Newark Pre-K Awareness Day to Focus on Preventing the Achievement Gap

Annual Event Kicks Off Week of the Young Child and April 21 Enrollment Campaign

Newark NJ, April 4, 2014 – Newark Public Schools (NPS) is hosting its Second Annual Pre-K Awareness Day on Monday, April 7, 2014, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., at The Newark Public Library’s Program Hall, 5 Washington Street. The event kicks off the city’s Week of the Young Child, as well as a campaign to encourage parents to enroll their children in Newark’s community preschools. In addition, the event will debut a preschool art exhibit which will be displayed throughout the city during the month of April.

“The Newark Public Schools is committed to ensuring all preschool eligible children in the City of Newark have an opportunity to participate in high-quality preschool programs, whether they be in our schools or run by community providers,” said NPS Executive Director of Early Childhood Education Sandra Rodriguez. “A number of the Head Start preschools are also overseen by the Newark Public Schools’ Early Childhood Education office,” she explained.

Adhering to the theme Preventing the Achievement Gap, the event will focus on the importance of family and community partnerships, while recognizing parents and family workers who have worked tirelessly to improve the educational outcomes of Newark’s youngest learners. Additionally, speakers will highlight the proven, innovative and ground-breaking initiatives that have been launched as part of the Early Childhood Program.

Guest speakers will include Jacqueline Lake, an early childhood parent, PTO president and former family worker and LaTonya Williamson, Director of the Department of Child and Family Well Being. There will also be a presentation of the “2014 Children’s Award” to community partner, Catherine Wilson of United Way of Essex and West Hudson.  They will be joined by Executive Director of Early Childhood Sandra Rodriguez, NPS Board Member DeNiqua Matias, parents and representatives from organizations such as Newark Preschool Council, Advocates for Children of New Jersey, The Foundation for Newark’s Future, The Nicolson Foundation and The Schumann Foundation.

Pre-kindergarten registration for admittance to community preschools for next school year starts on April 21 at the preschool sites. Enrollment in pre-k classes in Newark Public Schools will resume in May. For more details log onto the NPS website.

WHO: NPS Executive Director of Early Childhood Sandra Rodriguez and staff, parents, representatives from various organizations and foundations that support early childhood education.

WHAT: Newark Public Schools Second Annual Pre-K Awareness Day, organized by the district’s Office of Early Childhood, will kick off the Week of the Young Child.

WHEN: Monday, April 7, 2014, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

WHERE: The Newark Public Library, Program Hall, 4th Floor, 5 Washington Street, Newark, 07102