Thanks to a grant from Governor Rendell, there will be more quality opportunities for children at the early childhood age level in the Tyrone Area School District than have ever been offered before.
School Districts with 30 percent of their students receiving free and reduced lunch qualified to apply to receive this grant money.
With this funding, the School District is now offering a half-day preschool program for 3-year-olds for the first time. They will be adding a total of 78 new preschool spots. They currently have space to for 10 more 3-year-olds.
Thanks to this funding, the Tyrone Area School District has been able to create programs for the District’s Early Childhood Center that now includes 18 preschool classrooms, consisting of 12 for the 2-year-olds, 103 for the 3-year-olds, and 134 for the 4-year-olds that are enrolled in the programs offered by the School District, YMCA, Head Start, or Intermediate Unit 8, which are all located in the Early Childhood Center at the Tyrone Area Elementary School.
This funding will also pay for the PreK/Kindergarten Coach. This individual will work with all preschools in the community, and occasionally model a lesson and assist both preschool and kindergarten teachers with effective ways to implement a consistent, quality curriculum that will consistently follow the students as they enter kindergarten.
Also provided is funding for the Family/School Resource Coordinator. This individual will be available to all families if there are special needs, provide parenting workshops that will be available to parents of children in private preschool programs and programs offered by the School District, along with working in collaboration with social agencies if assistance is needed for a child.
To continue work on building a strong partnership with local preschools, this funding will help provide professional development for all local preschool teachers. Monthly workshops are held for staff from all private preschools and staff from the School District Early Childhood Center.
Children from both the School District’s preschool programs and all private preschools and their families will be included in a number of evening family fun programs that will be provided through this funding.
Also, thanks to this new funding, new classroom materials can now be provided for all preschool classrooms in the Tyrone Area School District, including the private preschools.
According to Melissa Russell, Early Childhood Coordinator for the Tyrone Area School District, the purpose is to pull the entire community together, creating a quality early childhood program for all children in the Tyrone Area School District.