Imagine you’re 5 years old and on your way to your first day of kindergarten. Maybe you’re feeling excited about starting school, or maybe you’re feeling a little nervous about what the day is going to be like, and feeling shy and scared, and worrying about making 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 this morning at Lakewood Elementary when a crowd of smiling people cheered on parents and children arriving for their first day of school as part of the Transition to Kindergarten (TTK) Initiative! Volunteers from the Partnership, Durham Public Schools, Duke’s Office of Durham & Regional Affairs, and Duke University Retiree Outreach gathered in front of Lakewood Elementary to make sure that every child starting kindergarten today had a fun and welcoming experience on their first day of school.
We watched child after child go from clutching their parents’ hands to grinning and high-fiving volunteers. After arriving to a chorus of “welcome to kindergarten,” and “we’re so happy you’re here,” one mother asked her daughter if she was still nervous. She received an enthusiastic “no!” and it was abundantly clear to everyone just how much impact the TTK Initiative can have for these young learners.
We will be welcoming children to school at Forest View Elementary this Friday, and it is our hope that even more children and families in Durham will 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 or contact Wren Davisson (firstname.lastname@example.org, 919-403-6960 ext. 224).