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Somerville Public Schools to Share in $1 Million Statewide Early Education Grant

The funded initiative works to streamline and strengthen early education.

Gov. Deval Patrick announced Friday that $1 million in grants will go toward coordinating partnerships between early learning and elementary education programs. Somerville is one of the five communities receiving part of the funds. 

The initiative, called “Pre-Kindergarten to Third Grade Alignment for Educational Success,” supports school districts and community-based early education and care providers in working together to streamline early education in Massachusetts in hopes of improving academic performance and closing achievement gaps. 

This initiative is part of the four-year Massachusetts Early Learning Plan, funded by a $50 million federal grant won the state won in December 2011.   

“Education is Massachusetts’ calling card around the world and central to our competitiveness in the global economy.  We invest in education because we believe that it is the single most important investment government can make in our collective future," Patrick said in a press release.

The $1 million grant announced Friday will be distrubuted over two years to Somerville Public Schools, Boston Public Schools, Square One (Springfield), Berkshire United Way (Pittsfield), and Thrive in 5/United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley (Boston). 

Components of this more effective and aligned system include:  cooperative governance structures, educator collaboration and shared professional development, aligned curricula and assessment systems, streamlined data collection, joint parent and family engagement efforts, and access to extended learning opportunities, according to the administration's press release.

To learn more about the Commonwealth’s Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge plan visit http://www.mass.gov/edu/mass-awarded-federal-grant-for-early-learning-.html

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