60 more kids can attend preschool at Westminster, Wolfe elementaries Shorter version of Head Start

August 24, 1993|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,Staff Writer

A beefed-up state grant will pay for 60 more county children to take preschool classes at Westminster and Elmer Wolfe elementary schools in the fall.

The program will be a shorter version of the Head Start classes the county already offers at Elmer Wolfe and four other schools in the county.

The new class at Elmer Wolfe is already full, but there are still spaces at Westminster, for as many as 20 children in a morning session and 20 in an afternoon class. Each class will last 2 1/2 hours.

To be eligible, a child must be 4 years old by Dec. 31 and live in the Westminster, William Winchester or Robert Moton elementary school districts. However, transportation is available only for children in the Westminster Elementary district, said Patricia Amass, who supervises grant programs for Carroll County schools.

Parents who want to register their children should call Mrs. Amass at 848-8280.

The program will be similar to Head Start, but an hour shorter. The goal is to give students a "head start" in learning so that they have skills they need to succeed in kindergarten and first grade, Mrs. Amass said.

Federal Head Start grants are available to schools based on the percentage of low-income families in the attendance area. Once a school gets a Head Start class, however, any student who lives in the area is eligible to enroll, regardless of family income.

The new money for the additional 60 children comes through the state-funded Extended Elementary Education Program. Carroll schools got an additional $88,000 this year, with about two-thirds going to start two new classes at Westminster and one-third to add a class at Elmer Wolfe, Mrs. Amass said.

In other schools with Head Start, administrators combine the money from the federal and state grants to have one prekindergarten program. The county also pays a share of the cost.

Head Start covers about 88 children, while the state grant will cover 100 this year, including the addition of the 60.

In addition to being an hour shorter than Head Start classes, these new classes at Westminster have limited money for transportation, Mrs. Amass said. Only children who live in the attendance area for Westminster Elementary School will get free bus transportation. Parents from the other two schools, Winchester and Robert Moton, would have to provide transportation for their children to attend the program, she said.

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