Our Grace Place team has worked with staff from Florida VPK and Head Start to identify 35 children determined as “not yet ready for kindergarten” for an eight-week Kindergarten Readiness course. The Course is part of our Bright Beginnings program for parent and child and focuses on key kindergarten readiness skills such as writing, letter recognition, beginning sounds, number recognition and counting, shapes and colors, fine motor skills and reading readiness. While these are crucial skills for kindergarten readiness, Grace Place’s summer Kindergarten Readiness program also addresses the importance of social and emotional development – like the ability to self-motivate, exhibit self-control, listen, follow directions and get along with peers.
Our Kindergarten Readiness course, like all of the courses within the Bright Beginnings program, demonstrates recent insights in early childhood intervention. One, that teaching children how to learn can be just as important as the content of what they learn and two, the recognition that children are only part of the equation. By teaching the parent and child together we strive to improve parenting skills and potentially alter home environments, reflecting a more holistic approach to improving children’s opportunities (From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2000).