New Britain City Journal

New Britain's Weekly Online Newspaper


Pope John Paul II School Awarded CT State Readiness Grant

After a long year of intense waiting, the Pope John Paul II School was recently awarded the State of Connecticut School Readiness Grant to improve upon its already excellent pre-kindergarten education curriculum to better serve the New Britain community.

The $210,000 grant, which will be dispersed over a two year period, will aid PJP2 in its continued efforts to improve the quality of education available to the New Britain community. Readiness Grants from the State of Connecticut are provided to schools that are believed to be exceptional in the development and care of young children under the age of five. PJP2 was awarded this grant by the state not only for its excellent pre-kindergarten curriculum, but also because of its location, which was determined by the New Britain Readiness Council to be able to serve the greatest number of New Britain residents.

PJP2’s Early Childhood educational program offers students a fun and safe environment where they are able to develop into well-adjusted and intelligent children. By utilizing a curriculum of music, art, and prayer, PJP2’s pre-kindergarten program helps parents and children take their first steps onto the path of Catholic education. In addition to basic reading and math skills, children enrolled in PJP2’s pre-kindergarten program also learn valuable social skills that will aid them throughout their academic and social lives.

From a physical standpoint, PJP2 was destined to earn the Readiness Grant. PJP2 is located on the corner of Eddy Glover Blvd. and Farmington Ave. in New Britain, which makes it easily accessible from any part of town. Inside, the school is well-equipped for youth education, with a gymnasium, new math, science, and computer labs, a Spanish language room, and newly constructed classrooms. With the equipment and location advantages, it is easy to see why both the New Britain Readiness Council and the State of Connecticut both felt that PJP2 was an ideal candidate to receive this prestigious grant.

“[Applying for the grant] was a lot of work,” says Kathleen Welch, a teacher at PJP2. “When we found out we got the grant, it felt like such an achievement, it was a celebration.”

The funding provided from the state Readiness Grant will allow PJP2 to improve upon their already effective pre-kindergarten program. Much of the funding has already been dedicated to improving teacher salaries, while the rest of the money will be used to give the students new and exciting learning opportunities. The students will be able to attend more field trips, and they will now have the opportunity to learn from guest speakers. Additionally, PJP2 plans to utilize some of the grant funding to purchase computers specifically for the pre-kindergarten program, which will help the young students become familiar with technology that is present in nearly every aspect of today’s world.

With the first half of the Readiness Grant set to be dispersed in time for the upcoming 2013-2014 school year, PJP2 will be able to continue New Britain’s decades-long tradition of exceptional parochial education. PJP2 is currently accepting applications for both 3 and 4-year-old children into their half-day and full-day pre-kindergarten programs.