Align Southern Indiana Sponsors Camp Kindergartens
As part of their Kindergarten Readiness initiative, Align Southern Indiana piloted two Camp Kindergartens this summer. Approximately 160 children from Pleasant Ridge Elementary and Clarksville Elementary participated in the three-day camps, designed to acclimate children to the school environment.
Camp Kindergarten focuses on providing students exposure to routine activities in which they will participate during school – helping relieve anxiety for young students starting their education. In addition, students became familiar with the building by eating in the cafeteria, being introduced to office personnel and visiting the library. Children were also given the opportunity to learn bus procedures along with appropriate classroom behavior. And while the Camps focused on the social and emotional needs of incoming students, they were also provided academic instruction throughout the camp.
Principal Mindy Dablow of Clarksville Elementary praised the work of Align Southern Indiana, “This has been a wonderful experience for us. This opportunity allows us to get to know the children and their specific needs so we are ready to serve them from the first day.”
At Pleasant Ridge Elementary in Charlestown, Principal Sara Porter had similar feelings, “This Camp Kindergarten sponsored by Align Southern Indiana has been amazing for all including parents, students, teachers and staff. It just gives us the opportunity to meet with them and help them conquer any fear they might have before the first day.”
At both locations, over 50% of the entering Kindergarten class participated. Both principals expect a smoother transition for those students who attended the Camp. “We have already had parents express how much they appreciate having this opportunity,” Dablow stated. “It’s like all of the first day jitters have already happened so now we can begin the academic piece.”
Each camper received educational worksheets and ideas to encourage families to become their child’s teacher by using every day acivities. The Duke Energy Foundation sponsored the bags which also included crayons, scissors, playdough and dry erase boards and markers.
Programs like Camp Kindergarten, focusing on students’ social and emotional needs, are shown to create leaders and mentors from their participants and increase the likelihood of a successful educational experience culminating in high school graduation.