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  CONTACT: Jennifer Sroka
PHONE: (313) 593-5644
DATE: Sept. 24, 2002

Child Development Center receives grant to support tuition for at-risk children

DEARBORN---The Child Development Center (CDC) on the campus of the University of Michigan-Dearborn has received a $26,400 grant from the Michigan Department of Education's Michigan School Readiness Program (MSRP) to fund tuition for at-risk children who would like to attend the CDC's preschool program.

Four-year-old children who may be at risk of becoming educationally disadvantaged or who exhibit special needs will be eligible for the grant.

"Studies conducted by High/Scope Educational Research Foundation have shown that children who are at risk and participate in quality preschool programs are better prepared upon entering school and continue to show academic progress five years later," according to Deborah Jones, CDC education coordinator.

The grant will allow eight children per year to attend the CDC program for four half-days free of charge. To qualify for the grant, children must exhibit at least two of 24 risk factors as defined by the state Board of Education. The majority of the children have low income as one risk factor. Other factors include low birth weight and parental substance abuse or addiction.

Priority for participation in the grant program will be given to student, staff and faculty families.

The CDC has provided a quality preschool program to students, faculty, staff and the community for over 25 years.

"UM-Dearborn's administration and the CDC recognize the cost of high quality education and care," Jones said. "The administration has provided additional funding for teacher salaries and technology. For the past three years, the CDC has not increased the preschool tuition rate in order to better serve the campus and community."

Scholarships are offered during the Fall and Winter terms to help defray tuition costs for current CDC families. The CDC applied for the MSRP grant as part of its continuing efforts to make the CDC program available to children at risk particularly for families who are in financial need.

To be eligible for the grant, children must be 4 years old with birthdays between Dec 2, 1997 and Dec. 1, 1998.

For more information about the MSRP grant, contact the Child Development Center at (313) 593-5424.




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