Prime Time for Education It would be a wonderful world if we could give our children a better future. Why not start by filling their little minds with a handful of education at an early age? In Arizona it has been a controversial subject on whether to fund full day kindergarten. In my research on the subject and the experience I have had with my own children full day kindergarten is all around a wonderful idea. There are benefits for children, parents and teachers. Benjamin Franklin once said, "An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." First let us discuss the benefits for children. Students have the potential to experience their greatest academic growth in kindergarten.
In full day kindergarten research shows greater progress in literacy, math, social skills, and general learning skills. It is the year to format their attitudes toward learning. Research analyzing 23 studies of full day kindergarten indicated that "overall, students who attend full day kindergartens manifest significantly greater achievement than students who attend half day kindergarten." As stated here, academically it is an excellent idea. Another benefit is for the lower-income families to enroll children in a higher quality early education program that might otherwise be affordable in the private market. In 1997, the Minneapolis school district began testing kindergartners. Those studies found that many students from low-income families began school not knowing the names of letters, how to count from one to 20, and some could not even recognize colors and shapes.
The testing showed a significant gap between students of color and their white classmates. Since the Minneapolis School district started offering full day kindergarten they have seen an overwhelming difference in the learning of the low-income, African-American, American Indians, and Latinos. For example, the number of letter sounds acquired by full day students was 30% higher than their half day peers (Pug mire, 2002). Looking at these studies and knowing we have many low-income and diverse races in the Mesa School District there is a wonderful benefit to support full day kindergarten. For those students that need more time and support, giving it to them in the front end, will save a great deal of remediation and less money in the back end. Finally some benefits for our teachers; include more time to spend with students individually and in small groups (Full Day Kindergarten, n.
d. ), more time to communicate with parents, and more time to assess students and individualize instruction to their needs and interests (Full Day Kindergarten, n. d. ). Why is it important to be able to spend more time individually with a student? If a teacher can spend more time with the student it allows the student to be more actively engaged and more positive in his or her activities.
Communication between parents and educators will result in more opportunities for extending learning experiences, address individual needs, and also to have better communication between home and school. For advanced students there is time to complete long-term projects and for children with developmental delays there is more time for completion of projects and teacher / student interaction. Of course there are those individuals that are against full day kindergarten. Why you may ask, because they feel that the children are too young and not physically able to go all day.
Other parents think formal education too soon will weaken the role of family. This is fine for those parents that can afford to stay home and spend time but what about those parents who have to work to support their children? If they were only in half day kindergarten they could be cared for by three or more caregivers over the course of a day, but if they were in full day kindergarten they would not be juggled between places and would be expanding their minds academically. In conclusion full day kindergarten is a wonderful benefit for the Mesa School district. My oldest daughter went to all day kindergarten in Minnesota and my son went to half day kindergarten here in Arizona. There is no comparison as to what my daughter learned compared to my son. So is full day kindergarten a good idea? Yes, now let me end this essay with a quote from John F.
Kennedy. "A child miseducate d is a child lost." Remember full day kindergarten is not only a benefit for the parent but also a benefit for the children and teachers of our community. References Full Day Kindergarten. (n. d. ) Retrieved April 17, 2005 from web T.
(2002, November 13). Study says all-day kindergarten helps. Minnesota Public Radio News. Retrieved April 18, 2005, from http: news.
minnesota. public radio. org / features /200211/13 /.