Preschool scholarship program creates opportunities for young learners

Pictured above: Debbie Owen (left), Chairwoman of Effingham Preschool for All, was presented with a check
for $5,528 from Effingham County Community Foundation board members Melissa Willenborg (center)
and Karen Etter (right) while visiting with students from Discovery Gardens Preschool
at Christ’s Church. Discovery Gardens is one of the many Effingham preschools that
accept confidential scholarships on behalf of the Effingham Preschool for All program.

The Effingham Preschool for All scholarship program has been awarded a $5,528 grant from the Effingham County CommunityWorks Fund to ensure that qualified students have access to a preschool education. It is the mission of Effingham Preschool for All to provide the opportunity for children ages 3 to 5 to attend preschool so that no child within the Effingham Unit #40 School District enters kindergarten without first having at least one year of preschool experience.

In order to qualify for a preschool scholarship, parents first must apply to Headstart. If they do not qualify, parents can then apply for a scholarship which covers the child’s tuition at one of Effingham’s pre-existing preschool programs. Effingham Preschool for All has partnered with the Effingham Public Transit System to provide transportation for the children whose parents cannot get their children to and/or from preschool for only $1 per day.

Effingham Preschool for All started in 2014 and served 15 children in the Effingham Unit #40 School District. There are currently 13 children enrolled for the 2015-2016 school year. All Effingham area preschool programs accept scholarships from the Preschool for All program. More information about the program can be provided by calling Debbie Owen at 217-821-8777.

The Effingham County CommunityWorks Fund is one of several funds administered by the Effingham County Community Foundation, an affiliate of the Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation. For more information, contact Joedy Hightower, President/CEO of the Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation, at 217-342-4988.

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