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Peekskill Middle School Begins Pilot 'Smart Start Program

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. --  Peekskill Middle School has begun a pilot program called "Smart Start," to expose youngsters to higher education opportunities beginning in eighth grade and continuing until graduation.

Through this program, a group of students will have an opportunity to visit a large university, a small college and a city campus. They will also be able to receive SAT preparation classes and have support in the college application and financial assistance process.

"Education is about as good an investment a society can make and early intervention has proven to have an enormous return," says Dr. David Fine, principal of Peekskill Middle School.

"It's a fact that education increases children’s cognitive and social abilities and promotes healthy behavior," said Susan Weill and Linda Sage, parent coordinators.

"And, although graduating from high school is most important, graduating from college affords many more opportunities and larger lifetime earnings."

The first trip of this pilot program was to the University of Connecticut and exposed these children and their parents/guardians to the possibilities of a higher education and the excitement of campus life.

Although most of this program involves volunteers who are donating their services, if there are other local Peekskill businesses who are willing to make a donation that will help sustain this "Smart Start" program, please make your check out to:

Peekskill Middle School, indicating "Smart Start"Program in the memo of your check and send to:

Peekskill Middle School c/o Dr. David Fine, Principal 212 Ringgold Street Peekskill, New York 10566

If there are individuals in the community who wish to donate to the "Smart Start" program or are willing to offer their expertise services of SAT or ACT prep courses, college counseling, or FAFSA application assistance, please contact Linda Sage at

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