MISSOULA – Kindergarten students at Missoula’s DeSmet School had a special guest storytime reader when Gov. Greg Gianforte came to campus on Wednesday.
He was there to talk about new funding for public education in Montana that, among other things, boosts efforts to get kids to read earlier in life.
Childhood literacy is a topic we have been covering in recent weeks to support our 'If You Give a Child a Book' campaign.
He’s highlighting House Bill 15 which added more than $85.5 million to the state’s K-12 base funding through 2025.
Gov. Gianforte talked to the students about options for life and learning after they graduate and took questions from the kids themselves.
Wednesday's focus was on making sure Montana kids have the resources and support to start reading as early as possible.
“Getting our young people prepared for kindergarten is really critically important. This is why working with Brad Barker -- we passed this bill this year for early intervention for childhood literacy. In a very real sense, being able to read unlocks the keys to every other area of education. You can’t do math if you can’t read. You can’t do history if you can’t read. So our focus is really on early childhood literacy.” - Gov. Greg Gianforte (R-MT)
We asked Gov. Gianforte about whether Montana will implement free Pre-K classes.
“Well, we’d have to build consensus around that....but what we do have consensus on is we have to help every child learn how to read,” he responded.
Gov. Gianforte also thanked his wife Susan for her efforts to bring Dolly Parton's Imagination Library to Montana which provides free books to the youngest readers.