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12/23/2014 - Blumenthal, Murphy, and Mayor Finch Visit Pre-K Students at Beardsley School, Celebrate Holiday Season with Announcement of Funding to Expand High-Quality Pre-K

“As a parent, and mayor of the state's largest city, I've seen firsthand how tough it is for kids who don't have access to quality early childhood education. And research is clear: If kids aren't reading at the level they should be by third grade, they're less likely to graduate. That’s why this is such great news for hundreds of Bridgeport kids. It will help ensure more kids are ready to one day compete for jobs in the future.” – Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch

  • WHAT: Blumenthal, Murphy, Mayor Finch, Superintendent Rabinowitz, and other elected officials celebrate funding for 180 new pre-k spaces in Bridgeport
  • WHEN: Tuesday, December 23rd at 11:30am
  • WHERE: Beardsley School (Room 102) 500 Huntington Road, Bridgeport, CT
  • WHO: U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch, Bridgeport Public Schools Superintendent Fran Rabinowitz, and Other elected officials

Bridgeport, Conn. (December 23, 2014)— Today, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) will be joined by Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch and Bridgeport Public Schools Superintendent Fran Rabinowitz as they celebrate the holiday season with a recently awarded federal grant that will enable Bridgeport to fund 180 new high-quality pre-kindergarten spaces for low-income children. During the event, the legislators and local officials will visit Beardsley School’s pre-k classroom and highlight the importance of making early childhood education available to all families across Connecticut. The grant, which is funded by the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services, will provide the state with $12.5 million in discretionary federal funding to expand high-quality preschool throughout Connecticut.

“As a parent, and mayor of the state's largest city, I've seen firsthand how tough it is for kids who don't have access to quality early childhood education,” said Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch. “And research is clear: If kids aren't reading at the level they should be by third grade, they're less likely to graduate. That’s why this is such great news for hundreds of Bridgeport kids. It will help ensure more kids are ready to one day compete for jobs in the future.”

Connecticut’s expansion plan for the federal grant aligns with the state’s strong existing preschool infrastructure to expand access to high-quality state-funded preschool programs for 428 children and to improve the quality of state-funded preschool programs for another 284 children, for a total of 712 four-year-olds who are at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Line in 14 high-need communities. The 14 communities are Bridgeport, Derby, East Haven, Griswold, Groton, Hamden, Hebron, Killingly, Manchester, Naugatuck, Seymour, Torrington, Vernon and Wolcott.