LAKEHURST – The Lakehurst Elementary School district will have two more full-day preschool classes, funded by the state.
The district received $376,890 from the Department of Early Childhood Education to expand the preschool program, starting in October.
The classes are open to legal residents of Lakehurst and/or those who are connected to the military base. The child needs to be 3 or 4 years old on or by Oct. 1, 2018. Interested people can register by calling (732) 657-5741.
This brings the number of preschool classes in the district to six, said assistant superintendent Clifford Barneman. Last year, a different program expanded the classes from two to four.
The two new classes will join the other four at St. John’s Parish Center, where they had to move due to mold contamination in the elementary school. They will be housed in temporary units on the church’s property for now. The district is scheduled to re-open the school on Nov. 12.
The funding for Lakehurst was part of $20.6 million in aid to districts across the state.
“Providing our youngest learners with high quality early education will have long-lasting benefits for children, and for communities as a whole,” Education Commissioner Lamont O. Repollet said in a press release. “We’ve learned that an investment in preschool – or, more accurately, an investment in high-quality preschool – has the potential to help children succeed in school, and later in life, by providing them with the academic and social skills needed for school readiness.”
The funding is distributed based on the needs of low-income students in the district, according to the state.
Research has shown that children who attend quality early childhood education programs are less likely to be placed in special education, less likely to need to stay back a grade, and more likely to graduate from high school than those who didn’t attend such programs.
Local districts that were recently awarded this funding include:
- Lakehurst: $376,890
- Berkeley: $2,264,383
- Stafford: $1,245,471