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HOPE Toledo program aims to help provide tuition assistance for early childhood learning

A demonstration model will be in place this fall.
The new program will help provide tuition assistance for early childhood learning
The new program will help provide tuition assistance for early childhood learning(WTVG)
Published: May. 14, 2021 at 7:35 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - HOPE Toledo is a non-profit that’s helped dozens of students at Scott High School pay for college. It’s called the Promise Program, and it continues today. But the work of the organization stretches a lot farther than that.

The focus moving forward, will also be on some of the littlest learners in the city. The goal of HOPE Toledo is to support and ensure access to high quality education to as many people as possible, from birth to career.

“We know that in Toledo, 80% of kids entering kindergarten are not ready to learn,” said John C. Jones, president of HOPE Toledo. “The question becomes what do we do as a community to elevate comprehensive and community-based approaches to early childhood education. We are working on that through this new program.”

Pre-K is where learning in a classroom setting begins for many children.

“Accessibility and affordability to early childhood learning are two key words,” said Jones.

The Pre-K program will work with school districts and community-based providers. One of the goals is to give parents tuition assistance.

“HOPE Toledo exists to provide extra dollars that will help families cross that bridge.,” said Jones. “That is a critical component in increasing the quality of education and the re-investment in our community. The most important investment is of course our kids.”

“We believe all our kids deserve a quality, early childhood experience. We know the foundation that is built here will impact them for the rest of their life,” said Dr. Karen McCoy, president of Toledo Day Nursey, which will be part of the program.

There will be layers of involvement with HOPE Toledo Pre-K. Social service agencies, faith-based leaders as well as corporate and community funders will all be included in the effort.

“It is a very large table with people who are invested, engaged and committed. They all know that what we do with these children will impact this community for generations,” said Dr. McCoy.

The work on this program is already transforming lives.

“Being able to do this is probably one of the most life-changing and purpose-driven things I have done in the course of my career,” said Jones.

The HOPE Toledo Pre-K program is still in its infancy. A demonstration model will be in place this fall.

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