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    The Hazleton Area School District is the Lead Agency for Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts, which provides a high quality pre-kindergarten education program for 3 and 4 year old students free of charge.  The program focuses on children that are at risk of academic failure.  Full day pre-kindergarten classes are offered at Hazle Township Early Learning Center, along with the following partner agencies:  Hazleton Child Development Council, Pixie Paradise Child Care Center and Country Charm Early Learning Center.  Half-day pre-kindergarten classes are offered at Anne McLaughlin's Child Care, Inc.
     
    Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts is designed for children who are between age 3 until they enter kindergarten, and are at risk of academic failure, either because of income (300% of the federal poverty level, or a family of four earning $73,800), language (English is not their first language), cultural or special needs issues.  Families interested in enrolling should call (570) 459-3221 Extension 23502 or (570) 459-0101 for more information.  
     
    The quality components of Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts meet or exceed nearly every quality benchmark set by the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER).  Teachers have the education and expertise to teach young children.  The curriculum helps the children grow both academically and socially.  Each child's progress is reviewed regularly and teaching methods and learning activities are chosen based upon the review.  Assistance is offered for children and their families to ease the adjustment to pre-kindergarten and on to kindergarten.  Small class size (no more than 20 students per one teacher and one aide) is guaranteed so that each child can have plenty of one-on-one time with the teachers.  By including all early learning programs, Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts is building a quality early education system so our children have the best educational experience possible from the early education years through graduation.