Maumee City Schools is preparing to start extended kindergarten sessions and an after-school program for elementary school students from low-income families.
The district plans to fund the program with a grant from Lucas County Job and Family Services worth more than $88,000. The grant money will pay mainly for personnel and transportation costs.
The school district is scheduled to start the program on April 11.
"We are moving very quickly to provide the services," said Ann Roberts, the principal of Fort Miami Elementary School and coordinator of the new program. "We're all excited about it."
Maumee schools offer half-day kindergarten classes. The extended kindergarten will give a few additional hours of instruction to eligible students.
The extended kindergarten classes will take place at all four of the district's elementary schools, so the district plans to pay for four teachers to oversee the classes. During the kindergarten sessions, students will focus on strengthening their reading skills.
"We can provide very small groups with intensive instruction," Ms. Roberts said.
The district expects about 90 children to be involved with the extended kindergarten sessions and after-school program, which will cater to first, second, and third graders.
To sign their children up, parents will be required to show proof of income that verifies their family income is below the poverty line. The federal government says a family of four is below the poverty line if the annual family income is less than $19,350.
Carol Rehm, deputy director of the job and family services agency, said the county recently awarded several grants to area school districts, but Maumee is the only school system using grant money on a program for young children.
"We're happy to be able to help out Maumee schools," Ms. Rehm said.
The county is unsure whether similar money will be available next year, so Maumee schools may only offer this program for a few months.
"This is a limited opportunity. We're not sure where we'll go from here," Curriculum Director Beth Wagoner said. "Our funding is all up in the air for next year."