Glasgow Ind. elementary kindergarten readiness camp helps young learners to build relationships, confidence before the first day of school...

Daily Times, Glasgow, July 14, 2016

Kindergarten camp
Buiding confident leaders for tomorrow

Wearing a princess tiara and cape, rising kindergartner Greer Benefield, 4, practiced writing her name on a sheet of paper on Wednesday during the Summer Kindergarten Readiness Academy at Highland Elementary School.

The princess attire was a reward for her achievements.

“I learned all my letters and sounds,” Benefield said, adding that she got to choose from different costumes hanging on the wall.

She said she chose the princess costume because she likes Elsa, from the Disney movie “Frozen.”

Kindergarten teacher Amy Morgan was also sitting at the table along with Kerigan Hagan and Kaliyah Wilkerson. Morgan was helping the students with their penmanship as well as the accuracy of their spelling.

Wilkerson, 5, said she is really excited about starting kindergarten, and she has really enjoyed some of the activities on the computers.

Hagan, 5, wore a gigantic smile when asked if she was excited about starting kindergarten.

“Yeah!” she said.

A bell rang, signifying that the students were to switch stations within the classroom.

Morgan said the summer program helps the students build confidence before starting kindergarten.

“It really helps the kids just learn about the school and not be scared on the first day,” she said. “They kind of get that out of the way. They get in their classroom, they know what their classroom is gonna’ look like. It just helps out a lot.

“They’re able to make friends already so they’re not worried about coming to school and not knowing anybody and they already get to meet their teachers so they’re not worried about, ‘Who’s my teacher gonna’ be?’” In addition to the students getting prepared, Morgan said the teachers are able to get a jumpstart on the school year as well.

“I have about half of my class here this week,” she said. “It’s really nice to already have met them and know where they are academically and know about them socially and know about what they like.

“It absolutely helps.”

Principal Amy Allen said the summer program helps build relationships between students and teachers as well as other team members, “so that first day of school is not so scary.”

“The students that are here today, those will be our leaders whenever school starts,” she said. “They will know how to go through the cafeteria line. They will know how to get on and off the buses. They’ll know where the restrooms are. They’ll know classroom expectations.

“So we’re really looking forward to them being our kindergarten leaders."

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