PASADENA, Calif.— Pasadena Public Health Department (PPHD), Pasadena Public Library and Office of the Young Child have partnered with local schools, community organizations, and early childhood experts to pilot a new campaign called Kindergarten, Here I Come!. This new campaign aims to provide parents and caregivers with the information, tools, and resources to prepare their child for kindergarten and beyond.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), research shows that the early years of a child’s life are critical for their healthy development. Having a safe home and spending time with loved ones―playing, singing, reading, and talking―can support healthy development. Proper nutrition, exercise, and sleep can make a big difference as well. Children depend on parents, family members, and other caregivers as their first teachers to develop skills to become independent and lead healthy and successful lives.
The Kindergarten, Here I Come! campaign focuses on the importance of this early phase of a child’s life and was developed to provide information and resources that can help children stay healthy, be safe, and be successful in five key areas of development—physical health and wellbeing, emotions and feelings, social skills, communication skills and cognitive (thinking) skills. The campaign features a variety of impactful initiatives, including:
- Transition to Kindergarten (T2K) Kits: Families with children ages 2 to 5 years can receive a tote bag with interactive items including starter school supplies, a coloring book, calendar, magnets, a picture book about getting ready for kindergarten, and growth charts that list developmental steppingstones for children to learn and practice before starting school. Parents can pick up a T2K kit when they sign up for 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten or attend an Info Session at a Pasadena Public Library branch location while supplies last. For a complete schedule of upcoming Info Sessions, please visit: Pasadena-Library.net/Kids/1000Books/.
- Interactive Countdown to Kindergarten Calendar: This calendar contains 121 activities and ideas to build children’s readiness for school, 12 places around Pasadena for children to visit before starting kindergarten, important reminders about the school process every parent and caregiver should know, and early childhood development and learning resources. This calendar is part of the Transition to Kindergarten (T2K) Kit and can be picked up by families when they sign up for 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten or attend an Info Session at a Pasadena Public Library branch location while supplies last.
- Resource Website: A comprehensive resource hub offering free downloadable materials, resources, and information on preparing your child for school. Parents, educators, and community members can access valuable kindergarten readiness tools at CityofPasadena.net/Kindergarten.
To highlight the importance of literacy, parents are encouraged to participate in the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program with their child. The most important predictor of school success is being read to during early childhood according to the National Library of Medicine. Early literacy skills have a lifelong impact on educational and occupational success. More information about the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program is available online at Pasadena-Library.net/Kids/1000Books/.
Funding for the campaign was provided by State of California General Funds as part of PPHD’s Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program, a home-based program for parents of children 2-5 years old. "We believe that every child deserves a strong start in their educational journey,” said Acting Director of Public Health, Manuel Carmona. “The Kindergarten, Here I Come! campaign seeks to empower parents, caregivers, and communities to provide the support and resources necessary for children to thrive in kindergarten and beyond."
The campaign is part of the City of Pasadena 2022 Early Child Development Policy, which was adopted by City Council in November 2022 and recommends developing a campaign to introduce the Pasadena Unified School District to families. “We’ve heard from parents that they could use extra support and information during that difficult transition from preschool to kindergarten, so we are thrilled to be able to present these resources to the community,” said Office of the Young Child Coordinator Carla Hegwood.
For more information about Kindergarten, Here I Come!, visit CityOfPasadena.net/Kindergarten.
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