Play of the Day: Kindergarten Class

The Associated Press
Monday, November 19, 2007; 6:04 PM

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Chris Dodd did what a lot of other dads do on Monday mornings _ he took his daughter to school.

Only the Democratic presidential candidate and his kindergartner were in Iowa.

Dodd and his wife, Jackie Clegg Dodd, drove their 6-year-old daughter, Grace, to school on Monday in their new neighborhood. The Dodds enrolled Grace in a Des Moines school after the candidate moved his family to Iowa, reflecting the importance he places on the state's Jan. 3 caucuses.

Grace Dodd, wearing a pink coat and carrying a matching backpack, held her dad's hand as they walked through the fog from their sports utility vehicle to Hanawalt Elementary School, where she has been attending kindergarten for a few weeks.

The Connecticut senator said he and his wife discussed various family issues before moving to Des Moines.

"We thought a lot about it and decided to try it," he said. "She (Grace) took to it very, very well. The school has been terrific, the kids have been wonderful and their parents have been great and it made her feel very much at home and she got very excited about trying it _ and obviously a little apprehensive _ but she's done very well with it and if that wasn't the case we wouldn't persist in it."

Dodd said he takes his daughter to school whenever he's in town, and he and his wife have spent time in the classroom helping their daughter adjust. The Dodds have a younger daughter, 2-year-old Christina.

In Washington, Grace Dodd attended a city school that taught an art-based program, similar to a Montessori school, but has adapted well to a traditional public school, her mother said.

"It's a completely different setting, but the teacher has been great with it," Jackie Dodd said.

The Dodds said their daughter will return to a Washington, D.C., school after the caucuses.


Compiled by Mike Wilson

© 2007 The Associated Press