Syracuse, New York – Jowonio School, an innovative early childhood preschool program providing in-classroom inclusive education for children ages 2-5 years old, has been awarded a $15,000 grant from the Gifford Foundation to undertake a Strategic Planning process.
Jowonio School is on the leading edge of inclusive preschool education nationwide. All of New York, including Central New York, is experiencing the impact of the talent crisis in the field of education alongside the reality of increasingly limited numbers of daycare and preschool spaces for families. For parents of children with special needs, there is an even more acute shortage of early intervention and preschool availability. Access to early intervention and preschool services has been demonstrated to significantly help children with developmental delays or disabilities. Delayed access to these crucial services has the ability to hinder the timely identification and support of children’s unique learning requirements, affecting their long-term educational outcomes. Inclusive education provides children with special needs access to supported opportunities to engage in learning in all developmental areas, including social-emotional, alongside their typically developing peers. This model of service delivery has been shown to significantly support learning across developmental domains for all children, freeing them to learn and grow together.
The Gifford Foundation grant responds to these critical needs within the community. This funding provides Jowonio’s Board with the tools to ensure a continued, positive impact in Central New York. Jowonio School began a focus on long-term sustainability with the creation of the Jowonio School Agency Fund in partnership with the Central New York Community Foundation in 2022. A Strategic Plan that encompasses both short-term and long-term goals will enable the school to navigate the current crisis in education and emerge as a resilient and influential institution in the national educational landscape.
Jowonio School is excited to actively engage with parents, graduates, advocates, and the early childhood education community for input as part of the Strategic Planning process. The ability of parents and educators to share their specific needs for inclusive preschool places Jowonio’s teaching philosophy in the context of the growing and evolving priorities for early childhood education in New York State.
The Gifford Foundation was established in 1954 as a private philanthropic foundation serving Syracuse and the surrounding Central New York region. The Foundation supports individuals and organizations through grants and initiatives that build on community assets and promote positive change in the community. For further information visit giffordfoundation.org.
About Jowonio School: for over 50 years, Jowonio has provided the highest quality inclusive preschool education to over 150 children per year from 4 counties, in an environment where diversity is celebrated and all are free to learn and grow. Each class is designed to include every child; providing play, learning, therapeutic & family support based on how a child best learns, communicates, and interacts. Jowonio School advocates for the inclusion of all children in schools and society.
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