Full-day kindergarten a must

How, in this day and age when America is in desperate need of educated men and women, can public officials not know the importance of full-day kindergarten?

And why, in this day and age, don’t they simply check out some facts online. Perhaps, we can help those Milford skeptics.

Here, from Mary Ann Rafoth, PhD, NCSP; Sara A. Grimes, and Beth Buzi of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, writing on the website of the National Association of School Psychologists, is this list of benefits of full-day kindergarten:

Higher long-term achievement.

Higher achievement for disadvantaged and low income children, and for those receiving Title I services.

Higher reading scores in early grades.

Fewer grade retentions.

Higher test scores.

More time spent in individualized instruction.

More time spent in free play, less time in large groups.

Greater progress in social skills for disadvantaged and low income children.

More reinforcement of positive social behaviors.

Higher self esteem and independence.

Greater creativity.

Access to nutritional breakfast and lunch.

A more relaxed, less hurried school day with more varied experiences.

No apparent negative consequences in general.

Well, skeptics? Have you answers for that?

We do have one for Rick Wood, a former member of the Milford School Budget Committee, who wondered, at a recent meeting, if public kindergarten is better than private. Our answer: Who cares? Many private kindergartens are probably wonderful … for people who can afford them. For people who can’t? It doesn’t matter how wonderful they are.

Public, full-day kindergarten is for everyone, including people who don’t have a great deal of extra money and that is important to the educational health of our communities and our nation. Do you think China has half-day kindergarten? Germany?

Milford, and any other town considering full-day kindergarten, would be doing their children and their nation a disservice to not vote in favor it.

Are our kids not worth a few dimes on the tax rate?