Where/What: Pre-K for All
Early childhood education is essential for closing achievement gaps within low income communities. In 2014 the NYC Department of Education (DOE) undertook a dramatic expansion of the full-day universal pre-kindergarten program, known as Pre-K for All in NYC under the umbrella of Universal pre-Kindergarten in the United Sates. Today, approximately 70,000 children from all socioeconomic backgrounds are enrolled in free UPK across the City.
Why?: TCART4UPK Initiative
TCART4UPK links artists and art educators from Teachers College with New York UPK’s to create permanent art collaborations within the schools. The initiative stretches students’ literacies, provides enrichment, and beautifies the schools. Additionally, the art educators from Teachers College have the opportunity to work with students and to showcase their art in public spaces.
What?: Engaging Students
UPK sites, across the city, accommodate the large influx of students, with new classrooms housed in public and charter schools, community based organization facilities, and in private pre-schools. This rapid expansion and limited availability of traditional pre-school locations meant that not all classrooms were ideal environments. Teachers College Art for Universal pre-K strives to make 3,000 schools inviting and enticing learning spaces.