Mayor Bill de Blasio visited pre-schools in the city’s five boroughs Thursday on the first day of the school year, and the first day of universal pre-K.
According to the mayor’s office, 51,500 four years olds were registered for pre-K programs. Over the next two years, de Blasio hopes to provide pre-K to the approximately 73,000 eligible children across the city.
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“This is a monumental moment in the lives of tens of thousands of children and their families,” de Blasio said. “We fought and we pushed so hard because we believed our families could not and should not wait.”
The mayor's first stop was Inner Force Tots in Brooklyn, where he sat with children linking plastic fish together and asked about the projects they were working on, according to a pool reporter. One parent, Wendy Alexander, told de Blasio univeral pre-K "means the world" to her.
Additional school stops for the mayor, Schools ChancellorCarmen Fariña and other elected officials wereSacred Heart and Marsh Avenue Expeditionary Learning School on Staten Island, P.S. 69 in the Bronx, Sweet Home Children’s School in Queens and Amber Charter School in East Harlem.
The mayor’s office said Thursday there are a total of 1,655 public schools and early childhood centers providing pre-K.