Two recent news articles highlight new accomplishments for PRE4CLE , Cleveland’s high-quality preschool expansion initiative. ACS has worked with PRE4CLE from its’ very beginning – from facilitating the development of a roadmap to bring high-quality preschool to every child in Cleveland by 2020, to developing and managing the implementation of a two-year strategic communication and advocacy plan.
Following CMSD’s CEO Eric Gordon’s State of the School Address in Cleveland last month, the Plain Dealer (Cleveland’s daily newspaper) recognized PRE4CLE for fulfilling one of the pillars of the Cleveland Plan – and being a roadmap to bring high-quality preschool for all three- and four-year olds in the City. PRE4CLE plays an important role in preparing Cleveland’s children for academic success and bolstering their social skills through connecting families to high-quality preschool programs and accelerating the expansion of the number of high-quality preschool options available.
This summer, PRE4CLE announced that it has awarded Preschool Classroom Expansion Grants to help increase the number of high-quality preschool openings in the Union-Miles, Buckeye-Shaker, and Glenville neighborhoods. These grants represent a major milestone for PRE4CLE – marking the first preschool expansion dollars awarded by PRE4CLE to high-quality providers in Cleveland.
The purpose of these grants is to increase the number of high-quality preschool programs (having at least 3-stars through the state’s Step Up to Quality rating system) in the Cleveland neighborhoods that currently don’t have enough high-quality preschool seats to serve the children who live in those neighborhoods. In the Union-Miles and Buckeye-Shaker Square neighborhoods, preschool enrollment is at 80 percent of capacity and expansion is necessary to meet families’ demands. In Glenville, there are preschool programs, but few are high-quality. These grants are a first step towards implementing a key element of the PRE4CLE plan to focus new resources in the highest need areas of the city.
“From ensuring our staff stay up to date on the latest in child brain development, to making sure our kids are eating healthy and get to experience the music, culture, technology, and resources our community has to offer, we take high-quality early learning seriously. With PRE4CLE as a partner, we are now able to expand that cultural exposure to more children who need it most,” says Fundamentals Academy Director Lisa Ogletree, whose family has been providing quality education to children in the Buckeye-Shaker neighborhood for over 20 years.
“The grants cover things like furniture, small tables, chairs and shelves,” says Katie Kelly, PRE4CLE director, adding interactive toys, enrichment activities, books, puzzles and blocks to the list. “It’s all the basic — but very critical — parts of a high-quality early childhood classroom.”
You can read both of the articles here: