Polis highlights state preschool program success at Englewood event

Governor underscores report by state Education Department

Posted 1/31/19

Colorado’s blue running shoe-clad governor came to Englewood’s preschool to tour the new building and take a victory lap for the state’s preschool program.

“Ask any first-grade teacher: …

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Polis highlights state preschool program success at Englewood event

Governor underscores report by state Education Department

Posted

Colorado’s blue running shoe-clad governor came to Englewood’s preschool to tour the new building and take a victory lap for the state’s preschool program.

“Ask any first-grade teacher: There’s an enormous difference between kids for whom that’s their first full day of school and kids who had quality preschool and kindergarten,” Gov. Jared Polis told the crowd at a Jan. 31 event to highlight new data from the Colorado Department of Education.

The Colorado Preschool Program, created in 1988 by the state Legislature, poured $111 million into preschool and some full-day kindergarten in the 2017-18 school year, the department said in a news release. The program targets children who have risk factors associated with later challenges in school.

The odds of on-time graduation for students funded by CPP, compared to peers with similar risk factors who don’t participate in the program, are 23 percent higher, the release said. About half of students at Englewood's preschool, the Maddox Early Childhood Education Center, are funded through the program, according to Englewood Schools.

Polis played up his push for universal preschool during his 2018 campaign. At the Maddox event, he took a tour of the school, taking time to shake a young girl’s hand — the daughter of a teacher.

“Tell your mom the governor said thank you for being a teacher,” Polis said.

Maddox was recently rebuilt and opened in January with four playgrounds outdoors, two large playgrounds indoors and a focus on learning though play and exploration, according to the school district. The school at 700 W. Mansfield Ave. is one of the construction projects supported by a $97.5 million bond Englewood voters approved in 2016.

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