SAN ANTONIO -

Monday morning marked the official kick off of Pre-K 4 SA.

The program is San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro's vision come to life and he was on hand to greet parents and students at the North Education Center for the first day of class.

Last November, San Antonio voters approved a 1/8-cent increase in the city's sales tax to help fund the program.

An estimated 700 Pre-K students will attend classes at two education centers, one near Brooks City Base in the 2500 block of SE Military Drive and the other on the Northwest Side in the 3600 block of Medical Drive.

Both campuses are starting out filled to capacity.

"We're taking some of the best practices in the nation and putting those into practice in San Antonio and so I fully expect that the young people -- the 4-year-olds going through this initiative -- are going to have a leg up in the future," said Castro

While most preschool programs are four hours long, this one lasts all day and includes an optional after-school program.

The Aleman family was happy their twins, Jonathan and Jaden, landed spots in the program.

There are about 300 families on a waiting list.

"We're very excited. We've been looking forward to this and I know they're very excited, they're ready to learn," said Brenda Aleman.

Two additional centers will open in the program’s second year. At full enrollment, the model education centers will educate 2,000 children per year with high quality Pre-K programs, according to the city's website.

A total of 88 teachers and 88 assistants are part of the program.

For a list of recent stories Eileen Gonzales has done, click here.