Lynchburg receives $183K grant to get 10 children into preschool program

Children will attend Little Wings Preschool in September

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Last year in Lynchburg Head Start program officials had 33 children waiting to start preschool at public schools.

“If we get more than enough applicants then what we’ll have to do is put parents on a waiting list,” William Coleman, CEO and president of Lynchburg Community Action Group, said.

This fall that will change.
A $183,000 grant from the commonwealth will give 10 children the chance to attend Little Wings Preschool at Human Kind – a private provider. 

“It really eases the burden on the Virginia public school system or the Head Start program,” Karen Wesley, director of educational programming for United Way of Central Virginia, said. 

The majority of children come from low-income households.

“They really don’t have access to the same early childhood experiences that perhaps their peers do. Having access to a high quality early-learning program is extremely important to their future success,” Wesley said.

Some of the money will be used for staffing, professional development, transportation for the children and classroom materials. 

“We will be comparing child outcomes. We will also be evaluating child-teacher interactions,” Wesley said.

Organizers with Lynchburg Community Action Group, United Way of Central Virginia and others say this is one way to battle the poverty rate. 

“It’s one of the methods that we’ll be using to address the issue of poverty,” Coleman said.

“It may be 10 children in year one, but we could easily see this being 40 or 50 children in the future,” Wesley said.

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