Albertson Foundation awards $1.5 million for all-day kindergarten

BOISE — The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation has awarded $1.5 million to charter support group Bluum to fund an all-day kindergarten pilot at 17 Idaho schools.

The grant will give nearly 1,000 Idaho children access to all-day kindergarten free of charge, a statement from the foundation reads.

“Providing all-day kindergarten at no cost to families is an important part of setting a great foundation for learning and ensuring all families are able to choose a school that is right for them,” said foundation executive director Roger Quarles.

Participating schools will provide feedback on program effectiveness to “inform the ongoing discussion around strategies to improve literacy in Idaho,” Bluum CEO Terry Ryan said. “This pilot should provide some important insights into what does and what doesn’t work when it comes to improving the literacy and numeracy skills of our youngest learners.”

Funds will be dispersed to recipients in time for the 2020-21 school year, Ryan added.

Grant recipients include 16 public charters and one private school:

  • 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 charter schools in Meridian, Nampa and Pocatello.
  • Idaho Arts Charter School, Nampa.
  • MOSAICS Public Charter School, Caldwell.
  • North Idaho STEM, Rathdrum.
  • Sage International, Boise.
  • Treasure Valley Classical Academy, Fruitland.
  • Upper Carmen Charter School, Salmon.
  • Island Park Charter School, Island Park.
  • St. Ignatius Catholic School, Meridian.

All-day kindergarten has taken off in Idaho, with districts and charters tapping into $26 million in state dollars earmarked for early reading programs to expand their kindergarten offerings.

Disclaimer: Idaho Education News is funded by the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation.

Devin Bodkin

About Devin Bodkin

Reporter Devin Bodkin covers education issues in East Idaho. He is a former high school English teacher who specializes in stories about charter schools and educating students who live in poverty. He is a 2019 Solutions Journalism Network fellow and the Idaho Press Club's 2019 print reporter of the year. Follow Devin on Twitter @dsbodkin. He can be reached by email at [email protected].

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