Kuster Introduces Bill To Strengthen Early Childhood Education
**The Early STEAM Achievement Act integrates the arts into the STEM curricula to make transitioning into higher learning levels easier and more exciting**
Washington, May 16, 2023
Tags: Investing in Education
Washington, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) introduced the Early STEAM Achievement Act, legislation to strengthen early childhood education across the country and create new grant opportunities for teachers to integrate Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) into their curriculum. Full bill text is available here.
“The next generation of jobs will require an understanding of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics – we have a responsibility to equip our students with the knowledge they need to thrive,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “I am proud to introduce the Early STEAM Achievement Act to strengthen early childhood education across the country and equip our educators with the tools and resources they need. This legislation can make a real difference in our schools and in the lives of our kids, and I look forward to getting it signed into law.”
“Our organization operates eight early childhood centers serving over 500 children each year,” said Christopher Emond, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Central New Hampshire. “The majority are low to moderate income. For children at risk for lower educational attainment, studies show that quality early childhood education can close the gap. Professional development is essential to quality, and our teachers participate in many hours of training to strengthen their skills. We’ve seen first-hand how these trainings enhance the classroom experience. Given the importance of STEAM fields, it makes sense to offer grant funding to prepare teachers to effectively integrate STEAM into their classrooms.”
“At Boys & Girls Clubs, we know first-hand the lasting impact early access to meaningful science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) programs can have on a child’s physical and intellectual development,” said Jim Clark, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “Introducing the Early STEAM Achievement Act will help to bridge the workforce readiness gap that so many young people are experiencing, helping them identify a path to a great future after high school.”
“We thank Rep Kuster for her leadership in introducing the Early STEAM Achievement Act. The value of early STEAM education is clear: students benefit by developing and building a range of hard and soft skills in STEAM projects, including creative thinking and methods of inquiry and investigation, along with persistence and resilience," said Nolen V. Bivens, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts. "The Early STEAM Achievement Act would provide much-needed resources to local arts agencies, community partners, and higher education institutions to engage in STEAM programming that both taps into a child’s natural curiosity and creativity and equips teachers to foster those skills which are critical to the future workforce.”
Specifically, the Early STEAM Achievement Act establishes a competitive grant program under the Department of Health and Human Services and aids early childhood STEAM programs by:
The Early STEAM Achievement Act is endorsed by the First Five Years Fund, Girls Inc., Americans for the Arts, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, First Focus Campaign for Children, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central New Hampshire.
Kuster’s bill is co-sponsored by Representatives Bowman (NY-16), Bonamici (OR-01), Brown (OH-11), Caraveo (CO-08), Clarke (NY-09), DelBene (WA-01), DeSaulnier (CA-10), Grijalva (AZ-07), Gottheimer (NJ-05), Hayes (CT-05), Jayapal (WA-07), Landsman (OH-01), Moore (WI-04), Mullin (CA-15), Nadler (NY-12), Ross (NC-02), Sánchez (CA-38), Sewell (AL-07), Soto (FL-09), Titus (NV-01), Trone (MD-06), Tokuda (HI-02), Tonko (NY-20), Velázquez (NY-07), Wasserman Schultz (FL-25), and Watson Coleman (NJ-12).