New UPK program serves as steppingstone into kindergarten

The Goshen Central School District has partnered with On My Way Early Learning and Childcare Center in Middletown to offer its first-ever Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) program.

The district launched the UPK after receiving funding to support the program in its 2021-22 school budget. Twenty district students were selected to attend via a lottery system.

“We are pleased to offer our families an opportunity to send their children to a quality UPK program that may serve as a steppingstone to kindergarten readiness,” said Superintendent Dr. Kurtis Kotes. “These type of early childhood education programs offer a diverse and inclusive environment for students of all backgrounds to learn and grow.”

On Oct. 12, Dr. Kotes and Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, Personnel and Technology Jason Carter joined Peggy Fuentes, owner of On My Way Early Learning Center, and Shomaila Ali, director, for a tour of the Center and UPK classroom. There, they were able to meet with UPK Teachers, Kristin Emanuele, Kathy Sweet and Shyanne Grier, as well as UPK/STEM Education Director Diane McNamara, and watch as students enjoyed a fall-themed STEM lesson (Science Technology Engineering Math).

For more information about the On My Way Early Learning and Childcare Center, visit their website at