When I first moved to Riverside in early 1991, it was time to sign up my oldest child for kindergarten. It did not surprise me then that morning kindergarten was the only choice.
Luckily for me, as a working mom of three, District 96 offered a program called Kindergarten Enrichment, an afternoon program paid for by those families who participated. That program was still offered three years later when my twins started school. It was expensive, but cheaper than hiring a babysitter.
I was shocked to learn that 30 years later, District 96 still offered only half-day kindergarten. Today the schools are bustling with enrollment, the surrounding districts offer all-day options and many parents, who are not particularly religious, choose Catholic schools so that their kids have an all-day experience.
I hope the board makes the right decision on this issue. All-day kindergarten is long overdue. Parents pay enough in property taxes. They should not have to pay more for extra programs or private school tuition to fill in this gap.
Jan Goldberg, Riverside