School News

News for Marion Community Schools


State names Little Giants Preschool as On My Way Pre-K provider

Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Little Giants Preschool is now an Indiana On My Way Pre-K provider, as part of the expansion of the state-funded pilot program.

The Indiana Legislature opted to roll all current grantees in the early education matching grant (EEMG) program into the On My Way Pre-K expansion. Marion Community Schools was named an EEMG grantee in 2016, covering the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years.

This change will allow Little Giants Preschool to maintain the added enrollment spots for 4-year-olds made possible by the EEMG, because funding will continue to be available past the original expiration of 2018. This means more spots will be available for low-income families every year, through this funding stream alone. (This is in addition to federally funded spots at Little Giants Preschool’s Head Start program, which also meets needs of low-income families, and federal Title I funding, used to boost academic success.)

Preschool expansion was one of Gov. Eric Holcomb’s priorities, and although the funding provided falls below what he and preschool advocates originally had asked for, he praised the action.

“This important legislation gives more children in more counties the chance to start their educational journey on the right foot,” he said in a statement after the legislation passed.

Not only is this news incredibly exciting, but it is extremely important for our whole community. With nearly one-third of children in Grant County living in poverty, this free, high-quality preschool option is an essential component to the success of our community. High quality early childhood education provides opportunities for our children to build their language skills, their social skills, their math concept awareness, and more, building a foundation for lifelong learning and success.

Marion Community Schools is grateful for the community support that paved the way for this development, with their donations that made participation in the EEMG possible. Those funds will go even farther under the On My Way Pre-K program, which has a much smaller matching funds requirement.

Kerri Wortinger, Little Giants Preschool director, expressed gratitude to the community and school leaders who made this possible through their work and donations, and to the state for recognizing the vision, commitment, and quality of the program and the school system.

“We know that high-quality early learning can help fill the gaps that many of our children have when it comes to language skills and other experiences,” she said. “It is so exciting to be able to give more kids this crucial opportunity!”

Enrollment assignments for the 2017-18 school year have already been made, but we will continue to accept applications to fill spots that are open or any that re-open. Little Giants Preschool maintains a waiting list year-round. Call 651-2080 for more information.