Passionate parents, educators and community members worked together over the last 3 months as Stand for Children Parent Advocacy Fellows to advocate on behalf of Colorado families in favor of full-day kindergarten. These 9 women dedicated a great deal of their time and talents to convince policy makers to set aside the funding to provide tuition free full-day kindergarten across Colorado. Colorado currently funds just over half a day of kindergarten for children, which leaves many families facing a choice of whether to pay up to $400 per month for their child to attend full-day kindergarten. This legislative session, Governor Polis and other policy makers stated they would be prioritizing funding for full-day kindergarten, but funds needed to be allocated in the budget and legislation needed to be passed to implement the funding and policy across the state.
Stand for Children Parent Advocacy fellows applied and were accepted to participate in an 8 week program that met once a week to learn about education policy and effective advocacy techniques. They then had opportunities to engage with policymakers, share their stories with reporters, on social media, and on Stand for Children’s blog.
Some quick stats on what this parent-led campaign to support full-day kindergarten for Colorado kids accomplished:
- 10 interviews with reporters
- 4 speakers during 4 press conferences
- 11 participants in a roundtable discussion with Governor Polis
- 5 first-person blog posts
- 1 participant in a Facebook Live discussion with Governor Polis
- 27 attendees at Full-Day Kindergarten Advocacy Day at the Capitol
- 6 parent testimonies in favor of legislation and funding before House and Senate Committees
- 4 letters to the editor submitted
- 3 op-ed published
- 1,521 petitions gathered
- 251 letters to legislators
Our Stand for Children Colorado team wants to thank Asia Zanders, Bonnie Hendricks, Crystal Jennings, Evelyn Taylor, Hannah Whitaker, Karen Hampel, Lisa Villanueva, Leilani Siens, and Ruby Cardenas for their dedication and hard work. $174 million for full-day kindergarten was included in the budget and HB 1262 is headed to Governor Polis for his signature. This means that families across Colorado will have access to tuition free full-day kindergarten this fall!
If you are interested in learning more and applying to be a Stand for Children Parent Advocacy Fellow we will be sending out information for our next session soon. Sign up here if you would like us to contact you with more information.