GREENVILLE, Pa.—Thiel College, a leading liberal arts college in northwest Pennsylvania, in collaboration with Mercer County Head Start launched a PA Pre-K Counts program at the College’s Glen Johnson Community Center with a kickoff event on Oct. 11.
Members of the Thiel College community and its Department of Education joined area elected officials, Mercer County Head Start representatives and students and others for the event. The program is supported by a grant from the Office of Child Development and Early Learning from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The Thiel College PA Pre-K Counts classroom is the sixth Pre-K classroom for the Mercer County Head Start. All Thiel College early childhood education/special education majors will have a field class which will work with the Pre-K Counts children. The College will accommodate up to 17 children with a fully operational PA Pre-K Counts classroom in the Glenn Johnson Community Center.
“This is a great opportunity for Thiel College to give back to the community and for our education majors to participate in a high quality field experience,” Professor of Education and Department Chair Doug Hazlett, Ph.D., said.
The PA Pre-K Counts program is for children ages 3-5. The program is a Keystone STARS four-star rated pre-school class. Classes run five days per week, 5 1/2 hours per day. A developmentally appropriate curriculum, vision, hearing, and developmental screenings, nutritionally balanced breakfast, snacks and lunches are provided plus much more.
“I would like to thank Thiel College for partnering with Head Start and PA Pre-K Counts in expanding this opportunity to the children in our communities,” said Pennsylvania Senator Michele Brooks, whose district includes Thiel College. “This is another great example of Thiel’s commitment to serving the families in our area.”
“High-quality early childhood education is the gateway to success for our children,” said Pennsylvania Representative Mark Longietti, whose district includes Thiel College. “I am pleased that Thiel College will reach scores of area children through this new Pre-K Counts classroom.”
About Keystone STARS
Keystone STARS is Pennsylvania’s Quality Rating and Improvement System. The rating and improvement system is a continuous quality improvement systemic approach to assess, improve and communicate the level of quality in early and school-age care and education programs. Keystone STARS is a program of Pennsylvania’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning.
About PA Head Start Program
Head Start programs provide comprehensive services to enrolled children and their families, which include health, nutrition, social, and other services determined to be necessary by family needs assessments, in addition to education and cognitive development services. Head Start services are designed to be responsive to each child and family’s ethnic, cultural, and linguistic heritage.
About the PA Pre-K Counts Program
Funded from the Pennsylvania Department of Education since 2007, PA Pre-K Counts promotes school readiness of young children ages 3-5 years through the provision of a researched-based education curriculum, to families with incomes up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level.
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