Central New York, Community, Education

Increase in Preschool Opportunities in Syracuse With New Grant Money

(c) 2016 Amanda Caffey


By Amanda Caffey SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC NEWS) – More kids in Syracuse will be going to preschool. The New York State Department of Education granted funding to 25 high need districts for the expansion of existing pre-kindergarten programming.

“Being able to take advantage of free preschool in the city really helps parents be able to go out into the workforce and work a full-time job,” Syeisha Byrd, the mother of a preschooler in an existing program, said.

TheSyracuse City School District (SCSD) received the highest award – over one million dollars will go towards expanding preschool programs, new SCSD staff, classroom materials and field trips. Funding will support about 150 new students in programs at the Atonement Childcare Center, Catholic Charities, PEACE Inc. Head Starts, the Salvation Army and the SCSD.

Graduation rates in the SCSD are lower than both the state and national average. Byrd said she believes that getting students in the classroom learning their letters, numbers, and shapes sooner, will help improve test results.

“Our kids need education earlier,” Byrd said. “Waiting until kindergarten is not the solution.”

More Central New York Districts that received preschool funding:

  • Rome City
  • Watertown
  • Auburn
  • Jordan-Elbridge