The new week brings an interesting Ed News Colorado story from new writer Katie Kerwin McCrimmon called “Keeping Up with the Dunruds.” The story highlights a Denver family with a boy about my own age who sounds like he shares some of my penchant for prodigy:
Braeden Dunrud was riding in the family car when he saw a sign for the Spicy Pickle restaurant and asked his mom if it said “Spacey Pickle.” Pretty darn close for a 3-year-old.
A short time later, Braeden revealed his reading abilities again. As he carried a can of root beer to the recycling bin, he called out, “Does it say Mug’s?” His parents looked at each other, stunned. Yes, as a matter of fact, it did say Mug’s, a brand name the parents never used. Clearly, Braeden was teaching himself to read.
Now 5, Braeden is among 38 children in advanced kindergarten at the Center for Early Education in Denver, a stand-alone site that houses preschool programs for four southeast Denver feeder schools, along with both traditional and advanced kindergarten classrooms. The center opened in 2009 and expanded to provide preschool for 3-year-olds, along with kindergarten, this year.
The article goes on to detail some of the family’s challenges in finding a spot for Braeden in advanced kindergarten while also getting his two school-aged brothers into educational programs at other locations. Then there are the questions and lingering anxieties about what options will be available for them in the future.
No doubt the Dunrud story is somewhat typical of families in Colorado and elsewhere. As more and more families are armed with knowledge of what educational options exist, the incentive grows for providers — be they school districts or entrepreneurs — to ensure public demand is being met. Choice and competition comprise one crucial aspect of improving school options for families.
One key tool available to parents here in Colorado is our School Choice for Kids website, which provides critical information on every school in the state and allows users to search for specific types of schools within a given radius of their home or other address. We’d love it if you check out the site! Click on the picture below to get started. (And if you appreciate it at all, become a fan of School Choice for Kids on Facebook!)