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Colorado Edition: Elementary enrollment recovery; what snow totals mean for drought; honoring Wellington and Wilma Webb

Stephanie Daniel

In the first year of the pandemic, Colorado’s kindergarten enrollment plummeted, leaving many to wonder where the students went, and whether the shifts in early elementary enrollment might be a problem for years to come. A year later, many young students are back in public schools, with statewide kindergarten enrollment trending back up. To get a better sense of where the state is at with kindergarten enrollment, we speak with Ann Schimke, a senior reporter with Chalkbeat Colorado who has been covering early elementary enrollment after many months of pandemic-induced uncertainty.

We often only hear about drought in the summertime. But the winter is a critical window for water in the West. Snow falling high in the Rocky Mountains builds up through the colder months, acting like a natural reservoir for the 40 million people who rely on the Colorado River. As KUNC’s Alex Hager reports, the way we understand snow totals is changing.

Denver is preparing to honor the service and legacy of the city's first Black mayor, Wellington Webb, and his wife of more than 50 years, Wilma. Wellington Webb served as mayor from 1991 to 2003. Axios Denver has reported that a bronze sculpture of Webb will be unveiled in the atrium of his namesake Municipal Building next month on April 6. Wilma Webb is also being honored.

She was not only the first lady of Denver during her husband’s term as mayor; she also served six terms in Colorado’s House of Representatives, from 1980 to 1993. Among her accomplishments was getting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day officially recognized in Colorado. Last month, the Denver Public Library Commission voted to name the Archives Room in the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library after her. The commission will hold a special event to announce the honor this Saturday.

In 2020, KUNC’s Stephanie Daniel spoke with Wilma Webb about her time in Colorado politics, and why it’s important to stay focused on the work of Dr. King. We listen back to that conversation.

Colorado Edition is hosted by Erin O'Toole (@ErinOtoole1) and edited by Henry Zimmerman (@kombuchacowboy). Our production team includes Tess Novotny (@tess_novotny). Web was edited by digital operations manager Ashley Jefcoat.

The mission of Colorado Edition is to deepen understanding of life in Northern Colorado through authentic conversation and storytelling. It's available as a podcast on iTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayStitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.

You can hear the show on KUNC, Monday through Friday at 2:30 and at 6:30 p.m.
Colorado Edition is made possible with support from our KUNC members. Thank you!

Our theme music was composed by Colorado musicians Briana Harris and Johnny Burroughs. Other music in the show by Blue Dot Sessions.