More than 2,100 youngsters will begin first grade in schools around Haifa next week, a 6 percent increase from last year, reports www.local.co.il. And Mayor Yona Yahav attributed the increase to the city's ongoing efforts to make Haifa more attractive to young families. According to the report, 2,146 children are enrolled for first grade in the approaching school year, compared with 2,023 at the same time last year. Most schools on the Carmel summit, in Neveh Sha'anan and in Ramat Alon are reporting significant increases in the numbers of first-graders this year. The report cited as examples the Ehud elementary school, which will have 88 first-graders this year compared with 59 last year, and the Habonim school, which will have 86 first-graders this year compared with 66 last year. Yahav said the increase was not surprising given the tremendous efforts the city had made over the past five years to make Haifa more attractive to young families. He said the education system was being turned into the "foundation stone" of the changes taking place in Haifa, which included improvements to the business climate and investments in infrastructure and culture.