Bucks County Courier Times: State Grant will Allow Neshaminy to Double its Pre-k Program
July 19, 2018 by Chris English

A $1 million state grant will allow the Neshaminy School District to more than double enrollment in its free pre-kindergarten program.

The grant, about twice the amount received by the district last school year, will give officials the latitude to increase total enrollment in the Pre-K Counts program to 120.

It will also allow the district to add Joseph Ferderbar Elementary School in Lower Southampton as a third site where the program is offered, in addition to the closed Lower Southampton Elementary School (now open as an early childhood learning center) and Albert Schweitzer Elementary School in Middletown, said Schweitzer Principal Amy Orlando, who oversees Neshaminy’s Pre-K Counts program.

“I think the foundation a pre-K program helps build for children makes a huge difference,” Orlando said. “There is often a wide difference in reading and other skills between children who have had access to a pre-K program and those who haven’t. It’s wonderful to get this additional funding so we can increase the access.”

Despite the state’s increased investment of $25 million in pre-K programs for this school year, there are still more than 106,000 eligible children in the state who do not have access to high-quality, publicly-funded pre-K due to limited state funding, according to the advocacy group Pre-K for PA.

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