The University of New Mexico Children's Campus for Early Care and Education was awarded the New Mexico PreK grant, funded by the New Mexico Children Youth and Families Department and the State Public Education Department.

The New Mexico PreK initiative prepares four year old children for scholastic success by increasing access to high quality pre-kindergarten programs and providing developmentally, linguistically and culturally appropriate activities and curriculums. The program is nationally recognized for a play-based curriculum with a strong emphasis on social and emotional health and development.

Elena Aguirre, UNMCC director said, "We always strive to be the leader in the early childhood initiative and it feels great that our program has been used for training other PreK programs throughout the state."

Enrollment for PreK prioritizes based on communities with the highest percentages of public elementary schools designated Title I, as well as those not meeting the proficiency required for calculating adequate yearly progress in math or reading.

Aguirre said, "Because it is funded by a grant through New Mexico, our program is more accessible to families who may not be able to afford other programs."

Since its inception in 2006, New Mexico PreK has served almost 8,000 children throughout the state. The grant awarded to UNMCC is a year-long grant beginning Aug. 1.

 "Children discover that learning is fun and we are setting the foundation for their future educational success," Aguirre said.

 For more information, visit NM PreK or UNM Children's Campus.