No, this is not me counting down the days to another year of kindergarten. I love my job and my kinder babies, but summer is my JAM right now! :) If you're anything like anyone I talk to, you probably have this confused look on your face and you're saying what is that? I know I did the first time I heard about it.
Kindergarten Countdown is a program my county and surrounding counties do (not sure how widespread this program is) where 20 students are invited by each school in the different districts to get a little head start or a preview of what kindergarten looks, feels, sounds, smells, and tastes like. The United Way funds this program in our schools and it is AMAZING. It is like a little summer camp for our 4-5-6 year olds. We complete round-up and screening and determine many different factors for inviting students to this program. These factors range from letter ID to number ID to social-emotional adjustment.
Here are some of the amazing highlights and information of this program:
- The program goes through the entire month of July.
- It is only a half day, which is great for the little ones (and teachers haha).
- Transportation is provided to and from school.
- Students receive a healthy snack each day.
- The program requires 2 teachers, which is FABULOUS considering we do not have that luxury during the school year.
- Teachers get to go shopping for our classroom supplies to fit the current needs of our students! :) Obviously just another reason to go to Target, right?! ;)
- The kids get to see the building and get to know the areas before other kids (Hello, first week of school helpers and good examples!)
- We invite around 25 anticipating that families will take vacations or are just not interested in sending their child, so we always end up with 20 students.
- ...And my favorite perk of the program...Each child receives one book each day. YES, EACH DAY!!! By the end of the program they will have 20 books to take home with them.
|HALF of the Kindergarten Countdown books! My themes are ABC's, colors, and numbers!|
I just get excited typing about the program!! The beauty of this is that we are not under the gun for testing and standards. It is simply planning based upon what those kids need at that moment. We know we will need to hit letter ID and number ID hard and also how to sit on the carpet, but it's much different than our typical planning. Some of our students have never been to school before and we need to prepare them for what that will feel like--College and Career Ready Standards can't do that. We plan themes for the four weeks. Our themes are ABC's/colors, numbers, social, and getting ready for kindergarten. During this time, we also send out newsletters to the parents so they have an idea what their child is working on. I have seen this program work before my very eyes. The kids who have been involved benefit greatly and I am so thankful for such a giving program for these kids! :)
Do you have anything similar to this program at your school or in your community?