Proposed preschool lands rent-free space



March 15, 2012 - 12:00 AM

The Friends of the Bowlus have offered one of its properties rent-free to the Iola Arts and Literacy Project proposed to the Iola school board earlier this week.

The preschool project, which would integrate fine arts and literacy in a USD 257-run pre-kindergarten program, is a collaboration between USD 257, the Bowlus Fine Arts Center and Allen Community College. The preschool is a response to a high demand and a low supply of pre-kindergarten services in Iola and Allen County.

Beth Toland, ACC Early Childhood Development Coordinator and a key player in the project’s development, told the USD 257 board Monday three things have to happen for the project to become a reality: the school district, the Bowlus and ACC  must chip in about $9,000 each; Wichita philanthropist and businessman Barry Downing must award a grant expected to exceed $200,000, and an adequate facility must be found to house the preschool’s two classrooms and 80 children.

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