Full-time kindergarten program begins Thursday | VailDaily.com

Full-time kindergarten program begins Thursday

EAGLE COUNTY ” When the Eagle County School District reopens the doors to its eight elementary schools for classes Thursday, 490 children will enter the Success at Six kindergarten program.

Success at Six is the county’s first, full-time early learning programs that has have open to every family in the county that wants to participate, regardless of their financial situation.

“We are thrilled that over 90 percent of Eagle County’s families with eligible children plan to take advantage of this program,” said Ceil Folz, president of the Vail Valley Foundation. “Success at Six will most definitely impact a much greater number of children than originally planned.”

In September of 2004, the Vail Valley Foundation began raising the $2,250 per child needed to fund the program. The Public Education Foundation of Eagle County matched the funds.

“I can’t tell you how much this means,” Avon Elementary principal Barbara Collins said. “This program is one of the most important things that the foundation could have undertaken from an educational standpoint. It’s an amazing opportunity for all these kids and this community.”

At Avon Elementary School, the early learning programs two years ago only accounted for about 30 to 40 school days a year, Collins said.

The Success at Six program has a sliding funding scale, with families with the greatest financial need receiving full scholarships. Each family is required to pay at least $55 per child per month to ensure a commitment to following through with the program.

“Achievement gains are significant If children can get this sort of head start” said Melinda Gladitsch of the Eagle County School District. “In addition, this age range also represents the least costly and the most effective time to introduce this type of program.”

For more information about Success as Six call the Vail Valley Foundation at 949-1999 or visit http://www.vvf.org.

Vail, Colorado

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