Parents stand in line 2 days to get a spot at popular Jersey City Pre-K

JERSEY CITY, New Jersey (WABC) -- A long line of people are camping out in Jersey City Friday night. It's not for a concert, or latest tech gadget. This time it's for a coveted spot at a Jersey City pre-school, Concordia Learning Center.

Eager parents started waiting in line on Summit Avenue around 6 a.m. Thursday morning, two days before registration.

It is Jersey City's most popular Pre-k program, so each year the school allows children in on a first come first served basis.

The parents are willing to sit in the rain and cold to get their children into a sought after Pre-k program for 3 year olds.

"I have a cot and one of those chairs that tilts back nicely and lots of blankets," said Matt Porter, a father.

These Jersey City parents have been sitting in line since early Thursday morning, two full days of waiting, hoping to get one of just 82 spots for the Concordia Learning Center's Pre-school program.

It's the second time Nicole Juarez has lined up. Her oldest son flourished in the program, so she's back for her second son, and will be back again in a few years for her daughter.

"They treat your kids like their kids. It's very family orientated, it feels like home," Juarez said.

"We have very limited school that is good in Jersey City, and have no options but to line up for a good one," said Nurul Shi, a mother.

Some parents even hired people to hold their place in line, a job usually done to snag concert tickets.

Tim Crowder says he's getting paid $500 to stay in line.

"This is probably the most important job we've ever done, because this is pre-school. This concerns a child's future," Crowder said.

As parents showed Eyewitness News pictures of their precious children, they explained its well worth the wait.

"Now we are enjoying. First we thought it was a nightmare, but now we've made new friends," said Sushand Ruspagi, a father.

"It's comradery. I feel bad for people who don't sit in the line. Now we're all in it. We take our kids and we been through it together. Creates a really good vibe and it is definitely worth it," said Josh Bryant, a father.
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