CLINTON — The Clinton Four-Year-Old Preschool Program is now accepting applications for the 2009-2010 year program.

The Clinton School District has been awarded a grant from the State of Iowa to provide every 4-year-old child living in the Clinton area access to quality preschool at no cost. To be eligible to participate in this program, 4-year-old children must be residents of the state of Iowa and must be 4 on or before Sept. 15, 2009 (the child’s birthdate must be between Sept. 16, 2004 and Sept. 15, 2005.)

It is the district’s goal to have every 4-year-old child living in the Clinton area attend the preschool of their parent’s choice. Participating preschool programs in Clinton include Ashford University Preschool, Head Start, Prince of Peace Preschool, St. John Lutheran Preschool (p.m. classes only,) Stay N Play Preschool, Wee School for Little People, YWCA Children’s Center/Preschool and Zion Preschool.

There is no cost for eligible children. Transportation to and from preschool can be provided. Restrictions on bus transportation are dependent on the distance a child needs to be transported and the availability of existing school bus routes. Parents also have the option to transport their child to and from the preschool of their choice.

The preschool sessions meet five days per week and are based on the calendar of the Clinton School District. Morning sessions begin at 9 a.m. and dismiss at 11:30 a.m. Afternoon sessions begin at 12:30 p.m. and dismiss at 3 p.m. Preschool classes will begin on Aug. 24.

Participating preschools will be staffed by properly licensed preschool teachers. A research-based curriculum will be used and there will be ongoing teacher development workshops provided by the Area Education Agency. Each preschool will work to develop and maintain a strong home/school relationship with parents through events and conference visits. The ratio of staff to children will be no more than 10 children to one adult. A minimum of 10 hours of curriculum-based instruction will be provided each week.

Preschool applications may be picked up at any participating preschool, any elementary school office or at Roosevelt Administrative Center. Application forms can be downloaded and printed from the Clinton School District Web site, www.clinton.k12.ia.us. Parents must fill out an application and a school district “New Student” form. Completed forms can be returned to a participating preschool, elementary school office, the Roosevelt Administrative Center or to Doug Owen, program/grant coordinator, at Jefferson Elementary School.

Parents will be asked to select their top three choices of preschool sites. Assignment of children will be based on parent choice (when possible,) available space and transportation considerations. Applications will be acted on in the order they are received.

“The Clinton Four-Year-Old Preschool Program is a win-win opportunity for everyone involved. This is especially true for each of the 4-year-olds who will be better prepared to learn and enjoy success on their first day of kindergarten,” Owen stated. “We hope every eligible child will participate in this wonderful opportunity.”

For further information, parents may contact any of the participating preschools or Owen at 242-5546, extension 2236, or dowen@clintonia.org.