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Cornelius News

New scholarship Christian preschool taking steps to open in August

June 12. Cornelius Early Scholars, a new scholarship Christian preschool based in Cornelius, has gained tax-exempt organization.

The organization could hire a preschool director during the board meeting tonight, says co-founder Dr. Mike Miltich, and is accepting student applications in anticipation of opening Aug. 28.

In order for most of the children to attend on a full scholarship, Cornelius Early Scholars will raise funds through private donations, grants and other sources. Donors can deduct contributions, including tax deductible bequests, devises and transfers of gifts.

There will eight children to a class and the program will start with two or three classes, Miltich says.


The hope is that most, if not all, students will be on scholarship, based on the family’s demonstrated finances, Miltich says. “Only if we have more seats than applicants that meet criteria would a fee be charged.”

The market rate for preschools is about $400 a month, he says. “We will establish a sliding scale up to market, based on the family’s income,” Miltich says.

The Rev. David Judge, chairman and co-founder, says that “with one out of four children unprepared to enter kindergarten and private preschool tuitions running at $400 per month, we knew that something had to be done for kids in-need.”

Rev. David Judge of First Baptist

“Our focus is 3 to 4 year olds of families at 150 percent of the federal poverty level or less. Without a preschool education these children can start behind and never catch up,” Judge, pastor of First Baptist Church of Cornelius, says.

Parents participate, too

The Cornelius Early Scholars approach will include educating parents as well.

“Kids need their parents or guardians to be involved in their education if they are to be successful.

“Unfortunately, some parents just don’t have the skills or training to help their kids at home,” says Miltich, a former town commissioner.

The goal of Cornelius Early Scholars is decidedly faith-based. Its mission statement is to set children’s lives on a path of success through early childhood education and a foundation of faith in Jesus Christ.  Classes will be held at First Baptist Church, but the program is independent of the church.

Board and contact information

Rounding out the board along with Judge and Miltich are Manuel Rosado, director of the Neighborhood CARE Center in Cornelius; Rhonda Cheek, former Charlotte Mecklenburg  School Board member; Tricia Sisson, former Cornelius town commissioner; and business owner, and Bonnie Little, a Cornelius resident and child education advocate.

For information or to make a donation, contact the Rev. David Judge at 704-491-2731, email corneliusearlyscholars@gmail.com, or visit www.corneliusearlyscholars.org.