"The pig said "holy cow, is that you turkey?"

Pre-K students in the Panther Valley School District had some high level guest readers today. U.S. Senator Bob Casey Jr. and Congressman Dan Meuser visited nineteen students in the fully state funded pilot program for early education called "Pre-K Counts"

"If there's one thing that should be unbelievably bi-partisan that's creating equal opportunity for the young people in our communities so we're here to see how we can help"

"They came to take a look at our pre-kindergarten program which this is the first year for our pre-kindergarten program that's fully funded by the state of PA. We're excited to house it. Studies show in rural areas they really need a good foundation and the program will help nineteen of our three and four year-olds in the community get a head-start and get a jump on kindergarten. So we're excited about the program."

The next step is for local, state, and federal legislators to put together a plan to continue helping more young families get quality early education opportunities for their kids in financially struggling school districts like Panther Valley.

"Because of both the rescue plan and now the "Build Back Better" legislation which I think will pass by the end of December we're going to be able to make Pre-K investments at the federal level that we've never made before."

Currently Panther Valley's Pre-K program is one of only three pilot classrooms in Carbon County. The other two are in the Palmerton Area School District. They are operated by the Lehigh Valley Children's Centers which has been active in the Lehigh Valley for over fifty years.