“I firmly believe that we can close the school readiness gap and prepare our children for college and careers through high-quality early learning experiences, but we have more work to do…”
Karen B. Salmon, Ph.D., State Superintendent of Schools
As a kindergarten teacher, I loved the first day of school. After weeks of stapling corrugated border around bulletin boards, stringing yarn through the holes of the new name tags, setting up beautiful and enticing learning centers, and organizing the critical tools for my students – new boxes of unbroken crayons with 24 dazzling colors, writer’s workshop books, pens and pencils, glue sticks, and rubber-handled scissors with no sharp edges – the day had finally arrived. The morning was crisp, and it was the earliest in the day I had seen over the past weeks of the long, endless – and now almost forgotten – summer. Everything smelled new and full of a million new opportunities. I greeted each child at the door and with them, waved goodbye to their parents, and considered each one's potential in the coming school year … in my room. Unfortunately, the starting line for each child varied widely because of their different life experiences leading up to that first day of kindergarten – serious differences that could mean some of them would never be able to keep pace or catch up.