Whitney Point Pre-K expands

By Alicia Nieves

August 19, 2014 Updated Aug 19, 2014 at 7:23 PM EDT

Whitney Point, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Whitney Point's Universal Pre-K Program will receive nearly $500,000 of funding to support and expand its program.

The competitive grant from New York State, will allow the district to double the program's capability.

They will expand their four half-day programs to four full-day programs, and add a new fifth full-day program.

Currently, there are 62 students in Whitney Point's Universal Pre-K Program, but with the new funding they will be able to add an additional 15 students this year.

The district was turned down for this grant back in December,
and they said the news of this grant came as a pleasant surprise, late yesterday.

With just two weeks before school starts, district officials say they have a lot to prepare.

"We have some hiring to do, we have some classrooms to prepare, we will be looking at curriculum," said Patricia Follette, Superintendent of the Whitney Point Central School District.

The superintendent added, most of the money will be used towards new salaries for about three new teachers and a number of new aides.

Spencer Van Etten Central School district is another district that will receive funding, receiving $72,756.

In total about 81 school districts will receive funding under the Universal Full-Day Pre-Kindergarten Program.