Commentary: What to do now to prepare for school year
For the children of Collier County, the end of summer recess is fast approaching. Children will begin school on August 15. There are some ways parents can help their children get off to a good start.
Most children have a more relaxed schedule and bedtime routine during break. Now would be a good time to practice your school day wake-up routine to help avoid first-day chaos.
Some children will be nervous about the new school year or their new teacher. Visit the school district and school websites to show the children some pictures from last year and hopefully a picture of their new classroom teacher. Spend time reminiscing about fun events from the previous year. Get a copy of the menu for the first week of school and plan out what they will eat.
Make a plan to read to and/or with your child each day. Books build experiences without having to leave the house.
Encourage your child to consider what new experiences they might have in their new grade. One fun thing many children in the Collier County school district can look forward to is receiving a book a month from Books for Collier Kids. Books for Collier Kids is dedicated to putting a steady stream of new books into the hands of children living in poverty in our community–books for them to read and take home.
Last May, cases of books were ordered, sorted and delivered to local elementary schools so that all children in kindergarten through second grade in Title I elementary schools, as well as pre-kindergarten children in Head Start classrooms, would have a book ready for them as they went back to school. It is our hope that parents of these 6,800 children will take time to read their child’s book with them or to them.
Titles were selected that would be fun and age appropriate. Pre-kindergarten children will recognize a familiar character when they receive “Doc McStuffin — Time for a Check-Up.” This is a lift-the-flap book that engages children and builds vocabulary by noting numbers, colors, shapes and the names of objects.
Kindergarten children will receive a box of 26 small books–one for each letter of the alphabet. Having “Baby Einstein’s ABCs” at home will help them revisit the letters and sounds they learned in prekindergarten.
First-grade and second-grade children will also find characters they know in the books they receive: “Monstropolis” and “Spider Man,” respectively.
Books for Collier Kids is dedicated to supplying a steady stream of new books to children in need. Access to books improves a child’s chances of becoming a competent, engaged reader.
For more information or to help support local efforts, please visit www.BooksforCollierKids.org
By Sallie Williams, board chairwoman, Books for Collier Kids
– Naples Daily News, August 3, 2016