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Hinchey visits Catskill to see new UPK program in action

Sep 22, 2021 6:00 am

Porcupine Soup is reporting state Senator Michelle Hinchey joined school officials and teachers at Catskill Elementary September 21, to welcome students back to class. This included 36 students who now have access to full-day pre-K for four-year-olds thanks to just over $200,000 in funding secured by Hinchey in the 2021-2022 state budget. The state Senate this year approved $105 million in funding to expand pre-K programs statewide, providing first-time funding to school districts for full-day pre-K. Greene County was allocated more than $690,000 and the ability to create 105 new pre-K spots countywide. Dr. Ronel Cook, superintendent of schools for the Catskill Central School District, said he is grateful for Hinchey’s advocacy for Universal Pre-Kindergarten funding. “The monies have been used to establish a full-day Pre-Kindergarten program with a strong emphasis on early literacy and early numeracy,” said Cook. “When we were a half-day program, families had a difficult time with day care,” John Rivers, principal of Catskill Elementary School, said. “Oftentimes transportation was a challenge that families were faced with. By offering a full day program families are less restricted by the school schedule allowing families to coordinate school, work and daycare.” Hinchey represents six school districts in Greene County, including Cairo-Durham, Catskill Central, Coxsackie-Athens, Greenville, Hunter-Tannersville, and Windham-Ashland-Jewett. The districts have received more than $65 million in total state-funded school aid this year, a 9.59 percent increase over last year. Read the full story at porcupine soup [dot] com.