We just had our Welcome to Kindergarten Night here at our school. This night was for parents to come and find out a little more information about the school and the full day learning program.
Thankfully for me this was not an opportunity to lecture the parents for an hour on why our school is so great (and it is) and what we have to offer. Our night took on a different format.
The best teacher(s) a child is EVER going to have is their parent(s). This is the angle that we approached learning from last night.
Our school board, Ottawa Catholic School Board is in a partnership with the Learning Partnership. The whole idea is that we want to make sure that students have the school readiness skills by the time they get to school. If students come to school for kindergarten with some key skills this is a very good predictor of their educational success down the road.
We also had community partners at the session to answer any questions that parents may have had. A nurse from Ottawa Public Health was here, a representative from First Words and someone from the Pincrest Queensway Resource Centre.
The Learning Partnership provided each parent with a take away bag that included:
- picture books
- foam letters
- construction paper
- pencils & crayons
- glue stick
- blow up balls
- play dough
After the Principal's introductory address the prospective kindergarten students and their parents could move around to centres. These centre's were set up by our kindergarten team and that demonstrated some activities that parents could do with their children to help get them ready for school in September. Students played with play dough, used magnetic letters on cookie sheets and cut up flyer's and glued the favourite objects onto paper.
The entire night was a real success. Students and parents were actively engaged in all of the activities and were most appreciative of the hands on learning. We had 37 out of 43 registered students attend the session and we were amazed by the turnout! If the turnout from mothers and fathers is any indication of the level of parental cooperation and involvement that we are going to have over the next few years, we are very fortunate.
Let's hope all parents engage their children playing learning games and giving them lots of learning opportunities before they enter school. If they do this research shows that we will all be well on our way to meet the needs of our students.