Full-Day Kindergarten in Sparta. What’s Left to Think About?
What a sound educational investment for a young, growing Sparta community – Full-Day Kindergarten. How can anyone truly disagree? Research dictates that full-day Kindergarten not only advances academic achievement, but it also strengthens social and emotional skills as well. Sure, there are the usual naysayers; however, how do you put a price on educating a child?
As I have witnessed over the past several years, our community demands that we ensure we have the best schools and municipal programs, not only in Sussex County, but also in all of Northern New Jersey. Why wait until this opportunity becomes just another unfunded state mandate? It’s time that our Board takes initiative and puts in place an important program for the future leaders of our community before just “falling in line.” Let’s show other towns that we value our youth, our schools, and the reputation of our community most by providing an extra half year of elementary readiness to ensure that our students’ reading and math proficiencies truly surpass the level of skills necessary to be successful in this 21st Century global society.
As for the money, well yes times are tight. So, maybe it’s time for the district to “tighten the belt” a little more to help offset some of the impact on the community. However, I’m sure the taxpayers and our Board will agree with Reg Weaver, past president of the NEA, that attempting to repair reading skills in fourth grade is far more expensive than guaranteeing good reading skills in Kindergarten.
Richard D. Tomko, Ph.D.
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