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witf recognizes that transitions can be tricky for some children and families. To help support families and children in the transition from preschool to kindergarten, witf has partnered with community agencies and sponsors to create an annual event to provide families with useful information and gives the soon-to-be kindergartners with a day full of fun and memories. Our 2012 event, celebrating the class of 2025, drew over 500 guests to the witf Public Media Center, including 175 children. For more information call 717-910-2806.
There are moments you will always remember as a parent — the first time your child toddled across the room to you, her first haircut, her first bath. I clearly remember waking each of my daughters up on their first day of kindergarten. I remember looking at their sweet, sleeping faces and thinking about the adventure that was ahead of them.
For many of us it seems to happen too soon. The transition from preschool to kindergarten can be exciting as well as a little overwhelming. There are lots of things to learn, people to meet as well as routines and procedures to understand and follow. Think of it as starting a new job in a new town or in a whole new job field. “We all have a responsibility to respect this transition and give our children every opportunity to approach this transition with confidence,” said Dr. Randi Payne, principal of Mount Wolf Elementary School in Northeastern School District in York County. Children need to hear from us that this is an exciting time and that we think it is important and special.”
Five-year-olds are not the only ones experiencing big changes. As families, we are also shifting our schedules and expectations. This can also produce excitement and even a little stress.
In 2011, in an effort to support families and soon-to-be kindergartners, witf launched “Ready, Set, Go — Kindergarten!” The event was designed to be a celebration of the kindergarten transition and a resource for families to connect to good information to support their child. Held at the witf Public Media Center in Swatara Twp., “Ready Set, Go — Kindergarten!” brought together local community groups and businesses who planned fun, engaging activities for the children and distributed important information about literacy, health, science, nutrition and art.
Stephanie Gomez-Wilson’s daughter Rhianna had been talking about going to kindergarten since she was 4: “We were ready. ‘Ready, Set, Go — Kindergarten!’ was just the perfect way to celebrate and maintain her excitement.” Rhianna was one of 146 soon-to-be kindergartners who practiced getting on and off a school bus, created art, conducted experiments and learned how to roll a pretzel at the event. “The variety of activities was really amazing and fun,” said Gomez-Wilson. “She had a great time and so did we.” Rhianna is having a successful year in kindergarten.
“Ready, Set, Go — Kindergarten!” featured activities that were so fun, the children had no idea they were learning so much. From strengthening fine motor skills by rolling pretzels to climbing on a fire truck or writing a postcard to themselves, children played inside the Public Media Center and out. Every member of the Class of 2024 left with a new book about getting ready for kindergarten and a cinch bag courtesy of our sponsors.
Children also had fun playing with PBS characters Curious George and Clifford the Big Red Dog. There were lots of hugs and lots of pictures. All through the event, families could pick up information cards about how to re-create the activity at home. Families could also connect to agencies that might be able to support them and their children on their educational journey.
“I think witf being involved in something like this is phenomenal,” said Gomez-Wilson. “Public media has been part of my life for a long time and to see it promote things I believe in as a mom is wonderful.”
Do you have a child going to kindergarten this fall? Go to witf.org and click on the education page to register your child for this year’s event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 11 at the Public Media Center, 4801 Lindle Road, Swatara Twp. If you have any questions about the event or if your business might like to be a sponsor, please email email@example.com" or call 717.910.2806. We’ll see you there!
Published in Ready Set Go Kindergarten