June 25, 2018

Transition to Kindergarten Celebration nights, at the South Florida Museum

Soar in 4 believes that every child has the power to successful in school and in life and every parent, family member and caregiver can help. The question is: How can we help our children succeed? Our community Transition to Kindergarten Celebration nights, at the South Florida Museum on May 14th – 17th, were designed to ensure an effective transition and provide an opportunity for growth and development over the summer.

When a child moves from an early childhood classroom into kindergarten in an elementary school, it can be both exciting and challenging. Kindergarten is a big step in any child’s life. Our community joined together to offer Transition to Kindergarten celebrations at the South Florida Museum for three elementary school neighborhoods, Ballard, Rogers Garden Bullock and Sea Breeze.

To ensure that families have the tools they need to prepare children for school, the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading assembled and provided Kindergarten Readiness bags for all incoming kindergartners.

The Early Learning Coalition, Manatee County Schools and Head Start collaborated to create meaningful and intentional activities to demonstrate to the families how to use all of the materials in the readiness bags. All of the activities were play based and interactive. Each night teachers demonstrated how each item in the bag should be used to practice essential kindergarten readiness skills.

Each Kindergarten Readiness bag contained learning tools, including books, flashcards, and alphabet letters, along with a Kindergarten Readiness parent guide explaining how to use the tools to practice critical school-readiness skills.

South Florida Museum served as our host and helped to create innovative and hands on exhibits that inspired students’ curiosity,

As community members and parents began to arrive their excitement was obvious. This collaboration with South Florida Museum is a catalyst for student learning. These motivating exhibit projects encouraged families to learn new knowledge and use that knowledge creatively. This outreach was also a catalyst for teacher development as well. As students become involved in rigorous, active, creative, hands-on work, teachers see the learning effects of the project and thereby deepen their understanding of best instructional practices.

Community resources were on hand each night. Families learned how to register their child for school, learned about health requirements, transportation and food service. A Vroom table shared information with parents about boosting their child’s learning with fast and fun tips. And From Cradle to College provided tee shirts and financial aid information about preparing for college.

For children to be successful in school, parents and families need to be actively involved in their children’s learning. They need to become involved early and stay involved throughout the school year. This shared effort was purposefully designed to engage families in their child’s learning all summer to ensure that the family is ready for this next milestone.