Letter: Did Pittsfield pursue preschool grant funds?
To the editor:
In 2016, the Department of Education and Care budgeted money for Gateway Cities (Pittsfield is one) to write proposals for additional preschool classrooms to be opened through collaboration between the public schools and center based programs. The thought was the cities would already be prepared to move quickly when the state budget allocated funding for these programs. This fiscal year, the state budget included a line item for this purpose. Several cities prepared their proposal. Pittsfield was one of them, as well as North Adams.
Congratulations to the North Adams School Department and Child Care of the Berkshires for following through with their proposal. Their collaboration in applying for grant monies to open a preschool classroom at Brayton Elementary School makes available to their population 30 slots of free preschool for children who are not already in care.
I was very interested to read the entire article starting on the front page of The Berkshire Eagle, Friday, March 8, headlined "Grant to boost early childhood education." North Adams Superintendent Barbara Malkas spoke to the importance of children having opportunities for early experiences before entering kindergarten. This new preschool meets this need.
I looked for Pittsfield Public Schools to see if they were listed at the end of the article. I was saddened to see that they were not. I know that the proposal grant was written because I worked on that committee to write that grant. Pittsfield was ready to move forward. What happened?
The writer is a retired early childhood educator.
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