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Program brings affordable preschool for families at Safford K-8

PEEPS provides free preschool to low-income families
PEEPS Safford K-8
Posted at 5:45 PM, Sep 01, 2023

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Safford K-8 School is offering preschool for the first time and with PEEPS, the program is of no cost to families. PEEPS stands for the Pima Early Education Program Scholarships and is already at several TUSD schools.

Some sites include:

  • Bonillas Traditional Elementary Magnet | 4757 E. Winsett St., Tucson 85711
  • Borton Elementary Magnet | 700 E. 22nd St., Tucson 85713
  • Cavett Elementary | 2120 E. Naco Vista, Tucson 85713
  • Ford Elementary | 8001 E. Stella Rd., Tucson 85730
  • Kellond Elementary | 6606 E. Lehigh Dr., Tucson 85710
  • Robins K-8 | 3939 N. Magnetite Ln., Tucson 85745
  • Safford K-8 | 200 E. 13th St., Tucson 85701
  • Vesey Elementary | 5005 S. Butts Rd., Tucson 85757
  • Warren Elementary | 3505 W. Milton Rd., Tucson 85746

This program aims at feeding students into kindergarten with early learning experience in hopes of carrying their experience through future years at the school.
“The PEEPS program is a grant-funded program for low-income neighborhoods and we prioritize students whose parents probably would not have been able to afford preschool,” said Safford K-8 Principal Katherine Kuhn.

It’s an investment in early learning and in the community. Principal Katherine Kuhn said this was needed at Safford K-8 to rebuild student enrollment and pave the way for accelerated learning.

“If we can bring out kinders in with those foundational skills, then it just adds and adds and builds. That’s what you build your student population off of,” she said.

The class has already reached full enrollment. Parents Patricia Alderete and David Melton said they weren’t able to get their daughter enrolled in daycare or preschool without avoiding high costs, even though they wanted to get her socially acclimated.

Alderete said when it comes to daycare, “It's really almost out of reach, especially for a lot of families in Tucson. It’s just ridiculous, so we weren’t really able to do daycare. Then when this opportunity was presented to us, we were finally able to get it on scholarship.”

She was truly grateful when hearing about the opportunity because of what it was going to do for her child. The program is only a couple weeks in, but she’s already seeing strides and a lasting impact.

“She can be social, she can get the learning that she needs, and be supported by amazing staff. It’s just been great all the way around and it also helps a lot knowing she’s safe during the times she’s at work,” said Alderete.

To find out more about the PEEPS program, visit tusd1.org/preschool-peeps.

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Reyna Preciado is a reporter for KGUN 9, she joined the KGUN 9 team in July of 2022 after graduating Arizona State University. Share your story ideas with Reyna by emailing reyna.preciado@kgun9.com or by connecting on Instagram, or Twitter.