It was a big day for 31 Caldwell preschoolers on Thursday — the kids graduated from the P16 Caldwell Education Project. Parents filled the Jewett Auditorium at the College of Idaho with balloons and flowers to celebrate the success. Five-year-old Reece Sessions was part of the graduating class and will attend kindergarten at Wilson Elementary School in Caldwell next year.
“I wanted to give my daughter a school-based learning experience and that’s what P16 offers,” said her mom Jennifer Sessions. “Most pre-schools in the area are day cares and I wanted something different.”
This is the fourth year kids have graduated from P16. The program provides pre-school for children ages 3-5. There is a fee, but financial assistance is available so no child is turned away.
“The idea in Caldwell began five years ago where we recognized there was a need for education continuum for low income families,” said Nora Carpenter, president of United Way of Treasure Valley. “The pre-schools are inside the elementary schools which gives the kids a school environment to learn.”
United Way has helped lead P16 since 2011.
“There is no question that P16 kids are testing well going into kindergarten and are continuing that into their early years,” Carpenter said.