Gearing Up for Kindergarten


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Laura Knox, Classroom Teacher, Grand Forks

I am a kindergarten teacher, with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education.  I am one of the many educators who know the importance of providing quality learning experiences for children in their early childhood years.  I believe the Gearing Up for Kindergarten program is the most comprehensively effective program, in the state of North Dakota, for preparing preschool children and their parents for transition into and success in kindergarten.

Over the past ten years, the kindergarten benchmark reading level has literally doubled.  The Kindergarten Common Core State Standards, for math, far exceed previous expectations in all areas.  Kindergarten is no longer a lightly structured, exploratory experience for children.  Consequently, children who enter kindergarten without preschool experience, or whose parents have not had opportunities to learn about school readiness, may not be adequately prepared for today’s kindergarten.

I have worked with the Gearing Up for Kindergarten program for five years.  I’ve seen the advantage of the program’s multifaceted approach to school readiness, including the combination of parent-child classroom time; child-teacher classroom time; and parent education sessions.  Gearing Up for Kindergarten is structured around a child’s and a teacher’s most valuable resource, parent involvement in education.

Throughout my experience with Gearing Up for Kindergarten, I have received countless comments of appreciation and praise from both parents and children, about the program.  I am confident in the fact that I’ve been able to provide families with information, materials, and an overall experience that will directly increase children’s school readiness.  When a new school year begins, children and parents who have participated in Gearing Up for Kindergarten immediately stand out as being more informed about the expectations and routines of kindergarten.  I hope this program will continue to grow in terms of the number of North Dakota families it serves.  Gearing Up for Kindergarten is truly high quality education at its finest.

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