Kindergarten Countdown Camp Prepares Avon’s Newest Learners for School Success
An IU Health West Hospital Release
— Again this summer, children in Avon are getting a jump start on kindergarten, thanks to a collaboration aimed at helping at-risk preschoolers transition successfully into school.
Indiana University Health West Hospital, together with the United Way of Central Indiana, has teamed up with the Avon Community School Corporation to offer “Kindergarten Countdown” for its third year. This free, four-week summer camp program helps equip children with the basic skills they need to succeed in school.
“Kindergarten is a fundamental stepping stone on the path toward education and literacy,” says Matt Bailey, president and CEO of IU Health West Hospital. “We know that good education is critical to good health and quality of life, and that the stronger the start for our youngest Hoosiers the better.”
The Kindergarten Countdown program offers campers initial exposure to classroom etiquette, such as raising a hand to talk and standing in line. It also provides an introduction to phonetic awareness, letter and number recognition, shapes, colors as well as other important social and behavioral skills. Camps are held in kindergarten classrooms at Maple Elementary and taught by experienced kindergarten teachers.
“Kindergarten readiness is very important. Reading to your child, practicing writing their name with a good pencil grip and coloring are many fun things that you can do with your child to help prepare them for kindergarten success,” says Maple Elementary kindergarten teacher and camp teacher Janet Craig.
IU Health West recognizes the importance education plays in the future of its organization and the strength of the community. Studies show early intervention has the potential to affect standardized test scores and improve a student’s chance at earning a college education. That’s why IU Health West employees have pledged more than 80 volunteer hours as “classroom buddies” during the camp’s four weeks. Classroom buddies help the camp teacher with basic classroom activities, such as reading and early literacy activities, art projects that help to develop fine-motor skills, and spending individual time with children who may need more assistance acclimating to the classroom.
Campers also receive age-appropriate books to add to their home library. IU Health West caregivers have donated new or gently used children’s books to be used during the program.