The Journal Gazette
Monday, November 22, 2021 11:56 pm

Virus relief funds could help FWCS preschool programs

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

Fort Wayne Community Schools plans to use federal coronavirus relief dollars toward preschool play.

The board tonight unanimously approved acceptance of Build, Learn, Grow Stabilization grants from the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration.

These non-competitive grants are capped at $500,000 per licensed preschool program for the 2021-23 academic years and will be distributed statewide in three-month increments until the $540 million state allocation is exhausted, according to information provided to the board.

At FWCS, the dollars will support preschool programs at Abbett, Adams, Bloomingdale, Brentwood, Fairfield, Forest Park, Franke Park, Harrison Hill, Holland, Indian Village, Lindley, Maplewood, Northcrest, Scott, South Wayne, Study, Washington, Waynedale and Whitney Young.

It's unrealistic FWCS will receive the maximum $500,000 for each school, partly because of the number of programs statewide, Kimberly Brooks, Title I director, said. About 2,000 applied in the first round, and child care centers – not public schools – are the more typical applicant.

"There's not too many public schools that have licensed preschool programs like we do," Brooks said.

The funding was established by the federal American Rescue Plan Act in March to support early childhood programs in response to the pandemic.

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