NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk preschools are now benefiting from education reform championed by Gov. Dannel Malloy earlier this year, state Sen. Bob Duff said in a statement.
Five Norwalk preschool centers received 50 new early childhood education school readiness slots and three Norwalk schools have increased funding of Family Resource Centers due to $390,000 in state funding, Duff said.
"I've always said family resource centers do the most with the least," Duff said in the statement. "Connecticut has the largest educational achievement gap in the nation, and we need to close that. Having more early childhood education slots is going to make a big difference."
The Naramake Elementary School Family Resource Center said it will use its new funding to:
- Increase translation services to better support bilingual families
- Extend after school hours to support the schedule of working families without additional cost
- Hire a Positive Youth Development coordinator to work with the school social worker, parents, after school coordinator and students primarily in grades 3-5 to ensure success and positive social development
- Allow returning before- and after-school families to have the opportunity to access a sliding fee scale for tuition and a reduced rate at 5 percent to make before- and after-school more affordable
- Increase the after-school program enrichment budget by 15 percent to enhance and expose students to cultural, artistic and music and movement opportunities
- To hire a developmental psychologist for a parent forum which will cover the dynamics of bullying and what parents can do if their children are engaging in bullying behavior or are the target of social aggression. We will also host a student forum where a youth counselor who specializes in improvisation will bring in a team of peer leaders from the local high school to work with students. This program supports our Safe School Climate Plan and our four behavior expectations: Respect, Independence, Social Justice and Empathy (RISE).
- To host additional enrichment classes for our after school program
- To purchase books and materials for our ESL students
- To purchase books and materials for our PAT home visits and early learning group
- To support our RBA (Results Based Accountability) data collection
The Fox Run Elementary School Family Resource Center said it will use its new funding to:
- Start a Spanish-speaking parents group at the school and provide additional outreach and support to its growing Spanish-speaking population
- Keep the afterschool enrichment, positive youth development activities and Summer Care childcare affordable for all families
- Serve additional families in its Parents As Teachers (PAT) program for parents with children through age 5
- Purchase books so families in the PAT program and Early Connections groups can start home libraries
"Our families rely on good quality child care to go to work, or to look for work, and area businesses rely on child care as well for their employees," said Lynn Sadlon, director of the Fox Run Family Resource Center on Fillow Street in Norwalk. "Senator Duff and the Norwalk delegation really came through for us and saved the family resource centers."