VICENZA, Italy --Vicenza Elementary School offers the Sure Start Preschool Program that is modeled after Head Start in the United States.

The full-day, high-quality preschool for four-year-olds targets children who may potentially be "at risk" for not being ready for kindergarten the following year.

There is a mandatory parent education component that includes scheduled home visits, quarterly parent meetings and participation in the classroom. The program is designed for children of sponsors who rank E4 and below, but anyone is welcome to fill out an application. There are two classes of 18 children each, and applications are accepted all year.

If classes are full, applicants are put into a "waiting pool" and when there is an opening, the child most qualified is selected by the steering committee.

Considerations for enrollment may include one or more of the following conditions:
o Child must be four years old by Sept. 1
o Sponsor's rank is E4 or below
o Child had a low birth weight, below 5.5 pounds
o Child has parent/s whose primary language is not English
o Parent/s were teenagers when the first child was born
o Parent/s did not graduate from high school
o Child lives in a single-parent home
o The child's sponsor is currently deployed or will be soon deployed
o The child has an older sibling with a disability
o At home there are three or more children close in age

If interested, stop by Vicenza Elementary School to get an application, or call 0444-61-8640 for more information.