DON’T STOP NOW
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founded Project Acorn in ;;;; to help
cover the cost of preschool for disadvantaged kids, they didn’t expect their
new nonprofit (now called Preschool
Advantage) to be needed indefinitely.
“They’ve been talking about state-funded pre-K forever,” says Stuart,
“but it hasn’t happened yet.” And so,
Preschool Advantage continues to fill
the gap in its community. In the past
school year, Preschool Advantage paid
for early education for ;; youngsters
in Morris and Somerset counties.
Help is on the way. In July, Governor Chris Christie agreed to a ;;; million expansion of New Jersey’s preschool program, which provides free
pre-K in ;; districts (story, page ;;).
That was a good first step toward
finally meeting the goals established
in ;;;; by the state’s School Funding
Reform Act. According to one estimate, ;;;; million is needed annually
to fulfill the act’s mandate for state-funded preschool in an additional ;;;
There’s little debate that quality
preschool has significant long-term
benefits for our children. Statistics
indicate that pre-K kids outperform
their peers later in their school careers. Fewer are held back; fewer require special-ed programs.
Ironically, New Jersey’s pre-K
model—developed for the Abbott
school program—is a shining star
in the early-education universe. Officials from as far away as Norway
have come to study what we offer.
Yet only a limited number of kids
benefit from the program in New
Jersey, a state with one of the nation’s worst achievement gaps between affluent and poor students.
We’re pleased that the state has
funded an expansion of preschool, but
the e;ort must go beyond this small
first step. In time, we hope the need for
organizations like Preschool Advantage
will become a thing of the past.
Telling: Jersey Shore
The Telling Project is a national
performing arts non-profit that employs
theater to deepen our understanding of
the military and veterans’ experience.
Telling: Jersey Shore features the stories
of local veterans, shared in July 2017
and adapted to a stage performance.
November 10-12 and 16-19
College Drive • Toms River, NJ
Tickets available at 732.255.0500
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