Library Notes: Kindergarten, get ready, here I come

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 29, 2023

By Kimber Huffman
Rowan Public Library

If you have a school-age child, then you are probably aware that this week is Teacher Appreciation Week. There are many ways to appreciate our hardworking teachers including food and gifts. However, a child ready to start school with a love of learning and the tools to help that happen is the greatest gift.

All four branches of RPL offer resources to parents and children about starting school and achieving academic success. These resources include books, online sites and programs.

On Wednesday, May 3, at 6 p.m., RPL Headquarters is offering a Kindergarten Readiness Program for parents. This workshop will offer tips on having your child ready to begin school and be excited about this first step in the lifelong learning process. Social and emotional concepts will be discussed along with useful skills that can be practiced over the summer and of course, the ABCs and 123s that are the foundation necessary to achieve success.

Kindergarten Readiness is a special event, but throughout the school year RPL offers weekly baby, toddler, pre-school and bi-lingual programs based on early literacy concepts. These programs are filled with stories, songs and dance. Your child will not realize they are learning but simply having an enjoyable time. RPL also has a jam-packed, fun-filled summer of learning coming up, with performances, storytelling, take-away kits and reading for prizes.

The main resource at any library is books and RPL has a myriad of choices regarding early literacy and being ready for school. A few of my favorite books for children are “Count Down to Kindergarten” by Alison McGhee, “Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten” by Joseph Slate, “We Don’t Eat Our Classmates” by Ryan T. Higgins and “Llama Llama Misses Mama” by Anna Dewdney. Each book talks about various aspects of beginning school, from the practical of getting ready, to the emotional of being nervous and the social of how to treat our classmates. These books and others like them offer a practical opportunity to talk to your child about their thoughts using the character’s feelings and actions.

For parents, I discovered two books that address early learning skills in small easy to understand bites; thus, a busy parent can choose what skills or issues they want to explore for their child. The first book is “A Moving Child is a Learning Child” by Gill Connell and Cheryl McCarthy. This book talks about movement and its relationship to learning and provides activities to enhance this relationship. The second book is “What Your Kindergartner Needs to Know” by E D Hirsch, Jr and John Holden, a colorful, well-illustrated book covering all the standard classes from art to science.

Both can be found in the non-fiction section of the library.

Every RPL branch has computers that connect to the internet, where all things can be found, including kindergarten readiness information. In addition, there are AWE computers, which are preloaded with games geared towards children ages 2-8, in the children’s rooms at Headquarters, East and South. The NCLIVE website found through RPL has many wonderful resources, including Just for Kids Streaming Collection and the Education Database, useful for teachers and parents.

Check out RPL and all it has, to ensure your child is ready for kindergarten and their first step toward developing a life-long love of learning.

Kimber Huffman is children’s outreach librarian at the Rowan Public Library.

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