By: Follow South Jersey Staff
CAMDEN, N.J. — State and local officials joined educators, families, and students of KATZ Dalsey Academy at a ribbon cutting ceremony for four new classrooms for the school’s Pre-K program on Friday, December 17.
Over the past year, Camden’s Charter School Network (CCSN) worked to add 3,800 square feet to the elementary school to create the rooms and combine the Pre-K program that was once split between KATZ Dalsey and Camden’s Pride Elementary Charter School.
Superintendent of Camden’s Charter School Network, Dr. Joseph Conway, noted how important it was to have these kinds of events, especially for the young children.
“We’re cutting the ribbon for our three-year-olds and our four-year-olds and their building today,” Conway said. “They are our leaders of tomorrow, they are our sons and daughters of Camden, and we are looking forward to what they will be able to do.”
The Pre-K program at KATZ Dalsey provides much needed support to the community through free, quality childcare. The three- and four-year-old children enrolled in the program learn through play with interactive small group centers that nurture social and emotional standards. They engage in age-appropriate lessons and lots of reading time, according to the school.
The ceremony was attended by Camden City Mayor Victor Carstarphen as well as representatives from the Camden City Government, the NJ Department of Education, the Camden County Prosecutors Office, Camden City School District, School Board, and Partner Organizations
“Schools, in particular Pre-K facilities like the KATZ Dalsey campus, impact the daily lives in the early development of our children,” Carstarphen said. “It is in these centers of learning that the foundation is built and it’s here that students gain the skills they need to develop into educated and responsible young adults. The KATZ Dalsey Academy is not only sending our young people out on the right track but helping to make our families and our Camden community stronger.”
KATZ Dalsey Academy’s Pre-K program is currently full with 60 Pre-K students enrolled. Camden’s Charter School Network would like to increase Pre-K enrollment due to a high waitlist.
CCSN began with Camden’s Promise Charter School which opened its doors in 1998 to 100 sixth-grade students. Since that time, they have grown to an enrollment size of 2,300 students in grades PreK-12th across four campuses in Camden.
“I have alumni in the audience who came through our program, and we’re so excited to see them,” Conway said. “There are folks who have been in our program from the beginning, but again, we’re talking about our three and four year-olds, and having them carry us forth.”
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