Dearborn Public Schools still has spots available for this fall for the free Great Start Readiness Program preschool.
The district will hold a special enrollment day on Friday, June 3 to help families register. Parents can bring their required documents to Cotter Early Childhood Center from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. that day to enroll their child.
GSRP is a state-funded preschool program students can participate in at no cost to eligible families. To be eligible, children need to be turning four years old by Dec. 1, 2022. Preference will be given to students who will be four by Sept. 1, 2022 because those students will qualify for kindergarten next year, but the program will accept students with birthdays between Sept. 1 and Dec. 1, if space is available.
Dearborn currently has 608 slots for GSRP students at 14 locations, including Cotter, Becker, William Ford, Henry Ford, Geer Park, Long, Lowrey, McCollough, McDonald, Oakman, River Oaks, Salina Elementary, Salina Intermediate and Whitmore-Bolles schools.
GSRP serves low-income and working class families who are below 250% of the federal poverty guidelines, said Early Childhood Coordinator Amy Modica. For the current school year, the income guidelines allow a family of four earning up to $66,250 a year, or $5,521 a month, to qualify for the program.
To apply, students must live with a parent or legal guardian within the Dearborn Public School District.
GSRP classes are generally 16 students with two adults, including a certified early childhood specialist. Classes meet for a full school day from Monday through Thursday. Times vary slightly by building, but are similar to the elementary school schedule.
“We focus on kindergarten readiness. Our emphasis is on student social/emotional readiness for school,” Modica said. In addition to learning academics like letters and colors, GSRP students learn how to get along with other children, how to take care of themselves, and other skills they will need to thrive in kindergarten.
Families will be notified over the summer if their child was accepted into the program or put on a waiting list. Children with birthdays from Sept. 1 to Dec. 1 will not find out until the beginning of September if they are accepted to the program.
“We encourage interested families to call and learn more and to fill out an application,” Modica said. To learn more, parents can call Cotter School at 313-827-6150.