Children in a kindergarten class smile at the camera at Gem Prep in Nampa

Free, All-Day Kindergarten Provided to 17 Idaho Schools

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Free all-day kindergarten provided to over 1,000 Idaho kids

Idaho foundation funds all-day kindergarten in 17 Idaho schools

Press Release, 5/27/2021 | Download

The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation is fully funding all-day kindergarten for more than 1,000 students in the Bluum network of public charter and private schools.

Students who attend all-day kindergarten have been shown to attain enhanced academic performance compared to their peers, with the boost in achievement lasting throughout their scholastic careers.

“All-day kindergarten is valuable and necessary for many children and their parents. We are appreciative of the leaders that have prioritized this work and made it happen in their schools,” said Roger Quarles, Executive Director of the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation. “By offering all-day kindergarten to families in Idaho, we are able to better prepare our youngest learners with a solid educational foundation that gets them off to a positive start.”

Students in Idaho will attend all-day kindergarten programs free of charge. It is the second year the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation has funded this program, which will cost approximately $1.4 million in the coming school year.

The Foundation is committed to following the academic progress of graduates from the full-day kindergarten program. The results are expected to add to an abundance of evidence showing full-day kindergarten to be among the most effective ways to boost academic achievement in a community.

“Kindergarten students are like sponges–they soak in everything.  Providing an all-day program helps us have adequate time to develop their foundational skills in reading and in math as well as extend their learning through our STEAM model.  The investment in our students by the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation to allow them this opportunity is a game-changer for our students and families,” said Anthony Haskett, founder and Principal of MOSAICS Public School.

Partner schools are from urban and rural areas across Idaho, representing both public institutions and private charters. They include:

  • Alturas International Academy (Idaho Falls)
  • Anser Charter School (Garden City)
  • Compass Public Charter School (Meridian)
  • Forge International School (Middleton)
  • Future Public Charter School (Garden City)
  • Gem Prep: Meridian
  • Gem Prep: Nampa
  • Gem Prep: Meridian North
  • Gem Prep: Pocatello
  • Idaho Arts Charter School
  • MOSAICS Public Charter School (Caldwell)
  • North Idaho STEM (Rathdrum)
  • Sage International (Boise)
  • St. Ignatius (Meridian)
  • Treasure Valley Classical Academy (Fruitland)
  • Upper Carmen Charter School
  • Island Park Charter School

All-day kindergarten programs have been enormously popular among parents and teachers when deployed across the country. Teachers see greater emotional and instructional progress with their students. Parents are also eager to provide their children with a better educational model and appreciate the convenience of an all-day school schedule.

“We see first-hand the value of quality early childhood education. An investment in the intellectual, social and physical growth of a 5- or 6-year-old will pay off not just now, but for the child’s lifetime,” St. Ignatius Catholic School Principal Andi Kane said.

Studies show that anecdotal evidence of higher marks, better behavior and accelerated learning continue in later grades, especially among vulnerable student populations.

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About the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation

The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation is a private family foundation, committed to the vision of accelerating opportunities in Idaho. Since its inception in 1966, the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation has given over $700 million, focusing in the areas of learning, leadership, and community. The foundation is committed to making Idaho an exemplary model for innovative learning, a world-class destination for accessible recreation, and the most hospitable state for life after the military. For more information, visit jkaf.org

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