Preschool launches year with grant

Fam­i­lies in need can send kids to school for free

The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH) - - ICYMI - By Carol Harper charper@morn­ingjour­nal.com

Elyria City Schools ac­cepted last week a fourth in­stall­ment on a $1.25 mil­lion, five-year grant from The Stocker Foun­da­tion to fund a five star preschool.

The grant en­ables fam­i­lies in need to send fouryear-old chil­dren to the New Be­gin­nings preschool for free at Franklin El­e­men­tary School, 446 11th St. in Elyria.

Elyria Schools As­so­ciate Su­per­in­ten­dent Ann Schloss said she is pleased with re­sults so far.

“For them to be go­ing into kinder­garten know­ing things they have to mas­ter in kinder­garten, wow,” Schloss said. “That al­lows them to get fur­ther ahead and be on grade level and be kinder­garten ready, as we say, be­cause they have had the preschool ex­pe­ri­ence.

“I would say it’s ab­so­lutely meet­ing our ex­pec­ta­tions. The one hur­dle is the tran­siency of stu­dents. Franklin has a 30 per­cent mo­bil­ity rate, so fam­i­lies are mov­ing in and out. A lot of times they’re stay­ing within the district.”

Though the grant was

writ­ten to include only stu­dents from the Franklin School area, the district al­lowed some stu­dents to stay in preschool if they moved late in the school year, Schloss said.

Other fam­i­lies moved to the Franklin area so their chil­dren could par­tic­i­pate

in the preschool, she said.

“We’ve had some fam­i­lies who had two chil­dren go through the program, and we’re ex­tremely ex­cited about it,” Schloss said.

Data sup­ports district op­ti­mism, Schloss said, adding she hopes the data holds as the stu­dents take tests next

school year for the third grade read­ing guar­an­tee.

Of stu­dents tak­ing kinder­garten readi­ness tests, 44 per­cent of New Be­gin­nings stu­dents scored at or above 75 per­cent in let­ter and num­ber recog­ni­tion, and 72 per­cent scored above the bench­mark in rote

count­ing.

Com­par­a­tively, stu­dents who ei­ther did not at­tend preschool or who at­tended preschools not from the district, 17 per­cent met the bench­mark in let­ter and num­ber recog­ni­tion, and 39 per­cent in rote count­ing.

“The stu­dents who at- tended Franklin preschool – rather than no preschool at all or other ex­pe­ri­ences – are far bet­ter pre­pared for kinder­garten,” Schloss said. “What I know in gen­eral about stu­dents is when they’re pre­pared and they see suc­cess in their learn­ing, then there’s con­fi­dence that is built and when they’re more con­fi­dent, they’re more apt to lead.

“One other thing we do is we run a jump start program. If any­one is en­rolled for kinder­garten in the district, then they come to a camp for a week be­fore the start of the school year. It’s a get­ting-ready-for-kinder­garten school.

“I would say it’s ab­so­lutely meet­ing our ex­pec­ta­tions. The one hur­dle is the tran­siency of stu­dents. Franklin has a 30per­cent mo­bil­ity rate, so fam­i­lies are mov­ing in and out. A lot of times they’re stay­ing within the district.”

— Elyria Schools As­so­ciate Su­per­in­ten­dent Ann Schloss

ERIC BONZAR — THE MORN­ING JOUR­NAL

Speech ther­a­pist Gwyn Buchanan con­ducts an as­sess­ment Sept. 6, on a pre-kinder­garten stu­dent at Franklin El­e­men­tary School in Elyria.

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