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Parents Expand Push for Full-Day Kindergarten

Turn to online petition to bolster calls for added kindergarten time.

Parents working to keep pressure on the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional Board of Education to expand kindergarten classes have launched a Change.org petition. Credit: Getty
Parents working to keep pressure on the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional Board of Education to expand kindergarten classes have launched a Change.org petition. Credit: Getty
A group of Bridgewater and Raritan parents hoping to get the school district to expand kindergarten classes is using a petition on Change.Org to build support.

With 219 signatures currently, the petition is viewed as "the best way to illustrate that the community wants this change and will continue to engage until every option is fully explored."

"Over the past several months, members of our group have voiced their opinions at Board of Education meetings, requested time with school administrators to share ideas, and looked for opportunities to work together," parent Jaime Pear said. "As a group, we decided that a petition was the best way to illustrate that the community wants this change and will continue to engage until every option is fully explored."

When asked at board meetings, the board has generally expressed support for expanding kindergarten but have deferred further study on the subject until after a demographer's report on future enrollment projects for the district is completed and studied by the board. The report is due in February. 

The complete text of the petition states: The children of the Bridgewater-Raritan school district deserve the same educational foundation as their cohorts across the county. We can no longer hide behind the patchwork of solutions parents are desperately trying to stitch together so that their children do not fall behind in their cognitive or social/emotional development. We must explore a public school program that meets the needs of ALL children, for ALL families. Sign this petition to demonstrate your support for full day Kindergarten in the Bridgewater-Raritan school district. Join the over 200 members who have been organizing for this important cause since August 2013 by visiting "Bridgewater-Raritan Parents for Full Day Kindergarten" on Facebook. Our children need true heroes—will you be one?

Marissa Jay January 26, 2014 at 07:55 PM
So, I'm a little offended by some of the comments and generalizations that have been made, especially if you are a working parent. My kids do not go to school or daycare all hours of the day. I think i have been late in 6 years maybe 3 times. My husband and I make it a point to ensure that we do things with the kids and have family time with them, every single day. We work, because we both want to give the kids a house to live in and health insurance. Unfortunately, we need my health insurance and that's important to our family. Today, it is really hard to afford those things, if both parents do not work. It is not the era of 20 years ago. Second, my husband and I work as a unit. I go to work earlier in the morning, so that I can pick them up earlier in the day. We make sure that we have family time daily and it is not only about what they learn at home, or other places but we encourage both kids to experience life. At the end of the day, we want to ensure they are happy and that they have choices in their lives. So, why do I want full-time kindergarten, because across the board, my kids are losing out on opportunities that are afforded to many other children. My daughter wants to read and unfortunately, I cannot teach her that - I'm not a teacher. We read to her every night, but she wants to learn the words and she wants to learn more. Also, because of not having full day kindergarten, she has to split her time between two schools, she misses her nap and she doesn't eat lunch. We had her in a full day program and it didn't work for her and she was miserable. We moved her mid-year to now two different programs to supplement the full day program she was missing. She loves the new programs, but she doesn't sleep and she doesn't eat anymore. The school is working with her, but it hard when she is shuttling between schools. This discussion should not be, a stay at home vs. working parent discussion. This should be what is best for my kids discussion. Additionally, we say that we do not believe that our kids can handle a full day and I have to say, it depends on the child. There are certain kids that will not benefit and there are other kids who will benefit greatly, but I believe she is an opportunity that should be available to everyone in the district. So, before we go generalizing and putting all parents in buckets, why don't we look at the facts, the links, and see what is best for our children as a whole and give options.
Stacey Friedlander January 26, 2014 at 08:14 PM
JP and Marissa - please know that your concerns are in touch with reality. Unfortunately Jane and Gerianne are not aware of the realities of Kindergarten and from what I'm reading, I bet they haven't a child in the elementary system, especially Kindergarten in a long time. If they did, they would know that many of the things they've mentioned do not exist in the Kindergarten of the new Millenium (rest time etc.). The demands placed on our teachers AND children in the age of the Common Core ARE the reality AND the age of having two working parents is. I think the links that JP posted are crucial for understanding and discussion. I believe her posts were ignored and not read, if they had been, this could be a discussion based more on facts and realities and not the Kndergarten of yesteryear.
M R January 27, 2014 at 03:02 PM
I had a child in half day kindergarten 40 years ago. At that time the economy was such that I could be a stay at home mommy. But still, we had to live on a tight budget in a very modest house with a lower end used car. My parents had a clothing store and helped us immensely by supplying my husband and child with most of their clothing. My child had a wonderful teacher but could have benefited from a full day program. I had been a teacher, so I was able to help her learn to read when she found herself ready and was almost self taught at age 4. Now I would never have been able to stay home even living frugally with the tight economy and outrageous taxes. And my child would have needed more schooling to gain the skills she would need in today's competitive job market. I am sad for today's families that moms do not have that one on one time to spend doing crafts, cooking, shopping, and all those fun and educational activities my child and I shared. But we have to admit to the realities and do what we have to do to provide children with the most effective tools to move into their adult years. Stacey, thank you for opening this forum, and as an older parent, I see where you are coming from. I do not begrudge one penny of my taxes that go to improving our schools. Kudos to parents like you, JP and Marissa for voicing your concerns and hopefully influencing other young parents to be as active advocates for their children.
Stacey Friedlander January 29, 2014 at 08:31 AM
Take the poll: http://bridgewater.patch.com/groups/schools/p/hot-topic-fullday-kindergarten
ClearIndia April 25, 2014 at 02:35 AM
Very good blog regarding Kindergarten. This information in this blog is amazing. I can share this information with my friends. According to me this is very useful information for the parents who want to spend their time with their parents.

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