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Parents watch preschool lottery

Education: Students sat with their moms and dads, waiting to see their name drawn for the Fun For Fo

Posted: March 15, 2010 11:29 p.m.
Updated: March 16, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Mountainview Elementary School Principal Chris Hamlin announces a name of a child during a lottery held Friday to determine which children would attend Mountainview Fun For Fours Preschools during the 2010-11 school year, while an assistant writes the name on the board. The school received 63 entries and only 24 spots were available.

In a sign of tough economic times, a record number of parents applied to have their children attend a discounted preschool at Mountainview Elementary School, where a lottery took place on a recent Friday to determine which children would be enrolled for the 2010-11 school year.

About 50 parents and their children jammed Room 30, and anxiously witnessed principal Chris Hamlin pull names out of a box that decided which 24 children out of 63 entries would have a guaranteed seat at Mountainview Fun For Fours Preschool in Saugus.

Thanks to funding from Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP), tuition at the preschool is $60 per month compared to $465 per month at other non-LAUP subsidized preschools at the Saugus Union School District, school officials said.

Sitting nervously as she hoped for Hamlin to pull her son’s name, Julian, Alex Concepcion said finding a quality and affordable preschool in the Santa Clarita Valley like the one at Mountainview Elementary is nearly impossible.

“You can’t find that anywhere, especially for five days a week,” said Concepcion, who for the second year in a row unfortunately didn’t make the list.

Stacey Linow had better luck, however, as her son’s name, Jeremy, was picked and will attend the preschool starting in August. “I’m so relieved,” she said. “The stress of wondering is off my shoulders. I’m so happy.”

Linow said her daughter, Brook, 7, attended Mountainview Fun For Fours when she was 4 years old, and attributed a lot of her success in elementary school to the preparations she received in preschool.

“It was really a good experience for her,” Linow said. “I’m hoping Jeremy will also get prepared for kindergarten, both socially and academically, and I have every confidence that will happen.”

Before starting the lottery drawing, principal Hamlin advised the parents to contact their government representatives to urge them to invest resources in early childhood education, saying it’s a vital service in the community.

“If we had more funding, we could have more than one LAUP preschool class here,” she said. “We need to let our representatives know that preschool is a very important service to our community.”

She said kindergarten teachers at Mountainview often notice how children who receive a quality early childhood education are better prepared for school, both academically and socially.

“Our teachers notice a difference,” she said.

Parents interested in enrolling their child in a quality preschool at an affordable rate in the Santa Clarita Valley or anywhere in Los Angeles County can call 1-866-581-5287 or visit on the web.


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