Mayor Bill deBlasio came to Riverdale to visit one of the longest running Pre-K site that has successfully been in operation since the 1940's according to Daniel Eudene the Executive Director of the Riverdale Neighborhood Neighborhood House. Currently 70 children are being served with half day Pre-K that will increase to full day Pre-K starting at the beginning of the new school year in September. As he arrive Mayor de Blasio stopped to chat with Ms. Melissa Shields mother of a soon to be Pre-K child and her one year old sister. The mayor and the local elected officials then toured the Riverdale Neighborhood House to see the Pre-K program in action. They also learned that the RNN is also a teen after school center and much more.
The mayor and other elected officials then came outside to discuss what they had seen and just what the mayor's Pre-K program was all about. As he spoke Mayor de Blasio thanked State Senator Jeff Klein in getting the funding put into the state budget after the mayor was unable to have a Pre-K tax passed in Albany. Senator Klein said as Co-Leader of the state senate that he was not going to approve a state budget that did not have a Pre-K plan in it. Klein and other elected officials who spoke said that when children go through a Pre- K class that the students do better in school than others who do not receive the benefit of a Pre-K class.
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. echoed Senator Klein's words with the story of his two children who received a Pre-K program, and now both are in college with one graduating soon. Riverdale Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz and Councilman Andrew Cohen were also on hand, and both gave examples of the virtue of the Pre[-K program.
The deadline for public school sign up was Wednesday April 23rd, but with many public schools not having enough space (if any) Community Based Organizations such as RNN will be called upon to fill the over 50,000 Pre-K seats that are projected for the beginning 0f the September 2014 school year. Mayor de Blasio said that when the Pre-K program is fully implemented in its second year that 70,000 Pre-K seats will be available citywide.
Left - Mayor Bill de Blasio chats with Mellisa Shields mother of 3 1/2 year old Isabella and 1 year old Zoey.
Right - Mayor de Blasio explains the Pre-K plan as Senator Jeff Klein watches with Bronx BP Ruben Diaz Jr. and schools chancellor Carmen Farina also in the photo.
Left - State Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein speaks about how he would not approve a state budget that did not include the funding for the Pre-K program by Mayor de Blasio.
Right - Bronx BP Ruben Diaz Jr. tells of the success story in his family of his two children going to college. He adds that it was the Pre-K program that they attended that built the solid educational foundation for them.
RNN Executive Director Daniel Eudene explains the success of the RNN Pre-K program that dates back to the 1940's. It currently has 70 children in its Pre-K program.