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New STEAM-Focused Preschool Center Will Open in Corona in Fall 2021

New STEAM-Focused Preschool Center Will Open in Corona in Fall 2021

The school will have 306 seats and be the first of its kind in the city.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Deputy Mayor Phil Thompson, and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza recently announced that a new STEAM-focused, state-of-the-art, 306-seat Pre-K Center will open in Corona in the fall of 2021 in partnership with the New York Hall of Science. This partnership will allow students and parents access to resources at NYSCI, including specialized professional learning and coaching for teachers, and opportunities for family and community engagement. This Pre-K Center will be the first of its kind in the city to focus on early childhood STEAM education while partnering with a cultural institution.

The Center will be located at 47-01 111th St., will be fully American Disabilities Act-accessible, and include 17 Pre-K classrooms, two exercise rooms and an outdoor playground, and a community and parent room.

“Free, full-day, high-quality Pre-K puts our kids on the path to success, and we have made it a right–not a privilege–for every 4-year-old in New York City,” de Blasio said. “This new Pre-K Center is proof of our commitment to expanding Pre-K to meet the needs of every community, and investing in state-of-the-art STEAM education for our children.”

Thompson emphasized that a STEAM-focused early education will help prepare students for our changing world.

“Climate change and digital technology will in coming decades change the face of New York City and how everyone in the world lives and works,” he said. “It will change how government functions as well. This Pre-K Center at the Hall of Science will help prepare our youngest learners to be on the cutting edge of industry, science, and governance in the years to come.”

Last year’s city third-graders were the first class to have participated in de Blasio’s Pre-K for All program, and they outperformed all other testing grades on the ELA and Math assessments. Students who went to preschool are outperforming students who didn’t, and the gaps between scores in white students and students of color were narrower in the population of students who all attended preschool.

Research shows that STEAM learning that begins at a young age also benefits kids. There is a positive correlation between early experiences with STEAM subjects and later success in those fields, and a STEAM-based curriculum will teach kids how to work collaboratively while developing creative solutions to problems. This Pre-K Center will participate in DOE’s Diversity in Admission program, creating an opportunity for a diverse group of District 24 students to attend, including Emergent Multicultural Leaders and students who qualify for free and reduced-price lunch.

“Once we complete this new state-of-the-art STEAM facility, we will be relocating students currently located in Transportable Classroom Units at P.S. 28, P.S. 16 and P.S. 7,” said New York City School Construction President and Chief Executive Officer Lorraine Grillo. “We will demolish seven TCUs at these schools that will result in new outdoor play space for students. [These] new Pre-K seats will not only help to close the access gap to early education programs, but will dramatically improve the learning experience for hundreds of children.”

Every student in the Pre-K Center will receive a free family membership to NYSCI. The creation of the Center has sparked a STEAM-focused community discussion in Corona, a community with increasing interest and experimentation in STEAM. The first community vision-planning session is scheduled for Nov. 13 at P.S. 19 from 5-7:30pm and will be held in conjunction with the Pratt Institute and the Domenico-American Society.

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Jacqueline Neber

Author: Jacqueline Neber is a social journalism MA candidate at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. When she’s not reporting, you can find her petting someone else’s dog. See More

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