Jump Start to Learning Helps Prepare Kindergartners for School

Jump Start to Learning Helps Prepare Kindergartners for School
Shawnee Mission School District

Members of the Class of 2032 have been getting ready for their future.  

These Kindergartners took part in Jump Start to Learning, a three-week summer program designed to provide students an opportunity to practice literacy, numeracy, and the skills of being a student before the first day of school.

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Since the start of the program in 2014, hundreds of Shawnee Mission students have gained early preparation for Kindergarten. Shawnee Mission Kindergarten teachers often share that Jump Start to Learning students become leaders in the classroom and school.

“We’ve noticed they make a smooth transition at the beginning of the year,” Georgia Klos, Jump Start to Learning teacher said. “They walk in confidently and they are ready to learn.”

In addition to their work in the classroom, many Jump Start to Learning students also had the opportunity to experience their first field trip and first classroom guest speakers, thanks to the help of community partners. Some experienced visits from their local firefighters who brought along a firetruck. Some worked on projects with partners from the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. This year’s attendees also took a field trip to Shawnee Mission East to see a puppet show performed by Stone Lion Puppet Theatre.

Christine Peterson, who serves as a Latino Services Outreach Librarian at the Johnson County Library, visited Jump Start locations and read stories to students in English and Spanish. She said she was glad to help support such a beneficial program that provides valuable experiences to children.  

“We all know our children are important and their education is important and encouraging them to become better readers will help them become successful in life,” Peterson said.

Many parents have also joined their students in the learning experience by attending Parent Engagement activities.  Kevin Nolven attended an event with his Jump Start student, saying he appreciated how it gave his child a chance to experience the learning environment early and without other distractions.

 “It’s a positive program and I love it,” he said.

The program is provided with funding from Title I* and generous grant funding from the Hall Family foundation and the Shawnee Mission Education Foundation.

*Title I is a federally funded program that provides monetary support to schools with high numbers and percentages of families identified as having a low income.