By Rachel Stine, Education Partnerships Manager
Last Thursday evening, I had the privilege of representing Book Harvest at Durham Public School’s annual Countdown to Kindergarten event. Over 880 people attended this event, put on by DPS’s PreK team, where rising kindergartners and their families learned about kindergarten curriculum, rode a school bus, visited tables of various community organizations, and experienced some of the amazing exhibits at the Museum of Life and Science.
Throughout the evening, families came to the Book Harvest table where each rising kindergartner selected a literacy kit and a book of his/her choice. As always, the children were so excited to pick out their very own book. Each literacy kit contained crayons, a pencil, a blank tablet, and a book. A huge shout out to our friends from the United Way of the Greater Triangle for providing us with the literacy kits. There is no doubt that there are children practicing writing their name and letters to get ready for their very first day of kindergarten.
This event illustrated to me, what preparing children for kindergarten is all about: a community-wide effort to ensure that all children have what they need to be ready for that first day. Parents, children, Durham Public Schools, community organizations, businesses, and community members all must be a part of the process of preparing children from the day they are born into this world until they start kindergarten. The stakes are way too high to leave this task up to just one group – we all must play a role.
It is hard to believe, but next year our very first cohort of Book Babies will be attending this event as they get ready to start kindergarten. We cannot wait for these brilliant babies, now preschoolers, to reach the milestone of attending kindergarten.