Re: the April 8 column "Getting to 'yes' on early childhood education."
When a child’s brain is growing faster than at any other time in her life, the value of early childhood learning is indisputable. But supporting our children’s education does not stop when they arrive at their kindergarten teacher’s door. K-12 educators continue to develop students’ minds as they learn to comprehend what they read, communicate effectively, think critically, solve problems, and grow as full participants and positive contributors to society. Literacy doesn’t just happen.
Far too many students struggle 180 school days per year in schools that lack school libraries facilitated by state-certified librarians. Correlational research shows school librarians are key educators who help ensure that students and teachers have the resources and support they need to achieve and succeed (https://tinyurl.com/slmattersresearch).
If Arizonans are committed to a literate populace, funding early childhood education is a first step. Reviving K-12 school libraries and restoring professional school librarian positions is the next.
Disclaimer: As submitted to the Arizona Daily Star.