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Gilchrist County Schools Awarded $120,000.00 through United Way Grant
On Monday, June 27th, the Gilchrist County School District was officially notified that they will be receiving $120,000.00 in grant funds as one of United Way’s outstanding partner agencies. The funds were awarded through a competitive grant writing cycle, in which Education, Income, and Health were the focus. Funding will be available for a three year period from July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2019.
These funds will go directly toward scholarships for disadvantaged three and four year old students to attend Pre-school over the course of the next three years, with particular emphasis on allowing students to extend the half day services that they already receive through the State of Florida’s Voluntary Pre-K (VPK) Program. By funding the second half of the school day for students to remain in school, students will have access to quality education, food service, health programs, screenings and access to school programs already in place like migrant, homeless, counseling, and after school care. Needy families are able to access after-school care beyond this program through matching funds from the Consortium of Florida's Education Foundations (CFEF).
Gilchrist County Schools have demonstrated the quality of the existing pre-kindergarten program through site visits and outstanding performance data. Records indicate that students who receive this quality programming consistently score “Ready” for Kindergarten much more frequently than peers who do not. In addition, longitudinal data indicate that, on average, students who attend this pre-k program are still on grade level in 3rd grade.
By partnering with the Gilchrist County School System for the next three years, United Way will have saved our working parents almost half a million dollars in child care costs, while also allowing our parents to sustain employment, build economic stability, invest back into the county in which they live, and ultimately build a stronger community.
Superintendent Rob Rankin states, “We’re proud to continue to partner with the United Way to build a stronger community benefitting our students and our families. We have strong Pre-K Programs here in our school system, and we are pleased that United Way is continuing our partnership to help our students and families in need.” For more information regarding this program, please contact Pre-K Coordinator Salley Martin at (352) 463-4406. For inquiries regarding the grant, please contact Director of Resource Development Patricia Powers at (352) 463-4408.
If you are interested in sending your child to pre-school at Trenton or Bell Elementary, please go online to fill out a Pre-K enrollment and school registration form on the school’s website at www.gilchristschools.org. Be sure to obtain a VPK Certificate from the Early Learning Coalition in Chiefland if your child is or will be 4 this school year. You will need your child’s birth certificate and proof of 911 address. Turn in your certificate to your school or at the school board district office. You will be contacted about a registration date in August. Join our partnership for a stronger community!
About United Way of North Central Florida
United Way of North Central Florida is a locally governed organization dedicated to leading the community to focus on issues and build solutions that improve lives. United Way engages the community to identify the underlying causes of the most significant local issues, develops strategies and pulls together financial and human resources to address them, and measures the results. United Way works to advance the common good by focusing on: supporting children and families, meeting immediate needs and good health. For more information about United Way of North Central Florida, please visit: www.unitedwayncfl.org.