CASE STUDY: Bringing Full-Day Kindergarten Back to Woonsocket
CLIENT: Woonsocket Education Department
ISSUE: Due to financial concerns, in 2011 the City of Woonsocket was forced to cut full-day kindergarten to a half-day program. Seeking to restore this critical early learning program, the leadership of the Woonsocket Education Department engaged Advocacy Solutions to communicate the educational benefits of full-day kindergarten and the program’s affordability due to changes in the state’s school funding formula.
CAMPAIGN: To educate Woonsocket residents and elected leaders about the benefits of full-day kindergarten and to overcome lingering concerns about the financial impact of restoring the program, Advocacy Solutions:
• Worked hand-in-hand with the Superintendent and the Woonsocket Education Department’s Finance Director to develop a concise, jargon free fact sheet and press release outlining the educational and fiscal benefits of restoring full-day kindergarten.
• Developed a detailed full-day kindergarten PowerPoint presentation for the Superintendent to deliver to the Woonsocket School Board.
• Organized a press briefing to educate local reporters about the Woonsocket Education Department’s plan to restore full-day kindergarten.
• Reached out to third party supporters including Rhode Island Kids Count, United Way of Rhode Island, the Latino Policy Institute, NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley, and the Center for Southeast Asians to testify in favor of restoring full-day kindergarten.
• Earned media coverage of the push to restore full-day kindergarten in the Woonsocket Call, Valley Breeze, Rhode Island Public Radio, Woonsocket Patch, and GoLocalProv.
RESULT: The Woonsocket School Board and the Woonsocket Budget Commission voted to restore full-day kindergarten.