Mayor Rahm Emanuel visited Mary Lyon Elementary School to attend an end-of-year celebration for the first class of full-day kindergarten students. In February 2013, Mayor Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett announced that for the first time all 30,700 CPS kindergarten students will have a full, high-quality start to their education. This $15 million investment builds on Mayor Emanuel and CEO Byrd-Bennett’s commitment to make full-day kindergarten a budget priority.
“Investing in high-quality early childhood education establishes a foundation for success later in life,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Every single child must have access to full-day kindergarten, ensuring they are prepared to transition into first grade. From cradle to college, the City of Chicago will continue to support our students’ bright futures.”
Full-day kindergarten is part of an overall strategy to increase to high-quality early childhood education. While Illinois school districts are not required to fund full-day kindergarten, Mayor Emanuel and CPS have increased access to full-day kindergarten by 50 percent since 2011.
In the March 2014 issue of The American Journal Children of Preventive Medicine, the Community Preventive Services Task Force recommended full-day kindergarten classes as an effective way to promote the health of low-income and minority students. Full-day kindergarten gives students early academic advantages, including more independent learning, classroom involvement and productivity.
A copy of the report can be found here.
Photo Caption: Mayor Emanuel congratulates kindergarten students during end-of-year celebration
Photo Credit: Brooke Collins // City of Chicago