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Preschool expansion funded for economically disadvantaged kids

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - An initiative to expand preschool education for economically disadvantaged kids has 600 preschoolers getting a head start on their education.
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah  (ABC 4 Utah) - An initiative to expand preschool education for economically disadvantaged kids has 600 preschoolers getting a head start on their education.

Gerald Wright Elementary School is one of the 49 schools that offer a preschool program. Thursday, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams was at Gerald Wright’s preschool classroom with students who may not have been there without funding.

"I've had some bad times been very fortunate that she was able to go to the preschool program,” said Jen Mafua whose daughter has been awarded a preschool scholarship.

Mafua's 3-year-old daughter is among 600 kids able to benefit from the preschool program. Back in July the Salt Lake County Council unanimously approved Mayor Ben McAdams initiative to expand a one year preschool program with $350,000 for 83 different classrooms.

"We know that kids that start behind in kindergarten they tend to stay behind and it costs a lot more money to remediate and bring kids up to speed,” said Brenda Van Gorder, Granite School District Preschool Services Director.

Now, by providing a preschool education to 600 economically disadvantaged children they are being given a jumpstart on their education.

“It means they will start kindergarten in the same place as their peers who don't have similar disadvantages,” said Mayor McAdams.

 For parents like Mafua who work full time and don't qualify for government assistance, she tells ABC 4 Utah she is grateful her daughter was approved for the preschool program.

"It’s a very big blessing I'm glad she's able to go to school right now,” Said Mafua.

 

 

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