NEWBERRY COUNTY — Newberry County First Steps recently held Countdown to Kindergarten, which prepares youth for their first year of school.
“Countdown to Kindergarten is a program based on other successful school transition models from around the Country,” said Pat Caldwell, director of First Steps and works with Early childhood Education.
First Steps releases tips to media called “Ready Kindergartner,” which helps parents and caregivers get children ready for kindergarten.
The goals of Countdown to Kindergarten are to increase the successful transition of South Carolina’s most at risk children into a K-12 school system, increase parent involvement in the early grades when children’s learning is foundational for life success, to increase public awareness for the importance of school readiness and provide ways for parents and communities to impact children’s early school success.
The teachers participating this year were Candice Lominick and Brandy Wix from Reuben Elementary; Alison Bowers and Jade Garrison from Newberry Elementary; Michelle Branham from Pomaria Garmany Elementary; and Kathy Waites from Prosperity Rikard Elementary.
Twenty-nine students from around the county took part in the program. The teachers made six home visits to the participating families over the summer. The students who took part in the program were placed in the home visiting teachers kindergarten class.
The children and families are introduced to actual materials used in kindergarten and are given a kindergarten toolkit to keep.
Lominick said the children and parents in the Reuben area enjoyed the end of the program celebration held at Reuben Elementary School. There were games, prized and the Pelican Sno Ball Company provided free sno cones for all the families.
Parents had nothing but great things to say about to say about the CTK program. One stated that the only complaint that she and her child had with the program was that it needed to be more days per week and for a longer span of time each session.
Another said that she and her family all enjoyed the games that Lominick made. Mrs. Wix said that she really enjoyed participating as a teacher in the program because it helped our children and she enjoyed getting to really know the child’s family. Lominick loved the fact that you bonded with the entire family during the sessions. At the end of the program, each child was given a gift and a packet of books.