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Governor McKee, RIDE, and Providence Schools Honor Young Woods Elementary Pre-K Accomplishment

PROVIDENCE, RI – Governor Dan McKee, the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE), and the Providence Public School District (PPSD) honored the educators and students of Young Woods Elementary School Pre-K program today, which recently received a 5-star rating from quality rating and improvement agency BrightStars. Young Woods Pre-K is the first in the District to receive this award.

"This incredible recognition is the result of the unwavering commitment from our educators, students, families, the Providence Public School District, Rhode Island state agencies and our partners, and Young Woods Pre-K is a shining example of this important collaboration," said Governor Dan McKee. "My Administration has made a commitment to making Pre-K accessible to all 39 cities and towns. Access to high-quality early learning is a matter of equity for our state's youngest learners and I encourage all families with eligible children to enter the lottery for RI Pre-K by July 6."

Governor McKee and Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green presented educators and Pre-K leaders with Certificates of Special Recognition for their tireless work.

"Strong early childhood education is foundational for our children, providing them environments to explore, gain a sense of self, and build skills and confidence," said Council on Elementary and Secondary Education Chair Patti DiCenso. "Congratulations to Young Woods Pre-K for becoming the first, but certainly not the last, program in the District to receive this stellar 5-star rating."

BrightStars is managed by the Rhode Island Association for the Education of Young Children, and helps families in Rhode Island access quality child care, early learning, and school-age programs. The program was also supported by the Center for Early Learning Professionals, which helps providers learn about best practices in early learning and apply them to the care children receive.

In order to achieve a BrightStars rating, the Pre-K program at Young Woods was assessed across many quality standards and criteria.

"Congratulations to Young Woods Elementary School Pre-K on the 5-star status! By starting your child's learning journey at four years old, you are setting them up for life-long success in school," said Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green. "As we celebrate this accomplishment, we want to encourage all families to take advantage of free, high-quality early learning. Applying for the RI Pre-K lottery takes just minutes and can have a profound impact on your child's academic and social-emotional development."

Rhode Island has 127 RI Pre-K state classrooms in 18 communities across the state, serving more than 2,300 four-year-old children. To be eligible to attend, children must be 4 years old by September 1, 2022, and be residents of one of the identified RI Pre-K communities.

"Early education plays an important role in school readiness, and it can help set up children for future success. Through our continued partnership with our sister agencies, I am hopeful that we can inspire, motivate and support young children in reaching their full potential," said Yvette M. Mendez, Acting Director of the RI Department of Human Services. "Every occupied seat in our state-funded Pre-K program is a win for our State, our families and, most importantly, our children."

"By providing high quality care from a young age, we are setting our children and families on a path to long-term success," said Providence Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Javier Montañez. "We are incredibly proud of the team and students at Young Woods Elementary, and we're thrilled to see them recognized for their hard work and commitment."

For more information on these communities and the lottery application process, please visit the RIDE RI Pre-K Page. For more information about the Pre-Kindergarten program at Young Woods Elementary School or other BrightStars programs, visit www.BrightStars.org or call 401-739-6100.

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