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Pre-Kindergarten Program Expands to 60 Classrooms

Lottery Opens Today for Families in 11 Communities

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) announced today that four new sites – in Central Falls, Pawtucket, and Providence – will be added to the Rhode Island Pre-kindergarten Program for the 2017-2018 school year, for a total of 60 classrooms. The lottery to fill the 1,080 available seats is now open, and parents and families must submit their applications by Friday, June 29.

Pending approval of Governor Raimondo’s budget and thanks to the federal Preschool Expansion Grant that Rhode Island received from the U.S. Department of Education,, this expansion brings access to high-quality early childhood education to more Rhode Island students than ever. These 60 pre-kindergarten programs are located in 11 communities: Central Falls, Cranston, East Providence, Johnston, Newport, North Providence, Pawtucket, Providence, Warwick, West Warwick, and Woonsocket.

“We know that reading is a crucial indicator of future student performance, and students who do not read at grade level by the third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school. We need to capture these students and give them the support they need before they fall behind,” said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. “Quality early education is at the center of my strategic goal to get all children reading on grade level, and we continue to open up that opportunity to more students.”

“Pre-kindergarten sets a strong foundation for students and for our entire educational system” said Barbara S. Cottam, Chair of the Board of Education. “When we invest in early learning opportunities for all children, we invest in their futures and lay the groundwork that enables them to be successful.”

“The skills young people need for school readiness, and ultimately, college and career readiness, begin to be cultivated in early childhood classrooms,” said Daniel P. McConaghy, Chair of the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education. “Expanding access puts more students on that path, and will move the needle on student achievement in elementary school and beyond.”

“The work being done in pre-kindergarten may seem far removed from advanced coursework at the high school level, but it isn’t,” said Ken Wagner, Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education. “Inspiring a love of learning and building the fundamentals of critical thinking and problem solving starts early, and I encourage parents and families to consider this opportunity so that their child can get a head start on a lifetime of learning.”

The 60 Pre-kindergarten Program sites for the 2017-2018 school year are:

Central Falls:
  • Central Falls School District, Capt. Hunt Early Learning Center (12 Kendall Street) – 3 classrooms
  • Expansion - Central Falls School District, Margaret I. Robertson Elementary (135 Hunt Street) – 2 classrooms
  • Comprehensive Community Action Program (848 Atwood Ave.) – 2 classrooms
  • The Children’s Workshop (546 Budlong Road) – 1 classroom
East Providence:
  • Martin Middle School (111 Brown Street) – 5 classrooms
  • Oldham School (60 Bart Drive) – 2 classrooms
    (Note: Applications for the Martin and Oldham sites are available at the East Providence Administration Offices, 145 Taunton Ave.)
  • East Bay Community Action Program (70 Turner Ave.) – 1 classroom
  • Graniteville School (6 Collins Avenue)
    (Note: Applications for the Graniteville site are available at Graniteville School until June 17 and at the Johnston Central Office, 10 Memorial Dr., throughout the application period.)
  • East Bay Community Action Program at the Pell Annex of the John F. Kennedy School
    (740 West Main Rd., Middletown – temporary location; program will be for Newport residents only) – 1 classroom
  • East Bay Community Action Program Head Start (8 John Chafee Blvd.) – 2 classrooms
North Providence:
  • Tri-Town Community Action Agency (2204 Mineral Spring Avenue) – 1 classroom
  • Expansion - Pawtucket School Department, Fallon Memorial School (62 Lincoln Avenue) – 3 classrooms
    (Note: Applications for the Fallon site are available at the Pawtucket Central Office, 286 Main St.)
  • Ready to Learn Providence @ Heritage Park YMCA Early Learning Center (333 Roosevelt Ave.) – 2 classrooms
  • Children’s Friend and Service (13 Legion Drive) – 1 classroom
  • Providence School Department, Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School (35 Camp Street) - 1 classroom
    (Note: Applications for the Martin Luther King , Jr. site are available at the Providence Registration Center, 325 Ocean Street.)
  • Ready to Learn Providence @ CCRI Liston Campus (1 Hilton St.) – 1 classroom
    (Note: Applications for the CCRI site are available at 945 Westminster St., Providence)
  • Beautiful Beginnings (700 Elmwood Ave.) – 2 classrooms
  • Children’s Friend and Service (350 Point St.) – 2 classrooms
  • Expansion - Children’s Friend and Service (99 Berkshire St.) – 2 classrooms
  • Children’s Friend and Service (550 Hartford Avenue) – 1 classroom
  • Imagine Preschool (520 Hope Street) – 3 classrooms
  • The Mariposa Center (1 Corliss Park) – 1 classroom
  • Meeting Street (1000 Eddy St.) – 2 classrooms
  • Expansion - Smith Hill Early Childhood Learning Center (25 Danforth St.) – 5 classrooms
  • CHILD, Inc. (160 Draper Ave.) – 2 classrooms
West Warwick:
  • Academy for Little Children (10 James P Murphy Industrial Highway) – 1 classroom
  • CHILD, Inc. (28 Payan St.) – 3 classrooms
  • Connecting for Children and Families (46 Hope St.) – 2 classrooms
  • Woonsocket Head Start Child Development Association (204 Warwick St.) – 4 classrooms
  • YWCA Rhode Island (514 Blackstone Street), 1 Classroom

The Rhode Island Pre-Kindergarten Program, entering its ninth year, provides state-funded, high-quality pre-kindergarten classes to eligible children. To be eligible, children must be 4 years old by September 1, and they must be residents of one of the identified communities. Children are selected for participation by lottery, and families will be notified in early July, pending state budget approval by the General Assembly.

Families can apply for the 2017-18 Pre-Kindergarten Program online at https://www3.ride.ri.gov/PKLottery or can pick up an application at a program location. Completed applications should be returned to the program of choice. Families may apply for more than one site if multiple sites exist in their community of residence, but only one application per site will be accepted. Applications will be accepted through June 29.