Created in 2002 as a joint project between the Kennewick School District and The Children’s Reading Foundation, Ready! for Kindergarten® is a program designed to assist parents in getting their children ready for kindergarten entry. Research had shown that students who entered kindergarten behind their peers were generally unable to catch up to their peers in the subsequent grades. No matter what types of interventions were used after entering school, the learning gap stayed basically the same for most of the students who had started kindergarten without the necessary skills.
Parents are a child’s first, and most important teachers. Using this program to get involved in their child’s kindergarten readiness increased the percentage of children entering kindergarten meeting the reading readiness standard from 55% to 79%. Students had similar success with math readiness, and their parents and caregivers were better equipped to help their young children develop strong brain connections and enter school excited to learn. Students in the program experience the social-emotional benefits of entering school at the same level as their peers, giving them confidence to carry on to higher grades.
Ready! for Kindergarten® is designed around 26 Age Level Targets© giving parents the tools to help their child succeed before they move into the school system. Parent engage in three classes each year focusing on the learning targets their child should be working on, and practicing using the tools to do that at home. Participants receive an early learning tool kit full of enriching materials like floor puzzles, colorful wooden shapes, blocks and audio CDs to use at home with their children. During each of the three classes parents will have early learning activities demonstrated for them, and will then be able to practice those activities by role playing together. Parents and caregivers will be given the tools and assistance from the Ready!® instructors to assess their child’s progress and determine the targets they should focus on. This gives parents and caregivers the tools to help their child learn at home, while giving them the freedom to determine what activities will work best for their particular child.