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Phoenix marks anniversary of program for underprivileged kids

PHOENIX — Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton took 80 Phoenix preschoolers on a climb through a giant play structure Thursday to celebrate the anniversary of a program benefiting underprivileged kids.

Stanton’s Great Start Initiative gives underprivileged kids and their families a chance to learn and have fun.

“When a child signs up for kindergarten at one of our inner-city school districts, not only that child, but their family and siblings, all get free admission to the Children’s Museum, Arizona Science Center, and some of our other wonderful cultural activities,” he said.

Stanton said the program gives kids a chance to enjoy some of the activities that other people may take for granted, like going to places where they can play and learn. He said the iniative gives the kids a head start on the new school year.

“Kids who come to the Children’s Museum and participate in the brain expanding activities that they do here, and have a lot of fun while doing it, are kids that are going to be better prepared when they enter school,” he said.

The city also provides free transportation to bring the families to the different attractions.

The Great Start Initiative is a joint effort with the City of Phoenix Human Services Department’s Head Start Program and the Greater Phoenix Urban League.