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JOHNSTOWN — Fonda-based Fulmont Community Action Agency Inc. plans to open a full-day Head Start pre-school classroom at Pleasant Avenue Elementary School starting in the fall.

“We see a need in the area for pre-K programming in Johnstown,” Marianne Suchocki, Fulmont’s associate deputy director/early childhood services director, said Tuesday.

Suchocki praised the Greater Johnstown School District for being “gracious” in providing classroom space for an expected 16 students starting in September.

Fulmont announced the Head Start move this week in a news release.

Denis Wilson Sr., agency executive director, announced Fulmont will be opening a full day Head Start classroom at Pleasant Avenue Elementary School. He said the classroom will house 16 three- and four-year-olds in a full-day, center-based classroom to operate from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

The new Pleasant Avenue location will provide an “academic rich environment developed through a research-based curriculum,” the release said. Children will participate in individualized lesson planning designed to prepare them for kindergarten.

Wilson stated this new partnership was made possible by the support of the Greater Johnstown School District. He said Superintendent Patricia Kilburn was “thrilled” to partner with Fulmont to provide another early childhood education opportunity for the community. This new partnership will allow Johnstown families to participate in a comprehensive pre-school program at no cost, the release said.

The Johnstown school district is providing space to deliver the program as an in-kind service.

Head Start is a federally-funded pre-school program designed to serve the neediest families in the community.

Currently, Fulmont operates six separate locations serving 299 children and families between Fulton and Montgomery counties. Many of these locations also provide universal pre-kindergarten programming in collaboration with local school districts. Although Head Start predominantly serves low-income families, Wilson in the release encouraged all families to apply, as Fulmont does have the opportunity to serve families who are above the poverty guidelines.

To enroll a child in the new Johnstown site, or any location, the public is asked to contact Fulmont Early Childhood Services at 1-800-958-8225.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at [email protected]

By Josh Bovee

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