Celebrate the first day of school with us!
Posted on 08.03.2016, Wednesday

The first day of school is almost here! In just a few weeks, nearly 3,000 five-year-olds will be arriving for their first day of kindergarten. There will be a lot of nerves and a lot of excitement, but for rising kindergartners at eight Durham elementary schools, community volunteers will be there to help make things a lot less scary and a lot more fun!

These eight Durham elementary schools are participants in our Transition to Kindergarten (TTK) Initiative, a collaboration between Durham’s Partnership for Children and Durham Public Schools. Transition Teams comprised of teachers, parents, school administrators and community members have been working all year at these schools to help make kindergarten an exciting and welcoming place for new students.

We know that entering kindergarten is one of the most significant events in a young child’s life. It sets the tone for his or her entire educational experience and lays the foundation for future success in school. This is why we believe that a milestone like this deserves to be celebrated!

“Welcome to kindergarten!” “We’re so happy you’re here!” Have a great year!”

These are a few of the things rising kindergartners and their parents will hear as they embark upon the first day of their academic career. With cheers, high-fives, bubbles, posters, and balloons, enthusiastic volunteers will show these young learners that their community supports them and cares about their education.

The “Kick Off to Kindergarten” celebration is the culmination of a series of events for new students and families at our Transition Team schools. Thanks to the work of the TTK Initiative throughout the spring and summer, many of the children and families who will be arriving for their first day of kindergarten have already visited their new schools, met their teachers and the school staff, and even made friends with their classmates. They’ve played on the playground, seen where they will eat and put their backpacks, and experienced a sample kindergarten lesson in their future classroom.

“The thing that most inspires me is the eagerness and excitement that families have when they come to the transition events,” says Jamie Barnhill, a kindergarten teacher at Forest View Elementary School. “All parents have hopes and dreams for their children, and we are the first public education step in a long journey for them. We want that first step to be dynamic, enjoyable and rewarding so that their children always have a love of learning and maintain that eagerness to come to school each day.”

We want all children in Durham to enter kindergarten feeling excited, ready to learn, and supported by their schools, families, and community. We still need a “kindergarten cheering squad” at a few schools, so please show your support and get involved. You will have a great time and make a real difference for these children!

Please click here to sign up to volunteer at a Popsicles on the Playground event:
Popsicles on the Playground – various dates/times, August 20 – September 1

Please use these links to sign up to volunteer at a Kick Off to Kindergarten event:
Eno Valley Elementary School – September 2, 7:45 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Glenn Elementary School – September 2, 7:45 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
C.C. Spaulding Elementary School – September 6, 8:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.