Governor Terry McAuliffe visited Ecoff Elementary School and their pre-Kindergarten classroom last week. The new pre-K program was made possible through new Federal dollars and the Virginia Preschool Initiative to serve at-risk youth.
McAuliffe believes every child in Virginia should have access to a pre-K education and has made this a priority initiative of his administration. His interaction during his visit with the children cemented his commitment to education and Virginia’s youth and his efforts to bring Federal dollars to Virginia school districts.
After asking several questions of the four-year-olds, singing Happy Birthday along with the students for a fellow classmate, McAuliffe read “Charlie Anderson” to the class of 16 students.
Chesterfield County Public Schools will receive about $1.8 million a year for the next four years under the $17.5 million-a-year Federal Preschool Expansion Grant awarded to Virginia in December.
Nineteen of the county’s 38 elementary schools, are being served with a pre-K program.
Superintendent Dr. Marcus Newsome, along with school board members, Carrie Coyner and Diane Smith, joined the Ecoff administration welcoming the Governor’s visit.
Superintendent Newsome recognizes the fact that Pre-K programs are important in a child’s education. “My wife is a kindergarten teacher,” he said. “She recognizes students that have been in a pre-K program and there is evidence that children with pre-K experience show considerable differences [with their classmates who have not attended a pre-K program].”
Principal Joshua Cole was honored to have been selected by the governor’s office for his visit. “It is an honor to have been selected,” he said. “We have an incredible teacher, Mrs. Saunders, and the program has had a fantastic head-start.”