September 23, 2004
New Mexico Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Ruth Williams
Legislative Liaison
(505) 827-7803 or
Pager: 988-0582
rwilliams@ped.state.nm.us

Lt. Gov. Diane Denish to Address Think New Mexico
Full-Day Kindergarten Conference, Announce Test Results

(Santa Fe, NM)—Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish will discuss the New Mexico Children’s Cabinet and announce the results of the most recent full-day kindergarten assessments at Think New Mexico’s 5th Annual Full-Day Kindergarten “Best Practices” Conference on Friday, September 24, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The conference will be held at the Wyndham Albuquerque Hotel, located at 2910 Yale SE.

Think New Mexico, a results-oriented think tank serving New Mexicans, will bring together the best early childhood experts in the state and approximately 80 full-day kindergarten teachers and their principals at the conference. The conference will be held from 9:15 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

“The purpose of the conference is to expose full-day kindergarten teachers and principals to the insights of the best early childhood experts in New Mexico,” said Fred Nathan, founder and executive director of Think New Mexico. “We are delighted that the teachers and principals at the conference will have the opportunity to hear directly from the first woman elected Lieutenant Governor, who is successfully fighting to raise the profile of children’s issues in state government.”

Lieutenant Governor Denish will announce the percentage of full-day kindergarten programs from 2002-2003 that showed student gains in acquiring the language and early literacy skills needed to enter first grade and become proficient readers.

As chair of New Mexico’s Children’s Cabinet, she is working to increase collaboration between state departments in an effort to improve services to New Mexico’s children. Among her goals are making high-quality, voluntary pre-kindergarten accessible to every four-year-old in New Mexico, increased immunization rates and removing bureaucratic roadblocks to public assistance.

This school year is the fifth and final year of full-day kindergarten implementation. Full-day kindergarten is now available to 100 percent of the eligible population of approximately 25,000 students in more than 400 public schools across New Mexico.