Limestone & Caribou receive funding to expand existing Pre-K programs

Governor Mills Announces Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan Grants to 14 School Administrative Units to...
Governor Mills Announces Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan Grants to 14 School Administrative Units to Expand Access to Pre-K Programs(Videoblocks)
Published: Jan. 24, 2022 at 10:45 AM EST
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Augusta, MAINE – Governor Janet Mills announced today that 14 school administrative units will receive a total of $2.7 million in grant funding from the Maine Department of Education to create or expand Pre-K programs this year.

The grants, which are the first of two rounds from the Governor’s Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, will increase the availability and accessibility of Pre-K for more than 500 children across Maine. A second, $6.3 million round of grants – making for a total $10 million investment in Pre-K from the Governor’s Jobs Plan – will be awarded later this year for programs beginning in fall 2023.

“Expanding Pre-K and child care opportunities is a major priority for my Administration, which is why it is a focus of my Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan,” said Governor Janet Mills. “Pre-K better prepares children for success in school while also helping parents better balance the everyday demands of child care and their jobs – it’s a win-win. I am pleased to award these funds through the Department of Education, and we will continue to work hard to make Pre-K more available and more accessible.”

“The Pre-K Expansion Grants are another step toward realizing Governor Mills’ vision of ensuring all students have access to high quality early learning experiences,” said Pender Makin, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Education. “I am proud of our Early Learning Team at the Department of Education, who will continue to support Maine schools in the development, expansion and implementation of exceptional programs for our youngest learners.”

“Recognizing that Pre-K education is one of the most important foundational pieces in the educational programming for our students, we feel blessed to have been awarded this grant from the Maine Department of Education,” said Michael Eastman, Superintendent of Regional School Unit #24.  “Each of our four schools (Cave Hill, Ella Lewis, Mountain View, and Peninsula) will be able to provide an early learning experience that is equitable across the district and recognizes the developmental needs of this age group.  We are anxious to get our earliest learners engaged in school in the fall.”

“We are very excited to be recipients of the Pre-K Expansion grant, as we do not currently have a Pre-K program in our small rural K-12 school,” said Greenville Superintendent of Schools Kelly MacFadyen.  “This grant will provide us with the opportunity to implement a high-quality all-day preschool program for our 4-year-olds.  We hope to eliminate barriers for families, such as cost, transportation and childcare.”

“The Pre-K expansion grant funds will allow us to expand our current programming and provide a full day/full week Pre-K program in a central location for our Hampden/Newburgh residents,” said RSU #22 Pre-K Coordinator, Dawn Moore. “Increasing to the full day/full week program will provide students with a high-quality, appropriately paced curriculum that will better prepare students for school readiness.”

School administrative units will use the grants to purchase or renovate facility space; support staff recruitment and training; or pay for other start-up costs necessary create new Pre-K programs, expand the capacity or schedules of existing programs, or re-establish prior programs. The Maine Department of Education is awarding the preliminary grants, which are subject to change pending school budget discussions, as follows:

To Establish New Pre-K Programs:

  • Appleton Public Schools: $160,000
  • Greenville School Department: $114,321
  • Kittery School Department: $514,481
  • St. George School Department: $37,159
  • Yarmouth School Department: $181,300

To Expand Existing Pre-K programs:

  • Bangor School Department: $74,928
  • Limestone School Department: $87,968
  • MSAD #49 (Fairfield, Benton, Clinton, Albion): $266,905
  • MSAD #54 (Skowhegan, Smithfield, Norridgewock, Mercer, Cornville, Canaan): $122,261
  • RSU #22 (Hampden, Newburgh, Winterport, Frankfort): $328,663
  • RSU #39 (Caribou): $98,516
  • St. George School Department: $37,159
  • Sanford School Department: $321,500
  • Vassalboro School Department: $171,771

To reestablish a Pre-K program:

  • RSU #24 (Eastbrook, Franklin, Gouldsboro, Mariaville, Steuben, Sorrento, Sullivan, Waltham, Winter Harbor): $246,438
  • Yarmouth School Department: $181,300

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