Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966


Making children kindergarten-ready


The Children’s Reading Foundation of Haines is launching a new program, Ready for Kindergarten, with an informational meeting on the program scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 25, at the public library.

Jeanne Kitayama, the foundation’s executive director, also will be passing out free CDs of the KHNS radio program “Sing out Strong,” a locally-produced series geared toward promoting literacy for children newborn to age 5. The segment features songs for children to sing with adults.

Holly Davis, who sings with her 5-year-old son John Caleb Davis on “Sing out Strong,” also will be singing live at the event.

The Ready for Kindergarten program will consist of three classes for parents, where they will learn how to play with their children using educational toys and games intended to spur mental and social development.

Program director Alissa Henry said a fall session will focus on literacy, a winter session is on math, and one in spring is aimed at social skills.

“It prepares the children when they enter school so they are already at a higher level of literacy, math and social skills. If they enter school at a higher level, they can stay at a higher level for their entire time in the school system. It gives them a jump start,” Henry said.

Parents will receive a “kit” with educational toys and games, in addition to books, to use with their children, Henry said.

The program is free and is available only to 15 families with children ages 3 to 5. Free childcare is available during the sessions.

Henry said she will be showing a short, informational video about the program at the Oct. 25 event. The program is funded through a $6,000 grant from the Children’s Reading Foundation.