Whether it is learning writing or arithmetic, teachers agree that a student’s proficiency in reading is essential to understanding and grasping the knowledge.
A new parent/child group has been established in Whitley County with the goal of preparing children that will soon be enrolled in kindergarten with the knowledge and social skills they will need to be successful from day one.
Fifty percent of the children in Whitley County are not ready when they enter kindergarten,” said Tessa Stack, the early childhood ambassador for Whitley County Schools
In an effort to decrease that number, free parent-child play and learn groups will be held at locations throughout the county beginning Thursday at Midsprings Community Center on White Oak Road in the Canadatown community.
Stack said the goal of the group is to help build up the children’s social, emotional, cognitive, fine motor and growth motor skills through arts and crafts, story time and playtime.
“These children are not going to preschool so they are not getting that exposure to the classroom setting,” Stack explained. “The goal of this program is to get them used to being around other children and adults.”
In addition to teaching the children, Stack said the groups would teach the adults techniques they may use at home to help their children pick up the knowledge and skills they need to be ready for kindergarten.
“Folding laundry and helping prepare meals can help teach the child motor skills,” Stack explained. “Separating socks can help teach them colors.”
“We will also send them home with some things such as scissors and glue sticks for the children to use so they will be better prepared.”
Thursday’s event will begin at 11:30 a.m.
Stack said similar events would be held weekly.
More information about the events is available at the Whitley County Kindergarten Readiness Facebook page.
In addition to the weekly classes, the group is working with area businesses to establish free mobile libraries throughout the county.
The colorful crates contain books that children are encouraged to take home to read. In addition, information is posted to explain to the adults why reading is important.
“All of the books are supplied by Save the Children,” Stack said explaining there is no cost to participating businesses.
Clark’s Grocery and Rickett’s Pharmacy are currently participating.
Any businesses that would like to participate may contact Stack at 521-9313, or Tammy Meadors at 344-8788.