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More than 650 Lakewood Kids Are Waiting for Access to Pre-K

Lakewood featured in new Pre-K Our Way Advertisement

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – Lakewood was included in advertisements released this week by Pre-K Our Way, a nonprofit, statewide effort that helps New Jersey’s communities bring high-quality pre-k to their children. The online and television ads show the impact on local communities who were promised, but are still waiting for, access to the state’s high-quality preschool program. In Lakewood, more than 650 three- and four-year olds wait each year for access to preschool, with more than 3,600 kids waiting in nearly every other community in Ocean County.

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When the school aid funding formula was adopted in 2008, it called for the expansion of New Jersey’s pre-k program to children in hundreds of communities across New Jersey, including Lakewood. Unfortunately, this provision of the law was never funded, leaving 50,000 kids statewide waiting each year for the opportunity to be prepared for school and ready for success.

“50,000 New Jersey children in nearly every school district across the state are waiting to have access to New Jersey’s high-quality pre-k program,” said Sam Crane of Pre-K Our Way. “There is no more important education investment we can make to ensure the long-term success of our children.”

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Pre-K Our Way’s new advertising campaign is a call to community members and families for the state’s leaders to make pre-k expansion a priority in revisions to the school aid funding formula. In recent weeks, both the Legislature – through hearings – and Governor – in his Budget Message –  have called for bipartisan discussion to address inequities in the state school aid funding formula. Those interested in getting involved can learn how to spread the word about Pre-K Our Way, tell their legislators why pre-k is important to them or share their stories about pre-k at www.prekourway.org.

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You can view the advertisement including Lakewood online here: https://youtu.be/iCLix5JxVm0

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Pre-K Our Way, a nonpartisan and nonprofit community-based organization, coordinated through a diverse group of business leaders, parents, foundations, early childhood educators, community leaders interested citizens and elected officials, engages communities on expanding NJ’s existing high-quality public preschool for their children. Visit our website at www.prekourway.org for more information.

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