Autumn has arrived bringing crisp air and beautiful foliage. As the colorful leaves drift down, things are falling into place in Pre-K expansion classrooms across ten Maine school districts. This fall 17 new classrooms opened and five others moved from part day to full day programming through a grant offered by the Maine Department of Education. Funded through the Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan, the grant expands access to high-quality Pre-K programming and provides relief to families struggling to find childcare.
Grant funds have supported districts with renovating spaces, purchasing furniture and materials to create engaging learning spaces, meeting transportation needs, and ensuring a skilled workforce to serve Pre-K students. Over the past few months, teachers and administrators have been busy attending training, setting up classrooms, meeting families and working with partner agencies to ensure a smooth start to the school year. The little faces below show that their hard work has more than paid off.
Students at Newburgh Center in RSU 22 enjoy playful learning during Centers time. RSU 22 has relocated their Newburg and Winterport classrooms to the Newburg Center, expanded to full day, full week programming and added a third classroom to expand access in their community.
Abraham Lincoln School in Bangor has expanded their pre-k from part day to full day in a beautiful space set up to spark the imaginations of young learners.
Downeast School in Bangor has expanded to a full day program and has added a new classroom as well. Here the teachers join students to support learning through play.
Students build their language skills through story time and conversations around the table during meals in Limestone’s new pre-k classroom. Limestone collaborates with Aroostook County Community Action Head Start to provide rich learning opportunities and comprehensive services to students and families in their program.
The Maine DOE is pleased to announce a second round of public pre-k expansion grant funding available for the 2023-24 school year. The submission deadline is rapidly approaching (October 14, 2022). To learn more please visit the Pre-K Expansion Grants page of the Maine DOE website.
For more information, contact Sue Gallant, Pre-K Expansion Consultant (Sue.Gallant@maine.gov) or Nicole Madore, Early Childhood Specialist (Nicole.Madore@maine.gov).