School News

News for Little Giants Preschool

Community gifts, state matching funds pave way for preschool expansion

Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Marion Community Schools is proud to announce we are the recipient of a state early education matching grant, paving the way for our Little Giants Preschool to expand available enrollment spots for 4-year-olds in the next two school years.

This month, the state Department of Education notified us that our grant request was approved and that we would be receiving $550,000 in matching funds over the next two years.

This was made possible only by the overwhelming support from our community earlier this year, when local people stepped up during the month before the grant application deadline. The Marion Community Schools Board of School Trustees then agreed to provide $300,000 to match those funds, qualifying us to ask for the matching funds available from the state through the EEMG.

Altogether, the community funds and the matching grant funds will provide $575,000 for the 2016-17 school year and another $575,000 for the 2017-18 school year. This funding allows MCS to open up 115 new spots for local 4-year-olds during the next two school years.

Not only is this news incredibly exciting, but it is extremely important for our whole community. With nearly one-third of children in Grant County living in poverty, this free, high-quality preschool option is an essential component to the success of our community. High quality early childhood education provides opportunities for our children to build their language skills, their social skills, their math concept awareness, and more, building a foundation for lifelong learning and success.

Kerri Wortinger, Little Giants Preschool director, expressed gratitude to the community and school leaders who made this possible through their work and donations, and to the state for recognizing the vision, commitment, and quality of the program and the school system.

“This really is a dream come true, she said. “We know that high-quality early learning can help fill the gaps that many of our children have when it comes to language skills and other experiences. It is so exciting to be able to give more kids this crucial opportunity!”

Marion Community Schools Superintendent Brad Lindsay called the news a blessing.

“We are so thankful for our community, which came together to support this incredibly important program. Our children are our most important asset, and this program provides our youngest children incredible opportunities,” he said. “It truly is a GIANT blessing for our children and our community.”

Applications will be accepted starting next month for the 2016-17 school year at Little Giants Preschool. The schedule is as follows:

April 4-5

Applications will be taken at the Little Giants offices at Tucker Career and Technology Center, 107 S. Pennsylvania St. (bottom floor), at the following times:
  • 8 to 11:30 a.m.
  • 1 to 3 p.m.
  • 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
April 11-14

Applications will be taken at Marion Community Schools’ elementary buildings as follows. The application periods will run from 7:10 to 9 a.m. and 2 to 3:15 p.m. on each of the following days:
  • Monday, April 11, at Frances Slocum Elementary, 2909 S. Torrence St.
  • Tuesday, April 12, at Riverview Elementary, 513 W. Buckingham Drive.
  • Wednesday, April 13, at Allen Elementary, 1115 E. Bradford St.
  • Thursday, April 14, at Kendall Elementary, 209 W. Kem Road
After that, applications for enrollment or waiting list placement will be taken by appointment only.

Grant County children who will be 3 or 4 years old before Aug. 1 can apply for enrollment at Little Giants Preschool. Families of all income levels are welcome to apply.

Little Giants Preschool includes morning, afternoon, and full-day sessions.

To apply for enrollment, families should to provide all documentation listed below that applies to their situation:
  • Verification of income (such as 2015 1040 tax form, W-2 form, check stubs, child support receipts, social security payment information, unemployment verification, TANF case worker statement, etc. Please bring in 12 months of income verification.)
  • Proof of residence (such as a recent utility bill)
  • Child’s birth certificate
  • Child’s immunization records
  • Child’s Medicaid card or private insurance card
  • Child’s Social Security card or number
If you have questions, please contact the Little Giants office at 651-2080.

— For more information about Little Giants Preschool, including FAQs and more, click here to visit our Little Giants webpage