Hough pool property to serve preschoolers through ESD 112's ECEAP program - 06/25/14
The state's Department of Early Learning has awarded a $1.1 million grant to Educational Service District 112 that will result in additional preschool experiences for children in the region. The funding will add capacity for an additional108 children beyond the current 122 slots. This brings the total to 230 children served in Clark, Klickitat and Pacific Counties. Some of the children will attend preschool at the former Hough Pool property located at 1801 Esther Street in Vancouver. The Hough Foundation Board of Directors signed an agreement at its June 17 meeting to sell the property to ESD 112.
"This opportunity is very exciting," said Hough Foundation Executive Director Barbara Hammon "It's been our vision to assist in providing early education at Hough and a dream to have children back in that space. Everything is coming together to make that happen. It's a match made in heaven!" she added.
The slots for local children are part of a statewide expansion of the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program, or ECEAP. The full-day program is for children from low-income homes.
Early education is a key focus of the three partners, including ESD 112, the Hough Foundation and Vancouver Public Schools. ESD will operate the program on the Hough site, and VPS will provide hot lunches and share the playground space at Hough Elementary. "I couldn't be more pleased with the opportunity to partner with Vancouver Public Schools and the Hough Foundation to provide such critical services for young children who would not otherwise be able to attend preschool," said Superintendent Dr. Twyla Barnes. "All three organizations are deeply committed to early learning and this partnership will greatly benefit our community," she added.
The Legislature allocated about $13 million to add 1,350 ECEAP slots for the 2014-15 school year as part of an ongoing effort to serve all eligible children by 2019. The state Department of Early Learning received 35 applications from providers, such as school or education service districts, for the new slots. Through this award, ESD 112 will also provide services to children at additional new locations in partnership with Crossroads Community Church at the Lord's Gym in Vancouver, with Country Friends Child Care and Preschool program in Hockinson and through Southwest Washington Child Care Consortium's Image Elementary site.
ABOUT ESD 112:
Educational Service District 112 enables school districts to concentrate more time, money and energy on student learning. Headquartered in Vancouver, ESD 112 provides local and regional cooperative programs and services to school districts and communities in the six counties of Southwest Washington. ESD 112 was established by the Legislature in 1969 as one of nine regional educational service centers to work in partnership with local communities and school districts to provide support services for student instruction, professional development for staff, and technical assistance in the administration of schools. The agency offers more than 250 cooperatives and services ranging from interactive telecommunications to the child care network. There are 30 public schools, 23 private schools and two state schools serving 100,000 students and 15,000 school employees who benefit from ESD services.