Governor Terry McAuliffe was in Roanoke today to visit a preschool. The school is receiving money through a new grant program that's part of a state-wide focus on early childhood education.
Greenvale School is a preschool with 90 students, ranging from 6 weeks to 5 years old. Even though the school is private, students here come from all backgrounds.
"We have children who are here that come from higher income families and their parents just want them to come here to Greenvale because of our long history," said Lisa Denny, Executive Director of Greenvale. “And then we have families who are low-income working families, but the families don’t have the income to be able to afford top-dollar.”
Earlier this year, Virginia’s legislature put aside money to help schools like Greenvale that are developing new ideas to make preschool accessible to everyone.
The money comes in the form of five competitive grants issued by Virginia's Early Childhood Foundation. Grant-winning schools receive funding over the course of two years to help support innovative preschool systems that could work for both public and private schools.
Governor McAuliffe called for that extra money in his most recent budget plan.
“There’s no question coming here and seeing these children, that this makes a difference in their lives," McAuliffe said during a visit to Greenvale. "If we don’t start it early, many of these children will not have a pathway to success.”
Roanoke is one of five locations in the state receiving $250,000 through the grant. Schools in Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, Wythe County and Rappahannock will also receive state funding.