Governor Steve Bullock today visited with Montana students at Franklin Elementary School and Alberton Preschool and welcomed them back to school.
“It’s an exciting time for kids all across our state as they return back to the classroom with even greater opportunities to learn and succeed,” said Governor Bullock. “With everything from breakfast in the classroom, to high-quality early childhood education and critical infrastructure upgrades, teachers, parents, and students have so much to celebrate this school year.”
Governor Bullock toured Franklin Elementary School’s new building and visited with students in the classroom. The 100-year-old building was recently replaced by a city bond passed in 2015.
All students at Franklin Elementary School have the opportunity to participate in free breakfast in the classroom. Students can also receive free lunch and an afternoon snack.
Participation in traditional, cafeteria-style models that serve breakfast before classes begin averages a little over 30%, whereas alternative models, such as breakfast in the classroom, typically average more than 70%. High breakfast participation leads to improvements in student health, academics, and behavior. Since 2014, Governor and First Lady Bullock have partnered with private organizations to provide grant funding to schools to expand school breakfast programs and increase access to quality nutrition at the start of the school day.
Governor Bullock also visited the new preschool classroom at Alberton Elementary and read to the students.
Alberton Elementary was awarded with an $85,000 STARS Preschool grant to serve 12-15 children this year. Governor Bullock worked with the 2017 Montana Legislature to expand early childhood educational services. Funding to create a pilot preschool program was included in House Bill 649 and passed with bipartisan support. Seventeen preschools, including Alberton Elementary, in sixteen communities across the state were selected to receive funding this school year and will serve more than 300 four- and five-year old children.
Research shows that children with high-quality early learning opportunities are more likely to read at grade level, graduate from high school, and earn even more money; and that every $1 spent on high-quality pre-school programs creates $7 in future savings to the communities and states that invest in them