While many school districts continue to offer face-to-face events for parents and their soon-to-be Kindergartner to come to their local elementary school for Kindergarten registration and other information, we have recently seen several more school districts electing for online Kindergarten registration. Some districts are offering both an online option and a face-to-face option, though this is still resulting in lower attendance at the school registration events.
In addition, Kindergarten registration events are reaching the parents of four and five-year-old children a maximum of only six months before their first day of Kindergarten. This is not a lot of time for families to get connected with the early literacy resources they need or enough time to practice these skills and get their children ready for school.
In light of these issues, ICfL’s Jump Start Kindergarten program is moving to a year-round concept, making the Jump Start Kindergarten request form available all year long.
Last spring, we made a new book available and created two new handouts to the list of resources available for request – the Jump Start BINGO cards and the Ready to Read/Five Early Literacy Skills parent handout. In addition, we are developing some additional resources this fall that will act as extension activities for families and children to do at home and that directly relate to the book they are given.
Libraries will be asked to evaluate their communities for additional opportunities to reach the target audience of parents and their 4- and 5-year-old children with a Jump Start outreach event. For example, libraries can request to attend a family night event at their local Head Start or other preschool and provide the Jump Start materials there. Most communities have unique opportunities and special events that may target this audience. Please consider how else you might reach these youngsters and their caretakers with this important information in the full year before they start Kindergarten.
Keep an eye out for more information soon. You can anticipate the updated Jump Start Kindergarten request form to be posted to our website in late August.