The Illinois State Board of Education has given the Bond County Unit 2 early childhood education programs more money to expand services.
The Project Parenting Program received an additional $144,000 while the Pre-Kindergarten Program has $408,000 more.
Scott Pasley said the extra money will allow more youngsters and families to be reached through parent educators, people who visit new mothers in their home, and preschool opportunities for 3 and 4 year olds. Additional resources will be available to students as well.
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At all centers, half-day Pre-Kindergarten will still be offered.
Pasley said more employees will be needed and applicants are being sought for another 12 positions.
Unit 2 was one of only 25 districts in the state to receive the Preschool For All Expansion Grants. The district’s KRP program has received a gold rating for each of the last three years.
Pasley praised the staff and said early childhood education is extremely important. He said for each dollar spent in early childhood education, a benefit of $8 is experienced down the road. Students who receive early childhood education have fewer discipline issues and higher graduation rates.
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Pasley said there should also be enough money to improve playgrounds at the schools.