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Blue Ridge Receives Grant To Expand Pre-K Program

The Blue Ridge School District received good news that will allow them to reach younger students.

The district was recently received a grant that will go to their Pre-K program. The grant is annual grant that in the past has been handed out by the state, and each district had no input into the process of distribution. However, this year the grant was competitive and school's across the state were able to apply for the grant. Susan Wilson is the Superintendent of Blue Ridge Schools, she believes this year the state tried to focus more on those districts with at risk kids who were in the most need of the grant. According Wilson, about 40% of Blue Ridges students would qualify for at risk students, which is a lot of the reason the district received the grant.

[audio:blueridgeprekgrant1.mp3]A Word From Wilson[/audio]

Blue Ridge currently serves both Pre-K students and also Pre-K students with special needs. The grant the district received will also allow Blue Ridge to expand on serving those students with special needs. Wilson says the grant could potentially allow the number of Pre-K students the district has to double.

[audio:blueridgeprekgrant2.mp3]A Word From Wilson[/audio]

The state has promised those recipients of the grant they will be receiving the money for their programs. Wilson says with the track record of the state, nothing is for sure. She feels the state needs to be honest with school districts about the money they will be giving them instead of making half-empty promises.

[audio:blueridgeprekgrant3.mp3]A Word From Wilson[/audio]

The Blue Ridge Board of Education will discuss the expansion of staff members with the news of the district receiving this grant. Wilson believes if the board approves it, the district could see the hiring an addition of a Pre-K and a Pre-K teaching assistant.

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