Free Pre-K For Low Income Families at One Local Provider

Free Pre-K For Low Income Families at One Local Provider

Only 30 organizations across the state were selected to participate in Indiana's first step toward state funded early education for low income families. Small World Learning Ccenter is the only early education program in Vigo County selected by Indiana's FSSA for the grant.
When news came that Small World Learning Center was selected for the grant, excitement followed.

Nick tacker, the Small World LC Administrator, said the application process was a lengthy, yet rewarding one.

"It was about a month that we took to actually write the grant. It was around 40-some odd pages. Then there was a fundraising drive that we did after that because there was a matching component. Everything kind of just came together."

The Early Childhood Education Matching Grant (EEMG) allows Small World to provide 48 students with free preschool education, so long as the family's earned income is below the national poverty level.

Natalie Pugh at Chances and Services for Youth (CASY) says preschool programs set the tone for a child's education going forward.

Those early brain connections that are made from birth to age 5, that is the fastest time of growth with the brain," said Pugh, Director of Child Care Resource and Referral. "Those are the most critical years for children in development. So that's why those early childhood experiences are so important."

Small World's EEMG Pre-K program will provide two part day sessions: one in the morning and in the afternoon.

Both sessions will be taught by Katie Tacker, a licensed teacher.

"This is a wonderful stepping stone for them to use to get their confidence in their academic skills and their social skills so it's not the first time they're away from home when they go to kindergarten," added Tacker, Small World's lead Pre-K teacher.

Small World began registration for the EEMG program on August 4th, and already have several families signed up.

"They're going pretty quickly already. We've got about 12 students already enrolled," said Nick Tacker. "I imagine it won't be much longer."

The program starts on Monday, August 25th, which is the date the child must also be the age of four by.

Registration will go through September 1st.

For more information on how to apply, visit https://sites.google.com/a/smallworldlc.org/swlc/home/eemg-prek-program.
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