individual could make based on their earning potential over the course of a lifetime."
 
The expanded program is open to families residing in North Adams, and is designed primarily for children who are not currently enrolled in a program, particularly 4-year-olds who will be turning 5 and entering kindergarten in the fall of 2019.
 
"What better time in life to make this investment than at early childhood?" asked Malkas. "By closing the opportunity gap before starting the rigorous academic standards in kindergarten, we are able to ensure that more students are school ready."
 
In addition to high-quality pre-kindergarten programming, both programs plan to offer before- and after-school child care for the children enrolled in the expanded classrooms.
 
For more information about enrollment, families can contact Bobbi Tassone at the North Adams Public Schools at btassone@napsk12.org or 413-776-1458.
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