I was on the Henderson County Public School’s (where I am from) website and came across a public announcement for a Kindergarten Readiness Rally at our local mall. This was really interesting to me because I have had any class discussions and discussions with teachers about Kindergarten readiness. One of the biggest frustrations I hear about is the variety of academic levels that enter the Kindergarten class room at the beginning of the year. You have students that are way ahead of the game, students who are far behind, and all students in between. One way that this becomes an issue is when the advanced students are given special attention with challenging material and the children that are behind are given a lot of attention to help them catch up, and the kids in the middle are often overlooked. Or quite frankly, I have seen issues where the two ends of the spectrum are overlooked while the teacher simply teaches to the standard student, leaving no real challenge for the advanced students, no supplemental help for the children that are behind, and minimal progress for the “average” student.
The point is, there are several problems that emerge surrounding the issue of Kindergarten readiness. There are several programs, supplemental material, and so on that are designed to help parents prepare their child to start school. And while the program that my hometown offers is a great step in the right direction, there are several low SES students who cannot easily access these resources. And these are typically the students who need the most help. I love the fact that the program mentioned is in a very neutral location in that area and very close to the low income population of my area. However, it’s honestly not enough. Some people lack transportation, the ability to get off work, along several other barriers. In order to improve upon this program even more, I think it would be a great idea to find ways to reach every community in the area. I’m sure there are hundred of teachers with ideas of how to make this happen, but I wish someone was making the effort to do so.
My favorite part of this program is the ability to take home materials and start working with your children on certain activities. I think this is a great way to start fostering your child’s learning before they enter school. Again, my first thought goes towards children who’s home life is not supportive of this type of learning. There is no way to ensure that these children will have a parent there to encourage their progress. The saddest part about all of this is the incredible potential that might never discovered in these children.
So, like I said this program is a fantastic start in pushing the importance of Kindergarten readiness and because my county has the funds for this, they are fortunate enough to reach so many kids. With that being said, I hope counties all over the country will make strides to stress the importance of Kindergarten readiness and build upon what is already being done; hopefully reaching out to the communities that are overlooked and taping in the potential that so many students can bring to the table.