Fort Worth

Summer School in Fort Worth Targets Kindergartners

'The Best Place for Kids' offers five-week classes

Fort Worth is offering summer school to about 150 kindergartners as part of a unique partnership between the school district, the city and private groups.

It's called "The Best Place for Kids."

"Most of our summer school sites are really for our fifth-grade students," said Eastern Hills Elementary School principal Whitney Scott. "But what this allows us to do is target our youngest babies from four and five and all the way up."

Mayor Betsy Price is championing the idea.

"I think it's going to be a great tool for parents and kids too," she said. "This will give them a nice transition, give their parents a chance to feel good about where they're going and encourage their attendance next year."

It's being paid for with private donations.

"It's a long game," said Grant Coates of the Miles Foundation, a philanthropy which is donating between $75,000 and $100,000. "There's a lot of research around investing in kids in their early years. A lot of brain development happens the first five years of kids' lives."

It's a pilot program, the first of its kind in Fort Worth, but leaders hope it will grow.

The five-week program is available at Diamond Hill, Eastern Hills and T.A. Sims elementary schools.

It begins July 8.

Van Zandt Guinn Elementary School will offer a two-week class and a one-week version will be available at Briscoe Elementary.

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