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Pima Early Education Program(PEEP) provides scholarships for youth

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TUCSON (KVOA) - The Pima County Board of Supervisors approved funding for their Pima Early Education Program (PEEP).

It will provide funding for local school districts and pre-school providers to give out scholarships to qualifying families with young children.

These scholarships will take care of the cost of enrollment for families who can't afford daycare otherwise. Sometimes, that can be upwards of $1,000 per child.

For pre-school providers, the county has allocated funds through an organization called First Things First, which also helps provide scholarships for students.

The Sandbox, a pre-school provider, already has 23 scholarships through this program and now has 30 total.

That has helped them create a diverse environment for their students.

"It just opens the doors for those families," Maria Olmedo, Co-Director of The Sandbox said. "We are a great foundation for the education of the children, it's just giving them that opportunity."

For parents who otherwise couldn't afford this service, the scholarship is everything.

"If there wasn't a scholarship there's no way I could provide that kind of money for a pre-school," said Marina Amans, whose daughter attends.

County supervisor Adelita Grijalva said these additional scholarships given throughout the county are necessary for youth to excel.

"To give families the opportunity to put their child in a quality program will just give them a foundation they can build off of when they got into kinder," Grijalva said.

Not only does the funding help these families and young children, but also the teachers and staff who work to make this the best experience they can for the kids.

"It allows us funding, to provide tools for furthering education and to provide the families with a quality education for their children," said Jennifer Blagg, Co-Director of The Sandbox.

Amans daughter is the second child she has put through the Sandbox, saying that the work they do here has helped immensely with their development.

"They excelled so much more in learning and being able to be social and just having an imagination," Amans said.

To find out if your school district or pre-school providers are offering these scholarships click here.

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Mark Mingura

Mark Mingura joined KVOA as a Multi Media Journalist in October 2019. Originally from the valley and with ties to Tucson, Mark is excited to get back to his home state and tell the stories of the Old Pueblo.

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