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Muskegon Schools receive federal grant extension to offer free preschool to more students

Posted at 10:11 AM, Jul 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-23 12:08:23-04

MUSKEGON,. Mich. — Head Start is a federally funded preschool program serving lower income children and families. Now the program got a financial boost in West Michigan, letting more students participate.

The preschoolers at Glenside Early Childhood Center spend a lot of their days dancing, and now they have a reason to - a federal grant was extended to their school district. The Muskegon Area Intermediate School District is one of three districts in the state to receive the grant extension for theoir Head Start program.

“The funds will be used to provide more children the opportunity for free preschool," Muskegon Intermediate School District Director of Early Childhood Services Stuart Jones Said.

The program helps level the educational playing field to families who can't afford early education services.

"The impact of the program really is all about school readiness for kindergarten. Studies show that children entering kindergarten, there's big gaps. Even as young as 5-years-old in term of children's achievement. Our whole aim is to level that playing field, get kids ready so they're ready to go day one of kindergarten," Jones said.

With the extension, the Muskegon School District can now add 32 extra children to the program and two new staff. The new staff have already been hired and ready to work with more children this upcoming school year.

Sign up for the Head Start program is available statewide now.