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Schools receive $27K early childhood grant



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November 24, 2010 - Oxford Community Schools is the recipient of yet another grant to help reimagine their learning.

They were selected to receive $27,024 from the Early Childhood Investment Corp. (ECIC) to help with the transition from preschool to kindergarten.

"We are pleased to be able to have some assistance with funding to help bridge the gap at that level," said Dr. James Schwarz, the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum. "It is certainly going to create more of a seamless transition for our children going from our preschool programs into our kindergarten programs."

The ReImagine Early Years grants were funded by the Kellogg Foundation and targeted to school districts identified by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) last year as Project ReImagine sites.

In partnership with the MDE, ECIC integrated the intent of Project ReImagine with Ready Schools Michigan to offer ReImagine Early Years grants.

Eleven school districts across Michigan received a total of $928,233 in grant money.

The purpose of the grants is to strengthen the bridge between the early childhood and K-12 systems, a critical part of creating a successful educational pathway from birth to college for all Michigan children.

"Preschool has always been perceived as a separate entity from the K-12 program, and that grant really helps us to bring preschool and kindergarten a lot closer together," Schwarz said.

According to Schwarz, the money will help fund the transition activities with students, families and teachers.

This would allow preschool and kindergarten teachers to have common professional development, especially in the International Baccalaureate program, where preschool is included in the Primary Years Program.

"Kindergarten teachers will be able to visit preschools and preschools visiting kindergartens and creating transistion activities that we haven't done before," Schwarz said.

The district applied for the grant in June 2010, and after many revisions, found out this week their grant application was approved.

The grant was only available to Project ReImagine districts, according to Schwarz.

"It's one of the few opportunities that we have had financially to take advantage of with the ReImagine Grant," he added.

Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.
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