Ducey Invests In Future With Commitment To Kindergarten

February 4, 2017
Arizona Republic
Maria Syms

Education is the great equalizer. As the daughter of a poor immigrant and a public school teacher, I am a living example of the opportunity that comes with a quality public school education.

That education started for me with Mrs. Whatley in kindergarten, where I spent a good amount of time learning to read on the Dick and Jane books. More than a mere introduction to school, Mrs. Whatley's kindergarten classroom set me on a path to a lifelong love of learning. Reading was my gateway.

I am now proud to raise three school-aged children in a state where Gov. Doug Ducey's budget recognizes the need to expand full-day kindergarten for Arizona's neediest students.

As a former preschool board member, I have witnessed the importance of early childhood development to future success. A positive relationship between full-day kindergarten, third-grade reading ability and high school graduation rates is undeniable.

If we are truly committed to education as the great equalizer, we need to support the governor's effort toward higher literacy rates and further expansion of full-day kindergarten.

Preparing Arizona's youngest students for success today, guarantees a brighter tomorrow for us all.