Ready for Kindergarten launches fifth year
Posted on 10/29/2015
Students from participating families show significant gains in kindergarten assessment results

McMinnville School District’s three-part Ready for Kindergarten workshops kicked off this month with sessions at Buel and Wascher elementary schools.

Targeted to parents with children ages birth to five years old (Buel) and ages four to five (Wascher), the workshops are designed to help parent participants prepare children with the early learning skills needed to start and stay at grade level throughout their school career.

“We know that learning starts in the home,” said Kyra Donovan, director of Elementary Education for the McMinnville School District. “Young children learn best through active involvement with people they love and trust.  Parents and families are in a unique position to reinforce learning in a place where children feel comfortable, at home.”

Using a research-based curriculum, the workshops teach age-appropriate activities that show parents how to talk, sing, read and play with their child in simple ways that foster essential pre-literacy, pre-math and social-emotional skills.  Each participating family leaves the workshop with a child development manual and a bag of high-quality, developmentally appropriate toys and books.  All Ready for Kindergarten services and resources are provided at no cost to families.

Now in its fifth year, the program has proven effective, with new assessment data that shows children whose parents participated in the Ready for Kindergarten program significantly outperformed nonparticipant children in Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties, as well as the Oregon state-wide average, on the Oregon Kindergarten Assessment.

Each workshop covers a different topic and includes free childcare, dinner for participating families and the opportunity to connect with other parents who have children of the same age.  The next workshops are scheduled for January 14 and March 10, 2016. The workshops are funded by grants from the Spirit Mountain Community Fund, the Nike Employee Fund, and the Yamhill Early Learning Hub.