Grant received by KCK public schools helps at-risk children - KCTV5

Grant received by KCK public schools helps at-risk children with education programs

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KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -

Kansas City, KS public schools are very thankful for a big grant that will help get at-risk children into quality early education programs.

Studies show that providing early education to children equals success throughout their school years. That's why the Kansas City, KS, School District is excited they have new funding to reach even more students.

In one preschool program, some of the Spanish-speaking students work on learning a new language while others, like 4-year-old Brian Monroy, like to come for other reasons.

"Me gusta pintar y blocks y comer," Brian said.

"So you like painting and eating here," KCTV5 reporter Sandra Olivas said.

"We are learning our letters, learning to count, shapes," said preschool teacher Erin Oliva.

Oliva has taught elementary school students in the past and knows how important it is to get them off on the right track before they start kindergarten.

"When kids come to you in first, second and third and they are behind it's very hard to catch up," she said.

Her preschool class, held at M.E. Pearson Elementary School, and other classrooms like it in Kansas City, KS, just started three weeks ago thanks to a $3 million grant awarded to the school district and several nonprofit community agencies.

"The parents are just so excited we have additional opportunities because we've had waiting lists of 80 to 90 families at our sites," said Marylee Battaglia with USD 500 Preschool.

The funding was provided through the Kansas Children's Cabinet and Trust Fund. The preschool programs are targeting at-risk children that will one day enroll in either Harmon or Wyandotte high schools.

"The message is we need to intervene early and work with kids and give them a solid foundation" Battaglia said

They still have room at some of the preschool sites for students who qualify.

Go to KCKPS.org for more information about signing up your child.

The grant lasts a year and the school district said they plan to apply for it again next year.

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