The traditional greeting of the Maasai people, one of the most accomplished and fabled tribes of Africa, is “And how are the children?” It acknowledges the high value that the Maasai place on their children’s well-being. They hold that no matter the daily struggles we face, the primary responsibility of society is the well-being of its children.

The 2018-2019 Kindergarten Readiness Assessment Report data show that many of Maryland’s children are well and arrive at kindergarten with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed, but that is not the case for all children. Many of our most vulnerable children – children with disabilities, English learners, and children from low-income families – are still faced with persistent achievement gaps.

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