The Starke County Preschool Scholarship Program has gotten some monetary support from the Starke County Community Foundation after the SCCF Service Committee voted recently to allocate $10,000 of the foundation’s unrestricted grant dollars to the scholarship program. The program was established with the goal of making one year of preschool education affordable to every child in Starke County.
Because research shows that 85 percent of a child’s brain growth happens before the age of five, the importance of a preschool is emphasized, especially since children who attend preschool are ready to learn when they enter school and are more likely to read at grade level. During the 2012-2013 school year, approximately 38 percent of Starke County kindergarten students had not attended preschool.
Jennifer Gappa, president of the SCCF Service Committee, said they believe the Starke County Preschool Project has substantial importance in the sustainability of the community and development of youth.
Research shows that investing in preschool has a lasting impact on a community, with long-term benefits including lower costs for remedial and special education, less grade repetition, better job preparedness and ability to meet future labor force demands, higher incomes due to higher educational attainment, lower criminal casualties and prison costs, and fewer welfare payments.
As a result of the numerous benefits which preschool offers, rigorous studies show that for every dollar invested in early childhood education programs for low-income children, between $4 and $9 is returned to the community.
Participating preschools include Foundations Child Care, Little Lambs Preschool, Adventure Island Preschool, Oregon-Davis Preschool, Knox Elementary Preschools, and St. Peter Lutheran Preschool. Scholarships will be given to four-year-olds whose families show financial need.
Parents who wish to ensure their child’s academic success and would like to find out how to apply for a scholarship should contact Origer by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling (574) 772-3665. Those who wish to sponsor a child or donate to the preschool project in Starke County should also contact Origer.