FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — United Way of Allen County, in partnership with East Allen County Schools and Fort Wayne Community Schools worked together to provide high-quality instruction and activities to build readiness skills in children prior to entering kindergarten.
This summer, 120 soon-to-be kindergarteners enrolled in Kindergarten Countdown, a four-week program for children who have little or no pre-kindergarten experience.
Kindergarten Countdown was developed to help families better navigate and prepare for the critical transition into Kindergarten and helps students be better prepared for school.
Last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic the Kindergarten Countdown program was canceled – however, in 2021 United Way was able to expand by two classrooms this year.
The two additional classrooms were added in the East Allen County Schools district, an area with more rural schools that have not had access to programs like this.
The following schools in the county have a Kindergarten Countdown program for this summer:
- East Allen County Schools
- Heritage Elementary
- New Haven Primary
- Southwick Elementary
- Fort Wayne Community Schools
- Abbett Elementary
- Bloomingdale Elementary
- Indian Village Elementary
- Maplewood Elementary
- Waynedale Elementary
“We are incredibly grateful that Kindergarten Countdown was able to expand this year and added two additional classrooms to our district because this is a true need. Educational opportunities for these children will ensure they have the right tools to head into kindergarten and will not fall behind their other classmates. This program gives them four weeks out of the summer for a safe place to eat, learn, and play with other students their age. Thank you, United Way of Allen County, for making this possible in our community – you are changing the lives of 120 children just in four weeks this year,” Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education at East Allen County Schools Teresa Knoblauch explained.
United Way’s Kindergarten Countdown runs from July 6-30 and strategically takes place near the start of Kindergarten so that students can apply their recently learned skills without delay.
Classrooms are taught by educational experts and children learn basic literacy and math skills, go on virtual field trips and participate in many hands-on activities all in an effort to help them be better prepared to start Kindergarten in the fall.
“Kindergarten Countdown is a time of year that brings out incredible partnerships in our community,” United Way of Allen County’s President and CEO Matthew Purkey said. “From the hard-working individuals at each school, the bus drivers safely transporting these students every day, organizations that support Kindergarten Countdown through sponsorship and backpack donations, and Parkview Health for offering field trips for the students to learn further. You are making a difference in the lives of these children and their families. Thank you for investing in educational opportunities for our youngest generation.”