The first day of kindergarten is exciting and memorable, and the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Head Start program wants to make sure its students are equipped for a successful year.
“The inaugural SIUE Head Start Virtual Kindergarten Readiness Summer Program will help students and families better transition and excel during the thrilling year ahead,” said Lisa Tate, SIUE Head Start/Early Head Start assistant program director/center operations.
The SIUE Head Start Virtual Kindergarten Readiness Summer Program will kick-off with its Parent Zoom Discussions (which are at capacity with 50 pre-k parents), and will run from 1-2 p.m. Monday-Friday, July 27-Aug. 7. During the sessions, parents will receive pertinent information about preparing their children for kindergarten, and discuss topics and concerns about their children returning to school in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. All parents of kindergarten-bound preschoolers who attended Head Start managed sites and collaboration sites were eligible to attend.
“In addition to the weekly parent discussions, parents and their children will be engaged in completing interactive educational lessons and activities on SIUE-issued iPads for at least 15 minutes on a daily basis,” explained Tate.
To successfully complete the two-week SIUE Head Start Virtual Kindergarten Readiness Summer Program, parents and students received:
- A Transition to School Backpack with school supplies
- A Transitional Book Library, totaling seven books
- An SIUE Virtual Kindergarten Readiness Summer Program t-shirt to decorate
- An SIUE Virtual Kindergarten Readiness Summer Program resource booklet with various activities, school district contact information, health and social emotional tips, and additional community agencies resource information
“We hope to equip the parents with the resources, support and a desire to continue to prepare and advocate for their children’s educational journey,” offered Tate. “We hope to create within the homes of the participants, a routine of daily parent-child interactions that support the notion of making learning fun!”
“SIUE Head Start/Early Head Start is extremely excited to provide this kindergarten transition opportunity to our children and families,” said Interim Program Director Carolyn Jason. “Through supplemental summer funds provided by the Office of Head Start (OHS), SIUE Head Start/Early Head Start has been able to creatively plan this kindergarten overview for families. School readiness, beginning in the early years, has shown to be a key predictor for lifelong success. School readiness is also one of the founding principles of Head Start when it began more than 55 years ago!”
SIUE Head Start/Early Head Start children engage in learning during previous classroom sessions.