By Theresa Reno-Weber
President/CEO, Metro United Way
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Is your child ready for kindergarten? School readiness is not just about a child's skills but includes the connections around the child that support him or her to make a successful transition to kindergarten.
At Metro United Way, we believe that for children to grow into successful adults, they need a supportive and healthy early foundation.
We know that nearly half of the children in our community are not prepared to enter kindergarten ready to learn, and we know that children who start out behind, tend to stay behind. We also know that children make the transition into kindergarten more successfully when their schools and families prepare for it together.
Thanks to longtime partner PNC Bank, along with JCPS and Metro United Way, we're creating opportunities for children and families to get to know their new school before the first day. We call it Transition to Kindergarten, a series of fun, free, school-based events for incoming kindergarteners in Jefferson County, designed to increase their kindergarten readiness through on time registration, parent engagement, and making positive connections to their school.
Multiple touchpoints take place between schools and families before the first day of kindergarten, encouraging parent-teacher relationships and allowing children to get comfortable in their future school settings. With food, books, t-shirts and prizes, these events are a great opportunity for children and families get to know their new school in advance.
Transition to K maximizes the tools, knowledge and experiences children need as they begin their school journey. It also demonstrates how families, schools and communities can come together to effect change.
Research shows that the negative effects of a poor transition to kindergarten are magnified for at-risk children. But when kids experience a smooth transition to the classroom and parents are involved in their children's education, students are more likely to be successful in kindergarten and in the following school years.
Many of the Transition to Kindergarten events are taking place soon. To participate or learn more, visit MetroUnitedWay.org. And if you haven't already, please register for kindergarten. If your child will be five years old by August 1, register at your school, at JCPS Headquarters or online at the JCPS website.