NEWS RELEASES 2010-11 :: SEPTEMBER 27, 2010


North Carolina's nationally-recognized More at Four pre-kindergarten program will be featured today at NBC's two-day "Education Nation Summit" in New York City. An NBC crew spent two days interviewing pre-kindergarten administrators, teachers and children at the Tryon Hills Pre-K Center (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools) about the importance of high-quality pre-kindergarten education. The Tryon Hills Pre-K segment will precede a panel discussion at the Summit titled "A Fresh Start: Leveling the Playing Field Before School Begins" and will be webcast live at NBC News website and Monday, Sept. 27, at 4:30 p.m.

"More at Four is a national model for Pre-K education because of its rigorous early learning standards, teacher qualification requirements and comprehensive evaluation components," said State Superintendent June Atkinson. "We are proud of this national recognition and grateful that the NCDPI's pre-kindergarten effort continues to enable tens of thousands of at-risk children to enter kindergarten every year better prepared to learn and succeed."

In May 2010, North Carolina was one of only two states to meet all 10 quality standards benchmarks for preschool education according to The State of Preschool 2009 published by the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER). NIEER's 10 quality benchmarks include early learning standards, teacher degrees, teacher specialized training, assistant teacher degrees, continuing professional development requirements, maximum class size, staff-child ratios, screening, referral and support services, meals and monitoring procedures.

More at Four is especially beneficial for those children most at risk of school failure. According to independent evaluation findings by the FPG Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, children served by More at Four exhibit substantial growth in key areas including language, literacy, math and social skills.

More at Four pre-kindergarten classrooms operate in all 100 counties in North Carolina through public schools, private child care and Head Start agencies and serve about 31,000 at-risk four-year-olds across the state. The NCDPI's Office of Early Learning focuses on the Pre-K – Grade 3 learning continuum and its impact on high school graduation. The office coordinates all state and federal funding for all pre-k initiatives including Title I, Preschool Exceptional Children (IDEA), Even Start and Head Start.

For more information about the Office of Early Learning and More at Four, visit or contact the NCDPI's Communications division at 919.807.3450.


About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.