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Enrollment For City Full Day Pre-K Booming

More students than ever are enrolled in full day pre-kindergarten in Rochester.
More students than ever are enrolled in full day pre-kindergarten in Rochester. 

Rochelle Hayes says she has seen the benefits of half day pre-K at School #33 in her four-year-old daughter Alexis. 

"She sees what's going on and it's great that it's being reinforced at school," she said.

But Rochelle says Alexis often leaves school still eager to learn. That is one reason why she is hoping to enroll her three-year-old son Michael in full day pre-K next year. Two classrooms at School #33 offer full day pre-K. It is two of seven full day programs district wide. That means an additional 823 students now stay for a six hour school day. The goal is to improve reading levels and development in students at a younger age. 

"A good start determined how you're going to finish and universal pre-K has been determined to be one of the best investments," Rochester City School District Superintendent Bolgen Vargas said.

The mid-year expansion is being paid for through a $5.9 million state grant. Governor Andrew Cuomo's goal is to offer universal full day pre-K statewide. Some local lawmakers agree.

"We can't miss the opportunity. It would be a tragedy to do that. We're not going to do that. We're going to make sure there are resources all across the state for both rich and poor," Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle said.

For more information on how to register your child for universal pre-K, click here.
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