NPS and New Jersey Institute of Technology Host 1st S.T.E.A.M. Fair for Pre-K Students

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NPS Head Start Program is focused on expanding STEAM learning opportunities for pre-kindergarten students

[Newark, NJ — June 6, 2017] — Over 100 students and staff members participated in the first-ever Newark Public School Head Start Program STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) Fair at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) on Friday, May 26. The fair, organized by the NPS Head Start Program and NJIT, is part of the district’s early childhood education program focused on expanding STEAM learning opportunities for Newark preschool students. Executive Director of NJIT’s Educational Opportunity Program Tony Howell, NPS School Board Chairman Marquis Lewis, Executive Director of Office of Early Childhood F. Nana Ofosu-Amaah, and NPS Head Start Program Director Samantha Lott Velez each delivered remarks at the event.

“Investing in early childhood education has proven to be vital toward ensuring each of our students have a strong start in their educational journey,” said NPS Superintendent Cerf. “Thanks to the support that NJIT and local organizations continue to provide for Newark’s children, our Head Start Program is able to offer engaging STEAM education opportunities for our youngest scholars to build a foundation that will ultimately prepare them for college and career success in the 21st century.”

Various local organizations, including Bricks for Kidz, Liberty Science Center, and Newark’s YMCA, as well as a renowned New Jersey muralist, Steve Green, led individual workshops for students to participate in throughout the day. Additionally, each Head Start Program site presented a wide range of STEAM projects that students created in advance of the fair.

The Head Start Program is currently in its third year of operation. In September 2014, NPS received a $7 million Head Start grant to expand access to high-quality, comprehensive preschool services in district classrooms for Newark’s highest-need children and their families, and one component of the grant is specifically focused on enhancing STEAM education for pre-kindergarten students. There are currently eleven Newark Public Schools Head Start Program sites across the district. Families interested in applying for Head Start services can contact the Newark Public Schools Office of Early Childhood at 973-733-6234 or visit http://www.nps.k12.nj.us/departments/early-childhood/ for more information.