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Caz preschool celebrates 40 years

Forty years ago, parents in the Cazenovia Central School District had only one option for providing their children with a preschool experience. The existing school charged a tuition fee, which was prohibitive for a number of families. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of several community members, that changed with the birth of Cazenovia Children's Program.

The preschool began with the idea that all children deserved a positive early education experience. Scholarships were included; outreach and volunteerism blossomed to get the school off the ground. Today, the preschool (now known as Cazenovia Community Preschool) continues with those same ideas, and the school has grown exponentially.

"The board members 40 years ago were a progressively-minded group of individuals working to meet the needs of the community," said Kelli Johnson, Former Chairperson and Current Board Member. "The current Board's mission remains the same. As the needs of the community change, we strive to adapt and offer more to meet demand."

Currently, one area that CCP is working to expand is its capacity to fully include children with special needs.

"There is a considerable void of options in Madison County," Johnson said. "We'd like to help fill that void by creating an environment at CCP that can not only accommodate, but enrich the early educational experience of all children."

The program has tripled in size in the last nine years, thanks in part to a relationship with Cazenovia College, who leases the program's current space at the corner of Lincklaen and Nickerson Streets. In addition to two Pre-K classes, a 3-year-old class, and a new multi-age class, CCP plays host to a variety of educational classes and camps. The Summer Reading program (serving children in grades K-4), Kindergarten Enrichment Camps focusing on the arts, science, and literacy, and Sensational Baby (a touch communication class for parents of infants age 8 weeks to 12 months) are some of the options open to the community at CCP.

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