Throughout the past two weeks, we have had the pleasure of welcoming young learners to their first day of kindergarten at 8 elementary schools in Durham! The Kick Off to Kindergarten is the culmination of a series of events through our Transition to Kindergarten (TTK) Initiative, a collaboration with Durham Public Schools, designed to make kindergarten an exciting and welcoming place for new students and families.
Imagine you’re 5 years old and on your way to your first day of kindergarten. You’re probably feeling pretty nervous about all the new things you’re going to do that day. Maybe you’re feeling shy, or scared about leaving familiar things behind, or worried that you won’t make any friends. Now imagine that you arrive at school with your parents and see a crowd of people cheering for you, welcoming you to your new school and inviting you to join in the fun and blow bubbles, take pictures, and meet your classmates.
That is exactly what happened at C.C. Spaulding, Eastway Elementary, E.K. Powe Elementary, Eno Valley Elementary, Forest View Elementary, Glenn Elementary, Lakewood Elementary, and Y.E. Smith Elementary. Groups of enthusiastic volunteers greeted the incoming kindergartners and families with cheers, high-fives, bubbles, stickers and smiling faces. Entering kindergarten is one of the most significant milestones in a young child’s life, and it’s something that deserves to be celebrated! Making the first day of school an exciting and welcoming one makes a huge difference in a child’s entire academic career.
Thanks to the work of the TTK Initiative throughout the spring and summer, many of the children and families arriving for their first day of kindergarten had already visited their new schools, met their teachers and the school staff, and even made friends with their classmates. They had played on the playground, seen where they will eat and put their backpacks, and experienced a sample kindergarten lesson in their new classrooms.
We’re so grateful to our wonderful volunteers – from community groups and individuals, to our funded partners and Board members, to organizations like Book Harvest, Carolina Arbors, John Deere, Redwoods Group, State Employees Credit Union, and Windsor Circle – who joined our “kindergarten cheering squads” and helped make the first day of school a lot less scary and a lot more fun!
We hope that even more children and families in Durham will be able to have this experience when starting kindergarten next year. For more information about the TTK Initiative and to find out how you can be involved, please visit www.durhamgoestokindergarten.com.