My name is Mrs. Lakshmi Frechette. I am a mother of five small children, a CT state certified educator, a former public school teacher in the town of Southington (Grades 3 and 5), and a life-long resident and taxpayer in the town of Southington. I am starting this petition on behalf of our youngest students.
Half-Day Kindergarten is a program that highly regards child development. It is a program that allows youngsters to grow at a rate that is consistent with their emotional maturity.
Unfortunately, today's child has become the unintended victim of overwhelming stress - the stress born of rapid social change and continually rising expectations (Elkind). I am starting this petition to unite us in the belief that the world does not need 4, 5, and 6, year old youngsters who have been trained to perform. What the world needs is kindergarteners who can think creatively, problem solve, and cope with stress. How do we achieve this as a community? We must allow our youngest students the rights to their childhood. Kindergarteners need more family time at home and not longer days in school. They need more unstructured free-play and rich language development from their loving homes. There is no substitute for parents, family caregivers, or loving guardians.
After reviewing extensive research on half-day vs. all-day kindergarten, there is no conclusive evidence that suggests an all-day kindergarten model surpasses the academic and social success of its students. In fact, it has been well documented in professional journals that the benefits to be gained going from a half-day program to an all-day program in a middle-class suburban setting are minimal, and evaporate between 1st and 3rd grade. What has never been obliterated is the importance of the family and the need to increasingly strengthen the bonds among parents and their children.
The Southington Board of Education should champion the voice of parents who hold themselves accountable for their children's education. We are your partners in education. We send our children to kindergarten prepared to learn, with social graces, and with a rich background knowledge of the world in which we live. Our rewards should not only come from the successes of our children, but also from the recognition of our Superintendent of Schools and Board of Education.
We, the undersigned believe the Half-Day Kindergarten program is developmentally appropriate and more consistent with the emotional maturity of our youngest students and therefore we want the Half-Day Kindergarten program maintained in our public schools by the Southington Board of Education.