Detroit — About 3,000 pre-kindergarten students are heading to school for the first time Monday in Detroit as part of a preschool expansion by the state’s largest district.

Detroit Public Schools planned special events to welcome families of the new pupils, including fairy tale-themed events at the Golightly Education Center.

According to district officials, DPS is offering free pre-kindergarten in 189 Title I and Great Start Readiness classrooms. Schools with new preschool programs include Chrysler and Nichols elementaries.

DPS also is partnering with two nonprofits, Development Centers Inc. and Southwest Counseling Solutions to offer 16 additional classrooms for children aged birth to 5 at Beard, Earhart, Durfee, Gompers and Mark Twain schools.

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