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City of Richmond awards grant money for early childhood education

Seven organizations are getting part of a $619,000 grant
Published: May. 15, 2022 at 6:36 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Mayor Levar Stoney taking a step to support early childhood education. The city is giving out over $600,000 in grants to organizations rooted in early development and childcare.

Seven organizations are getting a portion of the $619,000 grant in hopes to expand and stabilize early childhood development programs.

The YMCA is one of the organizations receiving a portion of the funds. They say they will use $75,000 to open two new preschools. One will be located at Life Center Church on Bryce Lane and the other at Liberation Church off Midlothian Turnpike.

“Regardless of their neighborhood or their family situation that they have access to high-quality instruction to help them get prepared for kindergarten and beyond,” said YMCA Associate Vice President of Youth Development Pam Smith.

The new schools will open in the fall and will follow guidelines set by the Virginia Department of Education.

“We’ll be doing academic content as well as social/emotional supports in learning,” Smith explained.

Other organizations getting some of the grant money include Fulton Montessori, Woodville Day Nursery and St. James Children’s Center. The funds will help them rebuild their programs, many of which took a hit during the pandemic.

“In the wake of the COVID pandemic there’s been such a void in that space from providers who have had to close and parents who have had changes in their job situations,” Smith said.

Stoney also says he wants to make universal preschool a reality in the City of Richmond.

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