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The Oregon Department of Education Early Learning Division has awarded Lincoln County School District $465,000 in the initial round of funding of Preschool Promise grants, which were part of the Student Investment Account application process.

These funds will allow LCSD to offer 36 free slots in their early childhood learning programs in all four areas of the county to families who are within 200 percent of the Federal Poverty level beginning November 2.

Preschool Promise is a model for a publicly-funded, high-quality preschool system. Preschool Promise leverages high-quality, local, and culturally-relevant early child care and education programs and makes them available to children living at 200 percent of the poverty level. By incorporating a mixed delivery approach, which recognizes that high quality early learning experiences can take place in a wide variety of settings, Preschool Promise provides opportunities for families to access and choose the preschool setting which best meets their needs.

Lauren Sigman, Early Learning Coordinator for LCSD helped to prepare the grant request and oversees the early childhood development program for Lincoln County School District’s program.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to be able to provide free high-quality preschool to the many children in our community who generally are not able to access these services," Sigman said. "We are fortunate to be joined by other programs in our County who were also awarded Preschool Promise funding. Samaritan Early Learning Center, Yachats Youth, and Family Activities Program and a home-based program owned by Bobbi Corwin in Waldport.

"We are also excited to continue our partnership with the LBL-ESD Early Childhood Special Education program in order to provide an inclusive program for all children.”

The funding will be used to pay for staff, supplies, curriculum and other program operating costs which are usually funded using the income from tuition charged to families. Having this funding will allow LCSD to continue to operate a high-quality early learning program without having to charge families who qualify for free tuition.

The slots will be awarded through a coordinated enrollment process led by the Linn, Benton, Lincoln Early Learning Hub. Families who are interested in applying or have questions should contact preschoolpromise@linnbenton.edu and request a Preschool Screening Interest Survey.

More information can be found on the Lincoln County School District website https://lincoln.k12.or.us/academics/early-learning/preschool-promise/

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