Vancouver Public Schools recently was announced as the recipient of one of just seven $2,000 mini-grants awarded nationwide. The grants are provided through the School Superintendents Association and National Joint Powers Alliance’s Helping Kids Program. Funds will purchase snacks and materials for an evening preschool program at King Elementary.

King Early Explorers is a pilot program that will be offered in spring 2016. Approximately 20 children are expected to participate. The program is being developed by Family-Community Resource Center Coordinator Angel Banta and Elementary Mentor/preschool teacher Kendra Yamamoto, who identified a need to engage preschool-age children and their parents to support early learning skill development and the transition to kindergarten.

In addition, to children becoming familiar with their new schools, parents will receive activity packets to complete with their children at home. Families also will benefit from learning resources, assistance with unmet basic needs and opportunities for engagement.