JOHNSTOWN, CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ Plus) — The Community Foundation for the Alleghenies announced a $235,000 grant in funding that will go toward early childhood education in Cambria and Somerset Counties.
The money was given by an anonymous donor, and will go to 50 local facilities for early learning, something Judy Jurgevich, Director at Trinity Lutheran Childcare and Learning Center, says is important for kids.
“90% of the brain development happens before the age of four so these early years are just so pivotal and so important for the rest of their lives.”
President of the Community Foundation, Mike Kane, believes higher education at a younger age sets kids up for a brighter future.
“They’re much more likely to finish school, to get a job and to be productive members of our community.”
He says the cycle also continues to help their children.
The grant aims to help kids be more ready for kindergarten and become proficient readers by the end of third grade.
Program Officer for the Community Foundation, Angie Berzonski, has high hopes the grant money will change these young lives, for the better.
“They’re going to be our future workforce, our future leaders, the future residents here making a difference. They’re going to be our future teachers themselves so whatever we can do now to help them become good readers by third grade to enter kindergarten ready to learn and on par with their peers. All of that is going to help them succeed later in life.”