S.L. County to help expand preschool, after-school programs

Published: Monday, June 17 2013 6:20 p.m. MDT

Last year the program served 900 students but this year that number will drop to approximately 750, selected through a lottery process, Landward said. Four elementary schools, in Midvale and Sandy, currently operate the program and Landward said each school turns away between 150 and 200 students.

"The need is tremendous," he said. "We could triple our numbers."

To be succesful, the program relies on the contributions of several partners, including the Utah State Office of Education, the Larry H. Miller Group, the United Way and various local and federal grants.

"To really be successful with after-school programs, you can’t just have one funder," he said. "It’s got to be your entire community."

McAdams said his goal in hosting the education summit was to facilitate dialogue between the various educational entities and service organizations in the county. He sees the county having the role of "convener," helping to break down silos and leading officials to share best practices and work toward common goals.

"It’s my preference that the county doesn’t stray far from our core mission," McAdams said. "We’re financially interested in kids being successful in schools but we’re not a preschool provider."

At the time of the United Way's announcement, Lloyd C. Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, released a statement praising the results-based financing model, which is reportedly the first of its kind in the United States.

"Access to early education gives children a foundation they will build upon throughout their education and beyond," he said. "Through this innovative financing, we are pleased to partner with J.B. Pritzker and United Way of Salt Lake to provide the opportunity to thousands of children who otherwise may not have been able to attend preschool."

Email: benwood@deseretnews.com

Twitter: bjaminwood

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