An open letter to the House Finance Committee
Dear Chairman Kurk and Members of the House Finance Committee,
After more than 25 years of trying, New Hampshire is finally poised to fully fund those communities that have full day kindergarten.
Kindergarten is a magical time in a child’s life. During kindergarten, children learn to get along with each other, they discover the joy and challenge of reading and writing, and they learn what it means to be in school. We know that kindergarten is a key “bridge year” for children—a year for children to move from unstructured play and early learning to the more structured learning environment of formal schooling.
Full day kindergarten boosts student achievement and improves students’ social and emotional skills. A full-day schedule allows more appropriate challenges for children at all developmental levels. Children with developmental delays or those “at risk” of experiencing school problems, have more time for completing projects and for needed socializing with peers and teachers. More advanced students have time to complete long-term projects and to develop interests and activities more fully.
The benefits of full-day kindergarten are clear. Those students that attend full-day kindergarten are better prepared to enter first grade, have a higher high school graduation rate and are more likely to go to college. Full day kindergarten is a sound educational investment.
SB191 has the support of the Governor, the mayors of this state’s two largest cities, leading chambers of commerce, and the 17,000 members of NEA-New Hampshire. I hope it has your support as well.