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Falls to offer free pre-K program; Deadline to apply is March 30

The Niagara Falls School District is offering a free universal prekindergarten program for district residents who will be 4 on or before Dec. 1.

The deadline for applications for the 2012-13 school year is March 30. If there are more applications than the number of slots available, a lottery will be held to determine which children will be admitted.

The full-time program will be in session Mondays through Fridays, with a half-day on certain selected Tuesdays.

School administrators said it is a literacy-rich program designed to help young children enter school ready to learn. Transportation is not provided; parents are responsible for getting their child to and from the pre-K program.

Applications are available at the school district office, 630 66th St. Completed applications may be returned to the district office or taken to the child's home elementary school building.

The applications will be sorted according to each child's home school, as based on the home address. If there are more applications than available slots, the admissions lottery will be held April 27.

Placement notification letters for all applications received by March 30 will be sent to the applicants immediately after the April 27 lottery.

Applications received after March 30 will be placed on a first-come, first-served basis if space is available. Otherwise, children will be placed on a waiting list and will be notified if placements become available, according to school officials.

Placement also is available at the city school district's community-based pre-K program, according to a school announcement. For more information, call 286-4253.