Our Priority: Full-day Kindergarten
Full-day Kindergarten helps all students, but is especially beneficial for children coming from low socio-economic or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. It’s all about getting the right supports in place at the right time. Adding more time to the Kindergarten day makes sense because Research tells us that 85 per cent of brain growth occurs before age six. By providing the gift of extra time, children will:
- be more prepared academically and experience greater progress in literacy, math and learning skills;
- be more appropriately challenged;
- be more advanced socially and show positive behaviour in the areas of originality and independent learning; and
- experience fewer transitions, especially students cared for by multiple caregivers over the course of a day.
And while these benefits help children — which is what we are all about — research also shows these benefits save money in the future. Successful student performance typically leads to:
- less money spent on school resources, such as grade repetition and special education classes;
- higher education which leads to financial success in adulthood;
- higher lifetime incomes; and
- reduced levels of delinquency and crime, benefiting community members and society.
Recognizing that a full-day of learning for children who need it most is the best way to address future educational challenges, Edmonton Public Schools made a decision to fund 19 full-day Kindergarten programs in its highest needs elementary schools. Since then, due to significant changes in student demographics, the Division identified an additional 15 elementary schools in socially vulnerable neighbourhoods that would truly benefit from offering full-day Kindergarten programs.
Current Foundation Supported Full-Day Kindergartens:
- Tipaskan launched in the 2010-11 school year;
- Lauderdale and Mee-Yah-Noh launched in the 2011-12 school year; and
- Beacon Heights, Calder and Princeton launched in the 2013-14 school year
Since the Foundation was estalished, it has raised funds to introduce and sustain six full-day kindergarten classes. To sustain our six full-day Kindergarten classes, we must raise $450,000 from the community every year plus we seek additional funding to support supplies and field trips. (And there are still nine schools waiting their turn for full-day Kindergarten to be introduced at their school should funding become available.)
Thank you to everyone who has helped to support and sustain full-day Kinderdarten in Edmonton Public Schools!