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Who Funds a "Free" Preschool Program?
Submitted by RWaxman-Lenz on Sun, 12/12/2004 - 18:38.
Suppose you wanted to expand the reach of preschool to low-income families not able to pay for these benefits.Â To whom would you turn?Â A recent article in the Washington Post tells of the Freddie Mac Foundation providing a $450,000 grant for a free preschool program in Alexandria, Virginia.Â The program, Child and Family Network Centers, enrolls over 170 children whose families earn too much to qualify for Head Start, but not enough to pay for a private preschool.Â The founder of this program, Barbara Mason, states, "I think every city's going to need a program like ours because there are always going to be kids that fall through the cracks."Â She started the center twenty years ago in response to theÂ large discrepancy she saw between "the kids coming out of the projects and their middle-class peers."Â The $2.3 million budget of the center comes fromÂ three sources: one-thirdÂ is fromÂ city, state, and federal funds, one-third fromÂ foundations, and one-third from fund raising.Â
Toya Nichols and some of the otherÂ parents whose children attend the center's program are thrilledÂ to be able to go back to school themselves.Â Â Food for thought.
[Article reference: Tara Bahrampour, "AÂ Windfall for Free Preschool,"Â Â The Washington Post,Â 9 December 2004, B1 and B5.]
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