New York City has become home to the nation's largest universal pre-kindergarten program. Since the NYC Department of Education launched Pre-K for All in 2014, nearly 70,000 children have been enrolled in free, full-day, top quality pre-K programs throughout the city. Critical to establishing the most effective, engaging pre-K education is training the highest quality instructors and building capacity at each program site. In order to develop a sustained system of well-trained, committed teachers and program leaders, The Fund is supporting capacity building and the development of strategies to provide high-quality professional development for pre-K educators.
Among the various professional development tracks under the pre-K umbrella is NYC Pre-K Create, devoted to visual arts, dance, music, and theater. Integrating artistic expression into children's foundational learning is a focus for educators, who attend professional development workshops, receive resources and toolkits, and work with instructional coaches throughout the school year. Over the course of this three-year initiative we expect that Create will guide professional learning for approximately 2000 educators in approximately 435 program sites, ultimately providing opportunities to deeply engage with and spark creativity in approximately 37,000 pre-K students throughout NYC.