Imagine that you’re starting a new job tomorrow. While it’s exciting, it can also be pretty nerve-wracking. You’re probably wondering: Will I know anyone? Where do I put my stuff? Will they like me? Where will I eat lunch? How will I know what I’m supposed to do?
Now imagine that 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.
That kind of situation is difficult for most adults, so consider just how daunting it must feel for children.
At Durham’s Transition to Kindergarten (TTK) Initiative, a collaboration between the Partnership and Durham Public Schools, we know that entering kindergarten is one of the most significant events in a young child’s life. And just like starting a new job, there are many things that children, families and schools can do to get ready for kindergarten.
A smooth transition to kindergarten is a shared responsibility among many individuals and organizations.
The first critical step is an easy and early enrollment. When children are registered early, they’re more likely to be in attendance on the first day of school, which has a huge impact on a child’s entire educational career. Early enrollment also supports schools and teachers as they prepare for their incoming classes.
The 3rd Annual Kindergarten Registration Week will be held March 25-30, 2017, culminating in a Kindergarten Registration Celebration on March 30. Last year, more than 600 people attended the celebration, and volunteers distributed 2,600 registration packets to families with rising kindergartners throughout the week at local businesses, child care centers, schools and partner agencies.
Put yourself back in the shoes of that nervous kindergartner, but now imagine that your parents registered you for school early and learned more about all of the available resources. You visited your new school several times for special transition events where you got to meet the principal and teachers, make friends with your new classmates, and see all the exciting places you’ll get to explore once school starts. Your teacher has had time to learn more about you and is better prepared to help you learn and feel comfortable. On the first day of school in August, you arrive with your parents and see a crowd of people cheering for you because TTK volunteers are there to welcome you to your new school and celebrate this important day.
Our goal with Kindergarten Registration Week and all TTK activities is to have high attendance on the first day of school with informed parents, prepared teachers, and happy, excited children. You can support Durham’s young learners by volunteering to help reach families during Kindergarten Registration Week this spring. Stay tuned to this blog for more information in the coming months.
Make a donation today to help us bring the TTK Initiative to more children, families and schools in Durham!