Frazier making plans for prekindergarten program
Frazier and Uniontown Area school districts will begin prekindergarten programs this fall.
The programs are being paid for through Pre-K Counts grants. The state has allocated $75 million statewide for the program.
Parents in the Frazier School District may register their children who are 4 years old by Sept. 1. Enrollment will take place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 12 and 13 at Perry Elementary. Bring the child, the child's birth certificate and proof of immunizations.
Classes begin Oct. 1.
Classes will be limited to 20 children, up to 80 in all, at two part-day sessions. Parents are responsible for transportation.
Patricia Thomas, supervisor of curriculum at Frazier, said, "We are so excited to be able to open our doors to more children who can really benefit from a quality early education experience. We know there are many children in our community who are not receiving quality prekindergarten now, and this Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts grant will make it possible for us to provide many of these children with quality prekindergarten. Having worked in education many years, I've seen the difference quality early education can make to a child's performance and outlook on life. With our Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts grant, we can afford to give these children a high-quality experience."
Frazier applied on its own for its $312,000 grant, which will fund two teachers and four aides.
The Uniontown Area School District's prekindergarten program will begin in November. The district has not yet determined a date.
One class will be at Lafayette School, and open to all city children, and the other will be at Wharton School, open to all mountain children. Children must be 4 years old, and each class is limited to 20 students. Eventually, a third classroom will be opened for valley children at Menallen School.
"This will ensure children receive a solid start," said Debbie Rittenhouse, curriculum coordinator. "It will help provide a solid base for all the child's future education."
The Uniontown Area School District is receiving part of a $900,600 PA Pre-K Counts grant that the Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette Inc. applied for. The grant will also benefit the Albert Gallatin School District, Denise Kooser Day Care Homes Inc., Duck Hollow Discovery Learning Center Inc. and Cub's Den.
Tim Yurcisin, president and CEO of the Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette, said children need to be reached from a young age. "The award of these funds to PIC is a testament of the reputation we have of building successful programs that encourage family and child development and help to strengthen and enrich the lives of the Fayette County community."
Through collaborations with PIC and its partners, 114 Fayette County children can participate in prekindergarten. Statewide, 11,000 children can participate.
"Our mission is to provide Pennsylvania's children with an education that prepares them for life," state 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."