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10 Ways Parents Can Help Kids Get Ready for Kindergarten

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10 Ways Parents Can Help Kids Get Ready for Kindergarten
Posted on 06/25/2015
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Summer is an ideal time for parents to help their children prepare for kindergarten in the fall – and a new brochure from Portland ConnectED’s Starting Strong campaign has 10 great ideas on how to do that.

Starting Strong is part of Portland ConnectED, a community-wide partnership of agencies and organizations that is committed to helping Portland youth succeed, all the way from cradle to career.

Starting Strong is a community initiative to support young children to help them read at grade level by the end of third grade. Starting Strong works with children to achieve grade level reading by improving school readiness, improving attendance, and reducing summer learning loss.

The “10 Things Your Child Needs To Know before Kindergarten” brochure can help parents improve their children’s school readiness.

For example, kindergarten is a new situation for children. Parents can help them prepare by introducing them to fun new situations over the summer. Suggestions the brochure makes include: 

• Visit your local pet shop.

• Feed the ducks at Evergreen Cemetery.

• Explore Jewell Falls.

• Try a different Portland playground each week

• Go to farmers’ markets.

• Go window-shopping in the Old Port.

Also, kindergartners use pencils and scissors so the brochure suggests some fun ways parents can familiarize their children with those tools:

• Get a pair of child safety scissors.

• If children have trouble cutting paper at first, give them clay or Play Dough to cut.

• Color a picture together.

• Play Tic Tac Toe

Starting Strong also is a participant in the summer learning activities and free meals programs that the Portland Public Schools and partners are offering this summer.

Starting Strong volunteers will come to the meal sites with books donated by the Rotary Club of Portland Maine and by education publisher Scholastic, said Jennifer Burns, director of Starting Strong. Children in the third grade or younger can choose a book to read with a volunteer and then take the book home.

Because summer is a time when there is often learning loss, this program is designed to give participating children a consistent reading buddy who will partner with them in reading throughout the summer.

You can learn about the summer programs offered by PPS and partners by clicking here or on a button on the home page of the PPS website at www.portlandschools.org. The button reads: “Portland Summer Success – Feeding Bodies and Minds.”