A $75,000 grant from the United Way of Hancock County has provided kids from low income households in the City of Findlay with a shot at a free preschool education.
“We started looking at issue funding and recognized that early childhood education and development is a critical piece in our community,” said John Urbanski, president and CEO of the United Way of Hancock County. “It lends itself to the continuance of growth all the way through workforce development.”
The pilot program began in January at Washington Elementary and will continue to the end of the school year. Two preschool classes are fully funded by the grant, which includes transportation, lunch and teacher salary. The program will extend into the 2015-16 school year and will expand if successful.
To track the effectiveness of the pilot program, Urbanski said educators have baseline tested the students’ vocabulary and math skills and will compare those results to testing at the end of the school year.
Educators will also compare the students to those who are not in a preschool program, and they will be tracked through third grade.
Students are eligible for the program if they qualify for free and reduced lunches. Enrollments are still being accepted. Contact Kathy Young or Barb Bish at Findlay City Schools at 419-425-8231 for more information.