By Jill Fischer

STARTING OUT

Parents often have questions about kindergarten. There is a natural anxiety for parents and their children that accompanies this new phase of learning. For many children it means a new school, new friends and a great deal of excitement. Our Kindergarten Center is a wonderful place staffed by warm, loving, and, most of all, very professional teachers whose main interest is the welfare of the children. It is their special job to make school a place where children look forward to coming.

"Is my child ready to begin school?," is a question kindergarten teachers are often asked. All children are ready to learn. There is no magic time or number. We rarely, if ever, a child in our kindergarten that is "unready." Today, preschools do a wonderful job developing the childrens' social skills and in acclimating them to being away from home and in a school setting. Our staff is skilled in making kindergartners quickly feel at home and helping them to adjust to school routines.

You can, however, help your child make the adjustment to the new school even easier by doing the following. Visit the school before opening day. Show your child where her room is. Practice walking to the room, pointing out landmarks along the way. For the first two weeks the children will most likely gather in the gym and leave as a group with their teacher. Make sure your child is not over burdened with "stuff." For the first week all she will probably need is her lunch, a snack and her I.D. tag which you will receive in the mail. Dress your child in comfortable clothes that he can manage. We discourage belts and buckles and "hard snappers." Consider a soft- sided lunch box. If your child is to ride a bus, send her on the bus. Resist the temptation to drive or to follow the bus.

Most likely, your child's teacher will send home a list of things needed or tell you at Open School Night. You will also be receiving a packet of information from the school regarding other bits of information. We appreciate your anxiety as your child begins her education in our district. We will do our best to make your child's first year a joyous one, one that begins a pattern of success at school. Should you have questions during the course of the year, please do not hesitate to call your child's teacher.

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