Elementary schools throughout our district are preparing for KinderCamp in late August. Designed to help incoming kindergartners get acquainted with their teachers and begin to learn procedures in the classroom, KinderCamp provides experiences that give our youngest students a boost with academic readiness, social readiness, independence, and communication skills. The goal is to make families more comfortable with the school by familiarizing them with resources, teachers, staff, and routines.
The move from the home, preschool, or daycare setting to kindergarten is a major event for a child, and sometimes the entire family. Many parents spend time preparing their preschoolers for this big step by reading, talking, and playing with them. KinderCamp prepares students for the transition into the kindergarten setting by developing social and emotional skills that support learning.
When children follow directions, take turns, see the “lay of the land” in the school without older students, learn safety rules at school and on the bus, and practice healthy habits of using the bathroom and properly washing hands, they build confidence and come to school with many skills teachers can build upon for the remainder of the year. When given opportunities to relate with same-age peers, manipulate toys and educational resources, investigate, and ask questions, an environment is created that begins to foster independent thinking. Participating in developmentally appropriate and well-paced pre-literacy and math activities provides an excellent introduction to school.
Parents are key to building confidence in their children by talking about what they can expect their first day and discussing their feelings about this big step. Brainerd Public Schools believes KinderCamp 2012 will serve to create a positive attitude about kindergarten and the entire school experience!
Following are KinderCamp schedules throughout the district:
• Baxter Elementary School: August 20-23 (AM only);
• Garfield Elementary School: August 27-28 (all day);
• Harrison Elementary School: August 20-23 (AM only);
• Lowell Elementary School: August 20-23 (AM only) or August 27-28 (all day);
• Nisswa Elementary School: August 27-28 (all day); and
• Riverside Elementary School: August 20-23 (AM only).
Erin Herman is the principal at Nisswa Elementary School in the Brainerd School District 181.