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Federal Grant Gives Boost to Maine Preschool Education

As many as 500 additional kids in Maine will be able to go to public preschool, thanks to a nearly $15 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

The grant is part of President Obama's commitment of $1 billion in public and private money to expand early childhood education, unveiled at a White House Summit today.

"It's a holiday gift to many of Maine's children," says Sue Reed, the early childhood consultant at the Maine Department of Education. "We're really looking at helping those learning gains continue into Kindergarten, first, second and third grade."

Thirty-three new preschool classrooms in 13 Maine school districts will open in September thanks to the grant.

Studies repeatedly show that children who are educated early in life are more likely to finish their educations, avoid the criminal justice system, hold good jobs and have stable families.