Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts, established by the state Department of Education, is in its second year of bringing full-day pre-kindergarten classes to three- and four-year-olds in Warren, at no cost to qualified families.
Pre-K Counts classes are held at the Warren-Forest Economic Opportunities Council's Head Start Seneca Center and the Jefferson DeFrees Family Center.
Enrollment for next fall is underway at both sites.
Pre-kindergarten prepares children for reading and math, plus paying attention, following directions and getting along with others. Children enrolled in pre-kindergarten have a better chance of being ready for kindergarten and grade school, according to a program spokesman.
Both programs follow the Warren County School District's calendar. Jefferson DeFrees runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays and the EOC program from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Children engage in a variety of learning activities which prepare them for kindergarten, participate in indoor/outdoor gross motor and movement activities, receive snack or breakfast and lunch at no cost to qualified families. The EOC program can also provide transportation, as able.
Eligible families include those earning 300 percent or less of the federal poverty level, such as a family of four earning $66,150), English language learners, and families of children with special needs.
Children enrolled for both Pre-K programs must be eligible to enter kindergarten in 2011.
"Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts is a resounding success for children, families and the commonwealth," Gov. Ed Rendell said in a press release. "Data from the first year showed that children who participated in a Pre-K Counts program are better prepared to begin learning as they enter kindergarten, setting the state for greater success throughout school and into their careers."
For more information and enrollment paperwork, contact Julie Blum, Warren-Forest EOC Head Start family services coordinator, at 726-2400, extension 3027; or Susan Anderson, Jefferson DeFrees Family Center interim child care director, at 723-6350; or visit the state Department of Education's website at www.pde.state.pa.us/early_childhood.