One City Early Learning Centers is pre-enrolling for a Sept. 8 start, accepting children ages 2 ½ -5.

The center will open on Madison’s South Side in a temporary location at Fountain of Life Covenant Church, 633 West Badger Road, while renovations begin at its permanent home, 2012 Fisher Street. One City will open there in January 2016.

A capital campaign is underway to raise $1.85 million for start-up expenses and renovations for the non-profit. Nearly $700,000 from 350 individuals and businesses has been raised to date.

On One City’s mission is focused on closing the achievement gap by getting young children ready to read before they start grade school.

“The greatest crime we can perpetuate on our children is not getting them ready to read. If they can’t read, they can’t succeed. Reading is the first step to improving their own lives and bettering our community,” says Kaleem Caire, One City founder and CEO. “Success isn’t one dimensional. One City has a holistic approach focused on the entire family.”

“Our goal is to get children reading ready by the time they enter school, but also to build family relationships, empower parents and change the community in a positive way. “For example, we’ll have on-site gardens, and we’ll offer cooking classes to parents, working with local partners to develop that curriculum.” says Marlo Mielke, Center Director. “The reading readiness gap is widespread. In 2013-14, just 14% of Black, 16%of Latino, 48% of Asian and 52% of White children were reading at grade level in Dane County’s elementary schools.”

One City Early Learning Centers is the pre-school for all parents who want their children to be ready for grade school and be part of a population that reflects the diversity of their city. One City is located in Madison’s 53713 zip code, the most racially, ethnically and economically diverse zip code in Dane County.

More information, visit the One City website