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Washington BOE seeks Judy Center

August 13, 2000

Washington BOE seeks Judy Center



By TARA REILLY / Staff Writer


The Washington County Board of Education hopes to expand its educational services to children and their families by setting up a Judy Center, according to Donna Messina, the Board's community relations specialist.

A Judy Center, named after Judith P. Hoyer, the late wife of Congressman Steny Hoyer, would be established if the Board receives a grant from the Maryland Department of Education.

The center would provide learning services to preschoolers and offer adult literacy programs and family health services. The state requires the centers to be located in easily accessible sites - including elementary schools or facilities close to a school - and near high concentrations of low-income or non-English speaking families, according to State Superintendent Nancy Grasmick.

If awarded, the grant would be funded from January 2001 to June 2002, with renewable one-year extensions until June 2005. The average grant amount would be $450,000 a year. About eight to 10 Judy Center grants are available to the state's 24 school systems.

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The 2000 Maryland General Assembly has set aside $4 million in the fiscal year 2001 budget for the centers. The first Judy Center was dedicated in December in Prince George's County.

"Effective early childhood education is the foundation for student success," Washington County Schools Superintendent Herman G. Bartlett said.

The School Board will work with Washington County Community Partnership and other participating agencies to devise a grant proposal, which is due to the state by Oct. 13. Notification will be made in November.

The Board plans to discuss the grant at its Tuesday meeting.

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