The partnership between Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and local Licensed Child Care Centers was celebrated Feb. 15, during a kick-off ceremony at the future site of the PSJA Early Head Start Campus.
The partnership, which serves 372 children 6-week to 3 years of age, currently functions from another PSJA ISD facility awaiting to expand to its permanent location at 1001 N. Fir St. at the old Buckner Elementary in Pharr later this year. The $3 million renovation, which started last September is set to be completed in June 2017.
During the kick-off ceremony, officials spoke about the success of the program funded by a federal grant to provide low-income infants and toddlers with early, continuous and comprehensive development.
"It was a vision to establish a zero to 12th grade continuum," said Dr. Hilda Medrano, UTRGV-Early Head Start Grant Director. "A vision for making sure that we start preparing children as young as 6-weeks of age. In two years we have met full enrollment, serving the number of children we said we were going to [serve]."
According to PSJA ISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Daniel King, the district is committed to help transform the community.
"We are committed to being a leader and a partner for the transformation of this community," he said. "For making lives better, the quality of life, the education attainment level, the economic progress of our families, all of this is very critical. And of course the best place to start is at the beginning, the beginning is birth."
After the presentation, officials took a walk-thru of the site and learned more of the amenities to come such as: five infant rooms, 27 toddler classrooms, one computer lab, two teacher workrooms and renovated administrative area, staff and students restrooms, as well as, parking lots.