Bill designates September as Kindergartener Month

Madeline Coats
WNPA Olympia News Bureua

A push from a Shelton fifth-grade teacher has lawmakers thinking about designating September as Kindergartener Month.
If signed into law, Senate Bill 5028 would set aside the month for students beginning elementary school.
The measure is co-sponsored by Sens. Sam Hunt, D-Olympia, Steve O’Ban, R-Pierce County and Claire Wilson, D-Auburn.
Hunt introduced S.B. 5028 with a push from Mary Clift, a fifth-grade teacher from Bordeaux Elementary School in Shelton. Rep. Dan Griffey, R-Allyn, introduced the same bill in 2017, but it did not move from the floor.
Clift, originally from Olympia, reached out to Hunt to give the bill a second chance.
“There is no cost to this bill,” Clift said. “It’s a no-brainer.”
Testimonies were given by three of Clift’s previous students who now attend Oakland Bay Junior High School in the Shelton School District.
Graysen Reveal, 14, Ethan Roberts, 14, and Anthony Pagel, 13, spoke in support of S.B. 5028.
“As a class, we created an idea for a bill and we hope it will become a law in Washington state,” Roberts said.
Clift's class wrote the bill three years ago.
They reached out to senators and representatives, lobbied for the bill and talked to Gov. Jay Inslee in his office about next steps, Roberts during a hearing on the measure last Friday.
Reveal, now an eighth-grader, believes this bill will help kindergarteners get off to a great start in education.
“It is my hope, along with my fellow classmates, that this bill will help all kindergarteners across the state,” Reveal said. H
Hunt clarified that the description of the bill should be altered to specify the beginning of a child’s K-12 education.
“This is the start of their K-12 education, but certainly not the start of their education,” Hunt said at the hearing.