It’s that time of year again as children and parents alike celebrated the first day of school this week.
With Catholic schools back in session as of Wednesday, September 6 and public schools right behind them, starting Thursday, September 7, another summer came to a close as, locally, kids strapped on their backpacks — the majority of them all smiles as they prepared for the start of a brand new school year.
Citywide, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña celebrated the launch of the new 3-K for All program, as well as an exciting new Free School Lunch for All Program and various other initiatives.
Building on the success of the city’s Pre-K for All initiative, the 3-K for All Program is aimed at providing free, full-day, high-quality early childhood education for every three-year-old in the city. Already, 1,400 three-year-olds are registered in School Districts 7 in the South Bronx and 23, serving Brownsville, Ocean Hill and East New York.
“As a parent, I know how special the first day of school is and it’s even more exciting this year with the historic launch of 3-K for All,” said de Blasio on Thursday. “Building on our work to make free, full-day, high-quality Pre-K for All a reality, 3-K for All will ease the financial burden on parents and give our littlest New Yorkers an invaluable head-start in life.”
“September is a month of possibility, particularly for our youngest-ever New York City public school students starting 3-K for All today,” added Fariña. “With our school system the strongest it’s ever been, we are investing more than ever before in the earliest years of our children’s education – with 3-K for All, Pre-K for All, Universal Literacy, and Algebra for All – and that is a true game-changer for New York City.”
Meanwhile, the Free School Lunch for All campaign will provide over 200,000 more students with free lunch beginning this school year. Last school year, 75 percent of students were eligible for free lunch. Now, 100 percent of families will be eligible for the benefit, regardless of where they live or attend school.
“These investments are going to give every child, no matter what neighborhood they come from, the foundation they need to succeed in college and careers,” Fariña said. “I join our 1.1 million students, their families, and our educators in their excitement for this school year.”