Ferndale schools receive $25,000 United Way grant for early literacy program

United Way of Whatcom County has awarded the Ferndale School District a $25,000 grant for an early learning literacy program, part of an initiative to increase high school graduation rates.

“The Ferndale School District had already made a commitment toward early childhood literacy,” United Way Whatcom County president Peter Theisen said, in a Feb. 1 press release. “We are excited to work with them and make a significant impact in the community.”Ferndale was chosen to receive the grant out of a pool of seven proposals. Its program, called PREPARED, is aimed toward children ages 3 to 5 who live in poverty, with a focus on enhancing early childhood literacy at the district’s Central Elementary School.

Central Elementary has the greatest number of children living in poverty in the Ferndale area and also lacks the access to necessary services.

“We want to see all kids get off to a great start, and we believe this is a big step in the right direction,” school principal Mischa Burnett said, in the release. “Preschool is so beneficial for early success in school, but for families on the edge financially, it’s become a lot harder to afford.”

More information on United Way of Whatcom County can be found at www.unitedwaywhatcom.org.

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