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For More Information Contact the Public Information Office:
Jon Zlock
    Kathryn Forsyth, Director

For Release: February 4, 2008

DOE Awards $8.5 Million in Preschool Quality Enhancement Awards

Nearly 3,000 children will benefit from $8.5 million to provide better educational opportunities for low-income children, Department of Education officials announced today.

Governor Jon S. Corzine included the Preschool Quality Enhancement Awards in the fiscal year 2008 budget as part of his commitment to high-quality preschool programs for all children, especially those in impoverished areas that are not covered by state aid allotted to Abbott school districts.

“Governor Corzine and our department will continue to support high-quality preschool programs that give the most vulnerable of our youngest children the foundation for a successful education in our public school system,” Education Commissioner Lucille E. Davy said.

“Years of research and our experiences in the Abbott districts have shown that quality preschool for at-risk children is the single most productive step we can take to improve the quality of education in our state,” the Commissioner said.  “When at-risk children attend quality preschool, they enter kindergarten more ready to learn.  They have already experienced the thrill that comes with understanding and achieving, and they are ready to move on to the next level.  The gap between these children and their more economically privileged classmates is dramatically reduced.”

Fourteen providers have been selected for the grants, which will improve the quality of existing full-day preschool educational programs located in non-Abbott districts.  To be eligible for the grant, programs had to show that at least 75 percent of the children enrolled in their preschool programs are at or below 100 percent of the federal poverty level. 

The funds may be used to support certification efforts for classroom teachers and teacher assistants; select and implement appropriate research-based curriculum and assessment models; enhance teacher professional development; and implement other strategies necessary to align these programs with the high-quality standards of New Jersey’s Abbott preschool programs.

Each provider will receive $3,000 per low-income child enrolled at the time of the grant.  The grant period is from Feb. 1, 2008 to January 2009.  The following is a list of grant recipients, the amount of money they are receiving, and the towns they serve:

  • Burlington County Community Action Program ($1,160,934; Delanco Township and Lumberton townships: Burlington County);
  • Montclair Child Development Center, Inc. ($691,035; Montclair, West Orange and Bloomfield: Essex County);
  • The Leaguers, Inc. ($516,661; Roselle and Union Township: Union County);
  • BEOF Community Action Partnership/Bayonne Head Start ($454,987; Bayonne: Hudson County); 
  • North Hudson Community Action Corp. Head Start ($554,975; Kearny, Guttenberg and North Bergen: Hudson County);
  • YWCA Princeton ($119,478; Princeton: Mercer County);
  • Acelero Learning Monmouth County ($603,848; Howell Township, Keyport, Neptune City and Red Bank Borough: Monmouth County);
  • Head Start Community Program of Morris County ($400,413; Dover and Morristown: Morris County);
  • O.C.E.A.N., Inc. ($381,038; Brick and Manchester: Ocean County);
  • Center for Family Resources ($484,370; West Milford, Ringwood, Wayne and Clifton: Passaic County);
  • Somerset Community Action Program, Inc. ($904,158; Franklin, North Plainfield, Bound Brook and Somerville: Somerset County;
  • Project Self-Sufficiency of Sussex County ($164,686; Newton: Sussex County);
  • Bergen County Community Action Partnership, Inc. ($1,046,240; Hackensack and Bergenfield); and
  • Tri-County Community Action Agency ($1,017,177; Glassboro, Paulsboro, Penns Grove-Carneys Point, Commercial Township, Upper Deerfield Township, Swedesboro, Woolwich, Monroe Township and Woodbury: Cumberland County, Salem and Gloucester counties).

For more information, please contact the Department of Education Public Information Office at (609) 292-1126.