The El Verano Preschool program will expand due to funding from the Ernest Bates Foundation with additional support from the Vadasz Family Foundation. The program will now enable 44 students to attend each day, nearly doubling the current number.
The preschool will now run both a morning and afternoon session. The public is invited to attend a Preschool Open House on Friday, October 14 at 1:30 p.m. at El Verano school. The event will offer a chance to see the expanded program, and to celebrate the important local support that has made it possible. The Sonoma Valley Unified School District also runs a Jump Start to Kindergarten program during the summer months for incoming students.
El Verano Principal Maite Iturri, a strong advocate of preschool for all students said, “Students who take part in preschool tend to enter kindergarten eager to learn and better prepared for the academic environment. English language learners especially benefit from the experience.”
“It is all linked together as we seek success for our students,” said Laura Zimmerman, Sonoma Valley Education Foundation executive director. “Preschool prepares children for school, and school prepares children for college and a career. Our school district identifies preschool as a key to school success, and these investors are making it possible.”
The Ernest Bates Foundation, headed by Vanessa Robledo, focuses on providing educational opportunities for less privileged African-American and Hispanic children. The Vadasz Family Foundation, based in Sonoma, is dedicated to improving local public schools by investing in meaningful education programs that improve student outcomes. The foundation is a source of support for many youth oriented programs in the Sonoma Valley.