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2017-2018 Pre-K Expansion Districts

Here are some of their stories…

Below are short stories and pictures about some of the recent 26 pre-k expansion districts – their families, classrooms and preschoolers. You can a read the brief summary of each story, or click to see expanded content, quotes and pictures about a particular community. We want everyone to celebrate pre-k expansion success – and to work to make funding available in these communities beyond the current school year.


Return to this page often, as we plan to feature new info and stories about some of the other 26 recent expansion communities. Email us at to find out how we can share YOUR story! Remember: There are nearly 65 communities with NJ’s pre-k, including a total of 26 districts with pre-k expansion funding for the 2017-2018 school year. However, 50,000 NJ kids are still waiting across hundreds of communities.

Rahway (December)

More than 100 parents attended the Rahway School District's first "Back to Preschool Night" - only a few weeks after the start of pre-k expansion. Questions were welcomed, and parents gained first-hand understanding about how each day encourages learning, socialization, language development and other skills.

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Rahway (October)

"The Rahway School District received the largest pre-k expansion grant...(e)ight classrooms in five Rahway District schools…for 260 4-year-old Rahway preschoolers."

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In Jamesburg, parents learned about the preschool program at the Principal's Q&A session - complete with kids already making friends.

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Wharton School District received the only pre-k expansion funding in Morris County. Working with Head Start Community Program of Morris County, Wharton provided pre-k to 3- and 4-year-olds.

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Bradley Beach

Children in Bradley Beach were a little apprehensive before counting down the ribbon cutting with 1-2-3, then 4, 5, 9, 14…

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According to Superintendent Rosa Diaz, "These funds allow us to provide an additional 60 students with a full-day, high-quality program…. Vanessa Mironov, Title I and Staff Development Coordinator added, "(W)e are investing in the future when we invest in our quality pre-k program!"

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Logan Township School District opened their classroom doors to ALL 4-year-olds making this the first time all 4-year-old student-residents were able to attend a state-funded full-day pre-k program. (A parent) expressed her thoughts by saying "Thank you for an amazing program, which allows working parents a full-day pre-k in our district! Great job!"

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North Plainfield

North Plainfield School District's Superintendent's Message says it all: "Our newest and perhaps our most exciting news is full-day preschool for all district 4-year-olds...We are extremely happy to be able to offer the gift of preschool education to the families we serve.”

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Deptford Township

The Deptford Township School District is pleased to welcome 105 Spartan 3-year-olds….A district parent…shares how her son… has benefitted: "He has made a few friends and is very excited about that. He is not nearly as shy as he used to be. He is opening up even to some of my elderly family members who he hardly sees. He is also getting on a set schedule, and is used to his morning routine..."

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The Willingboro School District involved the entire community to celebrate the opening day of pre-k …"To a chorus of cheers and applause, over 25 new preschool students walked through a line of cheerleaders and school officials welcoming them on their first day…” Board of Education Vice President Tonya Brown said she was "so excited" about the new program. "Preschool is where it starts."

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Englewood received a pre-k expansion grant and opened four new preschool classrooms. The district's (expanded) pre-k program is provided in recently renovated facilities by the Bergen Family Center, which works with the district on after-school programs and housed the district's preschool program years ago.

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Thanks to Bayonne School District's recent pre-k expansion grant, the city has been able to add to its existing number of pre-k classes and now provides state-funded, full-day pre-k at five schools. “We worked around the clock," said interim Superintendent Michael Wanko, "to make pre-k expansion happen in Bayonne."

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When expansion funding became a possibility, the entire (Somerville) district and community collaborated to make full-day pre-k a reality. "There were lots of phone calls from parents about interest in pre-k and going full-day before classes began," said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Timothy Teehan….Full-day access to pre-k provides assistance to the large community of Somerville's working parents because the average cost of full-day pre-k in the Somerville area can range from $425 - $500 per week, or $1300 - $1600 per month, per child for multiple children in a family.

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