This week, Aaron Reardon proved that he's not just a chiseled specimen of a man capable of running powerful multi-county transit agencies. He also has a heart for children. On Wednesday Reardon visited a class of three and four-year-olds at Hawthorne Elementary to hand out gingerbread cookies and read (in that silky baritone of his) "The Doorbell Rang" by Pat Hutchins, a story about siblings who share their treats as more and more friends arrive.
Reardon can read me a bedtime story anytime!
"I talked with the children Wednesday about the importance of giving to others," Reardon said, before adding that the state should also practice giving in the form of funding for these free preschool programs.
A man of political power with a cut physique and now he's good with kids too? Be still my beating heart!Reardon is specifically addressing Snohomish County's Early Childhood Education Assistance Program. With a combination of state and federal funds, the county finances 21 free preschool classrooms throughout Snohomish.
Unfortunately, those classes are one of the many things that may be cut as the state attempts to resolve its $2.6 billion budget deficit. In Snohomish County, losing the state's contribution would mean kicking adorable, wide-eyed three-year-olds out of the program.
Reardon is lobbying Olympia to keep that from happening. If anything, he says, "we should encourage state officials to increase that funding."
Yes we should, if only for the opportunity to hang out with our kids at school, close our eyes and let Aaron's beautiful voice wash over us as we learn about the importance of sharing.