CONTACT: Maryalicia Johnson 407-246-3629, 407-468-3379
MAYOR DYER’S PRE-K PROGRAM GETS
$1 MILLION FEDERAL GRANT
ORLANDO, FL (October 3, 2003) -- Mayor Buddy Dyer today announced
that the Orange County School Readiness Coalition, on behalf of the
Mayor’s Education Action Council, has received a $1 million grant
from the Department of Health and Human Services to help fund
pre-kindergarten classes in Orange County Public Schools in the City
of Orlando ahead of the state mandate to provide pre-k by 2005.
“This grant will enable us to fund a total 180 kids at eight sites,
and it couldn’t come at a better time,” said Mayor Dyer.
In July, Mayor Dyer established the Mayor’s Education Action
Council, chaired by Attorney Bill Sublette, to implement new
programs for education excellence. The Readiness Subcommittee of the
Group, chaired by Florida Hospital Vice President Rich Morrison, has
been the force behind establishing pre-k programs, targeting those
schools with the greatest need. Literacy is the primary focus of the
pre-k program, and pre and post assessments of students will show
how well the program is working and if the participants are ready
The students will benefit from an additional $440,000 in funding for
the program, including a $200,000 contribution from City of Orlando,
$30,000 from Walt Disney World, $20,000 from Orlando Utilities
Commission, $21,000 from Architect C. T. Hsu’s fundraising efforts
and $130,000 provided by the Orange County Readiness Coalition.
“Congresswoman Corrine Brown and Congressman Ric Keller were
instrumental in securing the grant funding, and we want to recognize
their significant contribution," said Mayor Dyer.
“I think it’s important to emphasize that we are not just funding
pre-kindergarten classes,” said Mayor Dyer. “We are establishing a
universal framework for pre-k with measurable outcomes that will
serve as a pilot for communities across Florida.”