University of Michigan-Flint and Flint Community Schools are now partnering to open a free preschool program in the district to fight the potential effects of lead.

The program, Great Expectations, is in its pilot stage at Brownell Holmes STEM Academy on Flint’s north side, where currently 20 children are enrolled in the early childhood program. Discussions are underway to open a third and final classroom on May 23 and eventually expand the program to 250 children.

“We all know this early education is critically important for our children,” said Flint Community Schools Superintendent Bilal Tawwab. “It always has been but given the lead crisis our community it’s even more critical to activate children’s minds and bodies to combat the effects of lead exposure.”

In addition to providing regular meals and snacks, Great Expectations will provide children with healthy snacks including fruits and vegetates as well as establishing a fitness program for the students.

Learn more about the free preschool program on the University of Michigan-Flint’s website here.