Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton today greeted more than 80 preschoolers and their families at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix to celebrate the success of the Great Start initiative.
Stanton launched Great Start last year through a partnership with the city’s Head Start program and the Greater Phoenix Urban League. The effort expanded this year from one Phoenix school district to four, and enrollment more than doubled to reach nearly 2,000 participants.
The initiative gives incoming kindergarteners enrolled in Title 1 schools free access to community learning centers the summer before they start their K-12 careers. In addition to the Children’s Museum, participants can also visit the Arizona Science Center and the Phoenix Zoo at no cost.
“We’re helping build a solid learning foundation for Phoenix kindergarteners with experiences that, for many families, might otherwise be cost-prohibitive,” Stanton said. “It’s a small investment that will pay huge, long-term dividends for our children.”
Great Start also helps students and parents learn together. Parents receive information and educational materials that provide recommendations to enhance early child development and suggestions for how to incorporate family activities into the kindergarten curriculum.
More than 800 of this summer’s participants came from the Fowler Elementary School District.
“Mayor Stanton’s Great Start Initiative was a huge success with our students and families,” said Fowler Superintendent Marvene Lobato. “They were able to participate in these activities as a family. The smiles on their faces were absolutely priceless.”
In addition to Fowler, participating elementary school districts include Balsz, Tolleson and Wilson. Each district is providing transportation for students and families.
For more informaion, please contact Nicole Pasteur at the Office of the Mayor at 602-534-1475 or firstname.lastname@example.org.