School is a fun place to make new friends and learn. That’s what teacher Mary Raub hopes her students learn during Kindergarten Countdown at Burnett Creek Elementary School. The free, half-day program, sponsored by the United Way of Greater Lafayette, is held in June at several schools in the area including Wea Ridge and Burnett Creek elementary schools.
“We learn through singing and dancing,” explains Raub. “We learn letters, letter sounds and numbers. I have seen my students grow more confident and becomes excited about writing their name by themselves.”
Most of the students who participate in the program have little or no preschool experience, but by the end of the 3-week camp they make great gains academically, such as writing their names and counting.
Teacher Kara Meyer says the exposure to a structured school environment is very important. “Students who were unable to write their names, are now able to write their names. Students are doing much better following procedures, working cooperatively with others and identifying some letters of the alphabet," Meyer says.
“Kindergarten Countdown not only provides an environment where children grow academically, but it also gives them a chance to develop independence, self-confidence, and empathy,” says United Way Community Impact Associate Allison Hackman. “These are characteristics that put students on the right track so they can begin Kindergarten ready to learn.”
More than 80 TSC students are enrolled in the program.