ANDERSON — The roundups have been held at most Madison County schools, now Blast Off to Kindergarten events are underway.
The annual program helps introduce youngsters who will start kindergarten in the fall to the schools they will attend, said Lynn Silvey, coordinator of the Born Learning Connection, a United Way of Madison County program.
“This is our seventh year for Blast Off to Kindergarten,” she said. “The idea is to connect with families who will be enrolling and provide parents with support, tools and ideas to work on during the summer to get their little ones ready for kindergarten.
The blast-off events, which are being held at schools throughout the county this month, include classroom visits, bus rides, games and snacks. In addition, the children each receive their own backpack with books and supplies to use over the summer, Silvey said.
The program kicked off Tuesday at Killbuck Kindergarten Extension.
“It was very well attended,” said Sharon Buchanan, principal of the school. “I know that in our kindergarten roundup we had 83 students. Maybe 50 families showed up (Tuesday) so that was pretty good.”
Latasha Denny, who served as a parent volunteer at Killbuck, said her two children participated in the program when they were getting ready to start school several years ago.
“This is a great opportunity to meet the teachers and look around the school,” she said. “It just eases the parent’s and the child’s anxiety about the first day of kindergarten.”
About 30 families gathered at Tenth Street Elementary on Wednesday for the program.
Among them was Alawna Shannon who’s “5 going on 55,” according to her grandmother, Connie Bell.
When asked what was in the backpack she was handed after signing in, Alawna quickly turned away. “I’m not going to show you yet,” she said. She relented a moment later, though, pulling out a white erasure board, a bookmark and other items.