Grant Expands Comprehensive Preschool Services to Nearly 2000 More of the City’s Highest-Need Students
September 2, 2014 (Newark, NJ) – Newark Public Schools (NPS) has been awarded a $7 million Head Start grant to expand access to high-quality, comprehensive preschool services in district classrooms for the city’s highest-need children and their families. The new funding will be provided to NPS by the United States Department of Education over a 5-year period.
Quality preschool programs create the foundation for kindergarten success, putting students on the path towards college and career readiness. Head Start’s comprehensive services model, which also includes health, nutrition and family services, will enable NPS to advance its broader public education priorities in service to Newark children and families.
“Newark Public Schools is committed to providing every student, especially those most in need, with a high-quality education and access to developmentally appropriate resources and services,” said Newark Schools Superintendent Cami Anderson. “This Head Start grant will allow NPS to further improve the quality of programs and services offered while also increasing the number of Newark families served.”
The Head Start grant will enable NPS to dramatically improve in-district preschool instruction. As part of this strategy, the district will open two new Early Childhood Centers – at Berliner and Gladys Hillman Jones – as well as open additional classrooms at district schools that currently provide ECE programs.
“As the leader of an organization that has operated and advocated for quality early childhood education programs for many years, we are excited to see the district take this important step toward expanding options for even more deserving Newark children and families,” said John T. Rich, Jr., Director of the Sarah Ward Nurseries.
Kimberly McLain, President and CEO for the Foundation for Newark’s Future (FNF), credited NPS with recognizing the importance of Head Start in giving children a strong foundation on which to achieve academic success. “We know that investing in our children at the earliest ages is essential to helping them reach their full potential. As a funder of early childhood initiatives in Newark, FNF has championed better access to quality programs for all families – especially those from communities with the greatest need – and we look forward to partnering with NPS on this endeavor.”
Families interested in applying for Head Start services can contact the Newark Public Schools Office of Early Childhood at 973-733-6234 or visit www.nps.k12.nj.us for more information.