First Posted: 8/2/2012 8:21:10 AM | Last Updated: 8/2/2012 8:21:44 AM
LAFAYETTE – Students learn to read from kindergarten through third grade, before switching to reading to learn in fourth grade.
This, coupled with a new state requirement to hold back third-graders who don’t pass their IREAD-3 reading test, places an extra importance on ensuring our children are ready for kindergarten.
That’s why Indiana University Health Arnett and United Way of Greater Lafayette came together again this year to host the successful “Kindergarten Countdown” program, which launched in 2011 at Miller Elementary in Lafayette.
Kindergarten Countdown is a free three to four week camp aimed at better preparing children for kindergarten, who might not have preschool experience. The camps are taught by licensed kindergarten teachers, and each child receives a backpack filled with school supplies, a free t-shirt and a weekly book to take home and keep. Students are also fed with a healthy mid-morning snack or a lunch, depending on the length of the camp.
Because of the positive results and feedback from 2011, this year’s Kindergarten Countdown Camps doubled the amount of children at Miller Elementary in Lafayette , which is currently in progress, and expanded the program to Klondike Elementary in West Lafayette , which was completed in June 2012. In total, approximately 60 incoming kindergarteners in the Greater Lafayette community will be better prepared for kindergarten thanks to this partnership and program.
At Miller’s 2011 Kindergarten Countdown Camp, 95% of the children who attended the camp saw an increased score on the Get Ready to Read assessment score, which measures literacy skills.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), lower grades, test scores and educational attainment are consistently linked to violence and physical inactivity. By ensuring our children are ready to learn from a young age, we’re also ensuring their future good health.