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Phoenix launches pre-kindergarten education campaign

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton (at podium) announces the Phoenix Great Start Pilot Program. (KTAR Photo/Sandra Haros)

PHOENIX -- Children in low-income households will now have access to educational attractions offered by the City of Phoenix.

On Friday, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton unveiled the Phoenix Great Start Pilot Program, designed to prepare children for kindergarten by increasing early childhood development through parent engagement and community education programs.

"Over 90 percent of our students are in poverty," said Superintendent of the Balsz Elementary School District Dr. Jeffrey Smith.

The educational opportunities that exist will now be accessible to the city's poorest children.

"To a child, the world is only as big as their experiences," said Smith. "This will expand the experiences of children before they come to school so they can see more in themselves and their future."

In addition to educational materials for parents, when their child is enrolled in kindergarten in a Balsz Elementary School, the families will be given a Passport to Culture & Education. The free pass includes admission to the Phoenix Zoo, Arizona Science Center, the Pueblo Grande Museum and the Heard Museum.

"They'll learn about Arizona, learn about Phoenix and learn about what they can be and the future they can and how unlimited that is," said Smith.

Stanton hopes to expand the program to benefit more children in the future.

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About the Author


Sandra moved from the small border city of Yuma, Arizona to study Broadcast Journalism at Arizona State University in the late 90s. Since graduating, she's worked at several local TV stations including Univision, Fox 10 and 3TV.

Working at KTAR, has allowed her the opportunity to cover major national news events, including Presidential visits, the Tucson Tragedy and the Wallow fire.

When Sandra isn't covering breaking news or behind a microphone in the studio, she's probably at home with her best friend Mark and her two dogs, Lily and Lola.

Sandra enjoys cooking and admits to enjoying "really bad" reality T.V. She also enjoys spending quiet time at home with people she loves, playing a little poker and traveling.

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