New state program gives littlest learners a fighting chance

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In this photo taken Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, Malachi Stewart, right, high-fives educational assistant Addison Hawk as Ahmed Omar continues with his work in their kindergarten classroom at Campbell Hill Elementary in Renton, Wash. Washington’s new WaKIDS program, which stands for Washington kindergarten inventory of developing skills, is designed to help kindergarten teachers better understand the strengths and weaknesses of their incoming students. Every school that offers free all-day kindergarten to its students now holds individual parent-teacher meetings before school starts, as well as taking a more formal assessment of each child’s abilities during the first six weeks of school. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)