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Mayor Rahm Emanuel today joined 15th Ward Alderman Raymond Lopez to announce Gads Hill Center in Brighton Park will serve as the first of five new early education centers announced in the 2018 budget. The two-story, 18,000 square foot facility will include classrooms, outdoor play space and meeting spaces for adult education programming.
“Every student deserves a high-quality education that gives them the opportunity to succeed, regardless of their zip code, and that begins with communities most of need early learning programs,” said Mayor Emanuel. “From rolling out universal preschool to building out facilities to support our early learners, we are committed to making smart, critical investments that support our children’s futures.”
The new Gads Hill Center in Brighton Park will support more than 120 children from birth to 5-year-olds and will include 3 preschool classrooms. This is in addition to the more than 700 children Gads Hill serves in childhood programs on the west and southwest sides of Chicago. The center will also support adult education programs, including English proficiency and GED classes and workforce development training in partnership with Insitituto del Progreso Latino (IDPL).
“This early education center is a much needed investment to support families across the Brighton Park community,” said Alderman Raymond Lopez, 15th Ward. “Mayor Emanuel understands that education starts at birth, and I am proud to work with him to make sure our children are prepared for a successful future.”
Mayor Emanuel announced investment in five new, high-quality early education programming sites to support preschool expansion with the 2018 budget. These projects build on investments of both the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to ensure that City-administered programs are high quality and effectively preparing children for success in kindergarten and beyond.
“We know that the early years are one the most effective way to ensure children start on the path to future success,” said DFSS Commissioner Lisa Morrison Butler. “This is why we are committed to providing universal pre-k to every child in every neighborhood, so they can build the foundation for a 21st-Century education.”
Gads Hill Center is a nonprofit organization serving children and working families by providing high-quality early childhood education, youth enrichment, and family support programs. The organization provides innovative programs and services that have been recognized locally and nationally to more than 4,000 children and their families. Gads Hill’s services include: early childhood education, out-of-school-time academic and enrichment, school-based tutoring and mentoring, and community programs.
“I am proud to work alongside Mayor Emanuel to support and expand access to high quality educational opportunities for early learners across the city,” says Maricela Garcia, Chief Executive Officer of Gads Hill Center. “Expanding service in Brighton Park means more children and families will have the support they need to thrive.”
Families can apply for preschool programs through the universal online application. This online site provides a single point of entry to access a comprehensive menu of over 600 programs for three- and four-year olds available under Chicago CPS, DFSS and city-administered community-based sites citywide. All locations can be found at http://www.chicagoearlylearning.org.