Education secretary visits JABA preschool

On Tuesday, Virginia Secretary of Education Atif M. Qarni visited the Shining Star Preschool operated by the Jefferson Area Board for Aging.

Qarni, who taught at a Prince William County middle school before joining Gov. Ralph S. Northam’s cabinet, was accompanied by David Cary, Chief of Staff to Virginia First Lady Pamela Northam.

The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation and the United Way-Thomas Jefferson Area organized the site visit, which included a briefing on mixed-delivery preschool programs in Charlottesville and Albemarle County. 

The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation awarded the United Way-TJA a $250,000 Mixed-Delivery Grant in 2016 to move 46 4-year-olds on public preschool waitlists into private facilities like JABA’s Shining Star Preschool. 

During their visit, Qarni and Cary read from “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom,” the bestselling children’s book written by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault and illustrated by Lois Ehlert.