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Guest Editorial in favor of full day kindergarten

yes to Full day Kindergarten
I am completely in support of Ridgewood finally moving to All-Day Kindergarten.  It is an embarrassment that we do not have it yet.  Are we the only town left with half-day K?  If you look online, the internet explodes with studies supporting the extended day.  Let’s face it, if a child gets to kindergarten at 8:30, then coats are hung up and everyone settles in for morning circle time on the rug….by the time they get down to any actual learning it might be 9:00.  Add to that art, recess, snack, all wholly worthwhile activities but time-consuming nonetheless, and all of a sudden it is time for pick-up from school.  Meanwhile in every town surrounding us, in fact probably most towns in the entire country, the 5 and 6 year olds are getting three more hours a day.  This means that they get the socialization, the art, music, snack, recess and so on…..but they also get significant time to learn some basics of reading, writing, and “rithmetic.” 

Parents who want their children home for the afternoon (or morning) instead of having them at school for 3 extra hours protest that the time with family (mom?, nanny? younger siblings?) is of more value than the time in school.  Really?  I am going out on a limb here, but not much of a limb, in wagering that many of those kids are spending some of that time on an ipad, or watching mommy (or nanny) texting to God-knows-who.  Or maybe they are being rushed right from kindergarten to karate or ballet.  Staying at school would not be a bad alternative; far from it, staying at school would be infinitely preferable. 

Non-parents who argue that those in favor just want free day care are living in another universe.  For parents who work, full-day K does not include sufficient hours to occupy their children while they are on the job.  Not even close.

Those who protest that children need more unscheduled time are using a half-baked argument.  I am a big fan of down-time, but most kids of that age are up and awake for 13 or 14 hours a day.  Surely adding a half-day more of school for the 180 days a year that they go to school would not preclude plenty of down-time.

The cost?  Well, I for one would rather have my tax money going to the children, the future, than having it go to some of the ridiculous projects that have come up in recent years in Ridgewood.  This would be money well spent.

Come on Ridgewood, let’s vote YES for all-day-K, and catch up with the rest of the country.  Do it for the kids!

15 thoughts on “Guest Editorial in favor of full day kindergarten

  1. Those screaming the loudest against it ate stay at home moms,who want an excuse not to work for one more year.

  2. Ridgewood is in the process of taxing itself to death. Look at houses at the high end of the market that are already not selling. This will creep down to the middle market as we continue to make avoidable expenditures like this that increase our taxes. Remember that we already have unsustainable union contracts and expenditures legislated by Trenton to swallow every year. We need to be looking for ways to reduce spending – not increase it for the benefit of the few.

  3. All-Day Kindergarten. $$$$$

    Parking Garage $$$$$$

    Performing Arts Center $$$$$

    Whats next an Addition onto Village Hall ?

  4. Vote NO! Those that want all day kindergarten should pay for it, it will be cheaper than child care and baby sitting services.

  5. I am a grandfather and my grandchildren live in Maryland. I stand to gain nothing from all day K. But I a absolutely voting for it. YES? This is the right thing to vote for.

  6. It should be paid for by those who use it.

  7. No, it should not be paid for just by those who use it. It should be paid for,by all of us. We all pay for,the fire department even though most of us do not use it. We all,pay for the upkeep of every park in town even if you never go to one. You do not just pay for services you directly use. All day kindergarten should be provided by the town for the kids. .

  8. Unfortunately what it costs to provide what some say we “should” provide has already been spent by those that were convinced that we needed something else. Enough is enough. If you want something new, cut something else. No new taxes.

  9. “Those who protest that children need more unscheduled time are using a half-baked argument.”

    Not according to, The Creative Spirit, written by Goleman, Kaufman and Ray, companion book to PBS series by the same name.

    According to these experts and Gardner, children develop their ability to be creative by the age of eight years of age. Unscheduled free time to explore and play as the child chooses,especially time to focus on one activity as long as he wants to, determines a child’s ability to solve all kinds of problems for the rest of his life.
    Not only must a half-day kindergarten schedule remain, but learning to read in kindergarten, forcing a developing brain that wants to be free to explore all day is destructive. At least coming home after a half day gives the child time to explore without being exhausted after a full day.

    If I were a parent with a young child nowadays, I would home school for kindergarten or send to, only a half-day Montessori type education. I would enter the child in the first grade. And believe me, folks , he would learn to read and understand what he read.

  10. It’s almost past the point where we can discuss what’s right or wrong. The money has been sapped out by special interests and we can’t afford it–period.

  11. When I moved to Ridgewood in 1993, my youngest was entering kindergarten. She had been in pre-school in NYC: three mornings a week the first year, five mornings a week the second year, so I was worried that half day kindergarten would be a step backward.
    Fortunately for us, Hawes school was experimenting that year with a non graded, multi-age K,1,2, with full day kindergarten.
    It was a fantastic program! The children were grouped by developmental appropriateness, not chronological age or grade, and they moved at their own pace, She was with the same three teachers and the same classmates for three years, except for the third of the class that moved on to third grade, replaced by incoming kindergarteners. What a great experience!
    It was really unfortunate that this program was never expanded to the other elementary schools, but I think it was because most of the people in town did not want to fund full day kindergarten.
    How sad that twenty years have gone by and there has been no progress.

  12. Agree with you Nancy, it is sad that we are so behind. Hoping that changes with a big YES vote in November.

  13. I am absolutely voting yes. Our kids are sponges at this young age. Ready, curious, driven and able to learn. Especially because the curriculum is very age appropriate and the extra time just gives them more time to practice, absorb and get used to being in a group/social and school setting.

  14. To even consider having some parents pay our public school a “tuition” would be a major step backwards in the very basic societal good that is public education. If you think about how K-12 covers thirteen grades of education and a this is the only one that is a half day, it just makes no sense. What makes less sense is to ask individual residents who “use” the public good to pay for 1/26th (half of one of the thirteen grades) of their child’s public education, it really just sounds outlandish. I want taxes to stay down and needless expenditures eliminated as much as the next person, but one becomes unreasonable if they are just knee-jerk responding “no” to anything with a price tag. Each items must be considered on it’s own merits, and public education was at the heart of what made this country so successful and needs to be continually improved and supported by the entire community. I’m looking forward to voting “yes” on this important topic.

  15. People who vote no are self-centered idiots. Our children need the all day K.

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