Stand for Children Colorado has named Krista Spurgin Executive Director. Krista has worked for Stand for Children since 2013. She previously served as the Government Affairs Director for Stand Colorado and Vice President of National Campaigns for Stand for Children.
After Krista graduated from the University of Nebraska, she moved to Washington, D.C. to teach high school students from across the nation civics education and community involvement. After this, she spent several years in many locations working on campaigns. As Stand Colorado’s Government Affairs Director, Krista was responsible for developing and implementing policy, legislative, and political strategy. As the Vice President of National Campaigns for Stand for Children, she supports all 11 Stand affiliate states in their electoral work.
Get to know a little bit more about Krista in our question and answer below!
What are you most excited about in this new role?
There are many reasons I am excited about this role. Most notably, I am looking forward to continuing our work on early literacy in Colorado. The importance of being able to read can’t be overstated, and we must stay vigilant in ensuring student outcomes continue to improve. The Stand Colorado team has made great strides in bringing the importance of literacy to the forefront. I look forward to being part of the movement to give our students, parents, and teachers the support they need to get every child reading on grade-level.
Why do you Stand?
I stand because inequity exists and I believe it is worth acknowledging so we can begin to find solutions. At Stand we believe that every child should have access to a quality education no matter where they live.
What is the biggest challenge facing education in Colorado today and how do you plan to help tackle it?
Only about 39% of Colorado fourth graders are reading on grade-level. The numbers are even more bleak for Colorado children living in poverty --only 23% of those students are reading on grade level. As a volunteer in our local library, I had to show Jeff, a 5th grader, where the books for kindergarteners were in the library because he couldn’t read the same books as his classmates, I didn’t understand how this could happen. I later learned he dropped out of high school at 16. I don’t want to see any kid miss an opportunity to succeed and know early literacy skills can be the first step to opening up a lifetime of opportunities.
At Stand Colorado, we are prioritizing improving early literacy rates because we know that the ability to read is foundational to a student’s success in school. Research tells us that students need to be reading on grade level by 3rd grade so they can be prepared to read to learn moving forward. The good news is that research also tells us the building blocks for how students learn how to read and the best ways to support struggling readers. Colorado has passionately committed educators and a strong policy to help students who need it the most. It is going to take a village to provide the right systems and supports to improve our literacy rates. I am proud to work with so many groups and individuals who share the same values of improving student outcomes and fighting to break down barriers that cause inequities.
Where are we most likely to find you when you are not at work?
Preferably on a trip to some place I have never been. I love to travel whenever possible. There are so many amazing places and people in this world and I try my best to soak up as much new information and as many experiences I can. I am also learning how to roast coffee which isn’t quite as easy as I thought it would be in my little kitchen. I’m also learning Spanish. My husband and I have taken a class and practice with our flashcards regularly, but I have a long way to go!