FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Principal Ruth Haniff, Eccleston Elementary School
407-296-6400 ext. 222
Lauren Hames 407-246-3106
MAYOR DYER TO ANNOUNCE
THE OPENING OF NEW PRE-K CLASSES
Universal Orlando Foundation Steps Up With $100,000 Grant
ORLANDO, Fla. (January 28, 2004) – Mayor Buddy Dyer Thursday at
10:30 a.m. at Eccleston Elementary School will announce the opening
of five new Pre-K classrooms in Orlando. He will be joined by Jan
Stratton, executive director of the Universal Orlando Foundation,
who will announce a $100,000 contribution to this effort.
The Universal Orlando Foundation grant consists of an initial
$50,000 and a $50,000 matching grant. Universal’s matching grant
will be awarded when another business in the community donates
$50,000 to the project.
Last year, Florida voters approved a ballot initiative that will
make voluntary pre-kindergarten education available to all of
Florida’s 4-year-old children starting in 2005. Mayor Dyer’s pledge
upon taking office as Orlando’s mayor was to start expanding Pre-K
opportunities to children immediately.
In addition to Eccleston Elementary, the other new classrooms will
be at Ivey Lane Elementary, Grand Avenue Elementary, Shingle Creek
Elementary and Catalina Elementary.
These five new classrooms join the three new Pre-K classrooms the
Mayor opened in the fall of 2003, at Orange Center Elementary,
Engelwood Elementary and Richmond Heights Elementary School. This
brings the total number of new Pre-K classes opened under Mayor
Dyer’s administration to eight.
The Mayor’s Pre-K initiative is a public/private partnership. Last
summer he appointed the Mayor’s Education Action Council, which has
engaged the Orange County School District, the Orange County School
Readiness Coalition and other interested citizens to acquire grant
funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and
secure contributions from private businesses.
The new Pre-K classrooms meet the highest quality standards in the
field. They have one teacher for every 10 students, the maximum
class size is 20 and teachers are certified in early childhood
education. The curriculum has a strong focus on building children’s
early literacy skills. Children are assessed at the beginning of the
school year and assessed again at the end of the school year to
gauge how effectively the program is building their skills.
Elementary School is located at 1500 Aaron Ave., Orlando, FL
32811. From I-4 take exit 79 heading north on John Young Parkway.
Proceed to L B McLeod Road and make a left. At the next light,
make a right on Bruton Boulevard. Proceed approximately one mile to
Cepeda Street and make a left. It will dead-end at the school.