All Children – All Day, Let’s Find a Way! FDK
Early childhood education has been a core initiative of the Enumclaw Schools Foundation since 2008 with the start of the Full-Day Kindergarten (FDK) initiative: “All Children – All Day, Let’s Find a Way!”
Early Learning = Future Academic SuccessEarly learning sets the stage for academic achievement throughout a child’s K-12 experience. When all children are ready for 1st grade, the potential for higher achievement for every child is elevated. All children benefit. This is why for six years, 2003-2009, the Enumclaw School District dedicated voter approved I-728 dollars for its free-to-all, premier full-day kindergarten program. This tremendous investment for both students and teachers began a course of direction and professional development that would alter the future achievement of all students. Sadly, state cuts in 2008 all but eliminated 728 funding, and the district was forced to return to a system of half-day kindergarten for all, and full-day offerings for those who could afford the $250/month tuition. The very students who most benefit from the full-day program—our neediest children—are the ones most affected.
In response to this need, the Enumclaw Schools Foundation raises money annually to fund as many full-day kindergarten slots as possible through the provision of scholarships for the neediest children across the district. This grassroots fundraising is crucial to retaining the integrity of the initial six-year investment of this district-wide program—investment not only in the advanced education of our students but also in the professional development of teachers and staff. Since fundraising began in 2009, enough scholarships have been raised to provide at least one full-day kindergarten class in each of the district’s five elementary buildings, thereby sustaining the program’s continuity district-wide.
The Vision: All Children – All DayOur vision is for ALL kindergartners in the Enumclaw School District to again receive free full-day kindergarten. Hard working volunteers continue to explore options to restore full-day kindergarten to every child. The State Legislature has promised to begin funding full-day kindergarten to buildings with the highest free and reduced price lunch percentages by 2018, and may hopefully restore the I-728 funds prior to that, which our district would use for full-day kindergarten. In the meantime, advocates at the Enumclaw Schools Foundation are doing everything possible to ensure that those kindergartners most in need have equal access to the long-term academic enrichment that full-day kindergarten provides.
Scholarships for Children Who Need ItFunds raised are contributed to the Enumclaw School District to provide scholarships to children who most need, and can benefit from, the enriched program of full-day kindergarten. The district determines qualification for a scholarship based on the Federal guidelines for free and reduced price lunch. Students are selected by double-blind, random drawing for each elementary school.
A Full-Day Class in Every ElementaryBy distributing scholarship funds among the 5 elementary schools, the district has been able to offer full-day kindergarten in each school, keeping the initial 6-year investment of professional development from fading away. It also assures the option of a full-day kindergarten class in every elementary school for those families who can afford tuition.
Saving JobsFunds raised for full-day kindergarten scholarships help save jobs, too. Three FTE positions have been saved each year since 2009 by filling full-day classes with kindergartners who receive scholarships. That’s why funding scholarships for children who need it most makes good sense for our children, our elementary schools, and our community.
What You Can DoHelp us come closer to our vision of “All Children – All Day” by making a contribution today using the “Donate” link on this web page, or by planning to attend our annual FDK Benefit Banquet, “All Children – All Day, Let’s Find a Way!”
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