We are pleased to announce that we have awarded Transition to Kindergarten mini-grants to 16 child care sites and elementary schools through our collaborative Transition to Kindergarten (TTK) Initiative. The grant amounts total $5,000 to support early educators, elementary schools and child care sites in designing and implementing transition events for their specific student and parent populations. This is the third year the Partnership has offered mini-grants for TTK projects. Funds for these mini-grants were made available through gifts from Wells Fargo and the Morgan Creek Foundation.
The TTK Initiative is a collaborative project of the Partnership and Durham Public Schools that prepares children, families and schools for a successful entrance into kindergarten from formal pre-school programs or home settings. Positive links between school and home and increased parent involvement are both critical factors of long-term school success. This year’s mini-grants include activities such as summer transition camps, student portfolios, field trips to kindergarten classrooms, and kindergarten parent nights.
“We know that prepared children and families are more successful at facing the enormous transition of entering school,” said Laura Benson, Executive Director of the Partnership. “Rising kindergartners and their families will be prepared, ready, and engaged if they know what to expect, and school administrators and teachers can prepare and respond to needs with more individual focus if they are given the opportunity to welcome incoming children and families before the first day.”
Mini-grant recipients include:
Children’s Campus at Southpoint
Early Explorers Playschool
Fayetteville Street Elementary
Greater Outreach Services
Lakewood Avenue Preschool
Oak Grove Elementary
Operation Breakthrough Oxford Manor
Spring Valley Elementary
White Rock Child Development Center
“The mini-grants allow for a targeted approach, with activities and information tailored for children and their families at each school,” said Benson. “As these projects unfold in the community, we can directly address the needs of transitioning young learners and promote school readiness throughout Durham.”
In addition to the mini-grants, rising kindergartners and their families benefit from other TTK activities such as Blast Off to Kindergarten Kits, a School Readiness Summit on July 21st, and the pilot program of Transition Teams at Forest View Elementary, Lakewood Elementary and Y.E. Smith Elementary.
The Transition Teams, comprised of teachers, parents and school administrators, have implemented a series of events for rising kindergartners and their families, including upcoming activities on April 29th (Forest View Elementary), May 1st (Y.E. Smith Elementary) and May 8th (Lakewood Elementary). Attendees at these “Kindergarten, Here I Come!” events will have an opportunity to meet future classmates, participate in parent-child activities, and interact with kindergarten teachers. More information about the TTK Initiative, mini-grants, and all upcoming events can be found at www.durhamgoestokindergarten.com.