April 26, 2017 2,500 Bags and a Plan
130,000 Magnetic Letters
25,000 Jumbo Crayons
5,000 sets of Flashcards
2,500 Drawing Pads
2,500 Erasable Alphabet Charts
2,500 Brightly Colored Tote Bags, each with a pamphlet entitled, Kindergarten Readiness, Practical Skills Every Child Need As They Enter Kindergarten
The materials were laid out in a large conference room, and like magic, with the help of highly motivated volunteers, the stacks became 2,500 Kindergarten Readiness Bags. The Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading recently distributed these Kindergarten Readiness bags to 25 Title 1 schools in Manatee and Sarasota counties. Fully funded by The Patterson Foundation, in partnership with the School District of Manatee County and Sarasota County Schools, these bags have been given to families of incoming kindergarteners with the intent of helping to prepare them for school by strengthening their basic skills.
The Kindergarten Readiness bags will also help prepare parents to be actively involved in their child’s education. Brain science shows that the quality of interactions with mothers and fathers have measurable impacts on future learning. For example, cognitive stimulation by parents in playful interactions during toddlerhood is related to literacy and math levels in third through fifth grade. Parents’ contributions to preschoolers’ literacy skills are related to overall school readiness. By engaging children in joint literacy activities and positive discussions about educational topics, parents promote successful transitions to school.
Teachers realize the powerful contribution parents make to the education of their children. A recent poll shows teachers in both Manatee and Sarasota counties listed increased Parent Engagement as one of their greatest aspirations. National Education Association (NEA) research shows that family involvement in schools improves student achievement, reduces absenteeism, and restores parents’ confidence in their children’s education. Students with involved parents or other caregivers earn higher grades and test scores, have better social skills, and show improved behavior. Teachers and parents working together as a team give children their best pathway to success. The interactions between parent and child when using the Kindergarten Readiness Bags will build literacy, increase parent engagement, and lead to better outcomes for our most vulnerable children.