Dearborn Public Schools Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) will start distributing applications on April 7 for the 2021-22 school year.
GSRP is a state-funded preschool program students can participate in at no cost to eligible families. To be eligible, children need to be turning four years old by Dec. 1, 2021. Preference will be given to students who will be four by Sept. 1, 2021 because those students will qualify for kindergarten next year, but the program will accept students with birthdays between Sept. 1 and Dec. 1, if space is available.
Applications will be available from 9 to 11 a.m. on April 7 or any of the following Wednesdays at the following schools: Cotter, Becker, Henry Ford, William Ford, Long, McCollough/Unis, McDonald, Oakman, River Oaks, Salina Elementary and Whitmore Bolles,
Please be sure to wear a mask when picking up applications.
GSRP is a state-sponsored program for families who qualify based on income. The program serves low-income and working class families who are below 250% of the federal poverty guidelines, said Early Childhood Coordinator Amy Modica.
To apply, students must live with a parent or legal guardian within the Dearborn Public School District.
Dearborn currently has 512 slots for GSRP students at 12 locations, including Cotter School, Becker, Long, McCollough, Henry Ford, McDonald, Oakman, River Oaks, Salina, Whitmore-Bolles, and William Ford elementary schools and Salina Intermediate.
GSRP classes are generally 16 students with two adults, including a certified early childhood specialist. Classes meet for a full school day from Monday through Thursday. Times vary slightly by building, but are similar to the elementary school schedule. The program meets detailed state requirements using the Highscope Curriculum for how and what students learn.
“We focus on kindergarten readiness. Our emphasis is on student social/emotional readiness for school,” Modica said. In addition to learning academics like letters and colors, GSRP students learn how to get along with other children, how to take care of themselves, and other skills they will need to thrive in kindergarten.
Families will be notified over the summer if they are accepted to the program or put on a waiting list. Those with birthdays from Sept. 1 to Dec. 1 will not find out until the beginning of September if they are accepted to the program.
“We encourage interested families to call and learn more and to fill out an application,” Modica said. To learn more, parents can call Cotter School at 313-827-6150.