BELMAR, NJ — Belmar Elementary School’s new offsite preschool program for 3-year-olds is now open to Lake Como residents.
The borough’s Board of Education recently received a $72,000 grant from the N.J. Department of Education so that preschoolers can attend the full-day program at the Acelero Learning Center, 101 West Sylvania Avenue, Neptune City.
And because Lake Como is located more than two miles from the Acelero center, transportation will be provided. Belmar preschoolers are not eligible for busing because that borough does not meet the two-mile minimum distance requirement.
Belmar Elementary School officials continue to recruit and enroll children in the program, which rolled out in September when the Belmar school district received its $200,000 share in state Preschool Education Expansion Aid (PEEA) funding.
While BES has had a preschool program for years, enrollment has been limited to a certain number of 4-year-olds only, due to space constraints at the school.
The PEEA grant has allowed the school to expand its prekindergarten program at the Acelero center, where 17 students from Belmar and Lake Como — both 3- and 4-year-olds — are currently enrolled.
Located at Memorial United Methodist Church, the Acelero center is approved by the state to provide instruction for up to 30 BES students, ages 3 and 4, in two classes from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Acelero teachers hold the same certifications and training as BES preschool teachers and are teaching the same preschool curriculum, according to school officials.
Since the Acelero also provides Head Start services, BES students will have additional benefits related to health screenings and advocacy, and other family resources.
Based in New York City, Acelero Learning has provided Head Start services since 2001 and today directly serves 5,000 children and families in four states, including New Jersey.
For more information or to apply for the preschool program, contact Belmar Elementary School at 732-681-2388 or Acelero at 732-776-6248.
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