Many children not ready for kindergarten; Campaign urges Cuyahoga County parents to register early

BROADVIEW HEIGHTS, Ohio - The start of the next school year is still five months away, but parents throughout Cuyahoga County are being urged to register their children now for kindergarten.

According to the March into Kindergarten campaign, registration provides the child with a smooth transition. It's a transition can cause stress and anxiety for both the child and parent.

But learning what is expected in kindergarten and how to register lowers anxiety and stress, while paving the way for a more positive start to the new experience.

"Research has shown that kids who make that nice adjustment at the beginning, it's directly correlated to how well they can achieve academically later on," said North Royalton kindergarten teacher Nancy McCullough.

But some 5-year-olds who enter McCullough's classroom for the first time are not ready.

"We like them to be familiar with the alphabet, We like them to be able to count to at least 10, recognize those numbers. We like them to know shapes, rhyme, recognize rhyme," McCullough said.

Registration also helps schools adequately prepare to educate all children and understand each child's strengths and needs before the first day of school.

Things you need to register your child:

-Photo ID of parent
-Child's birth certificate
-Child's immunization records
-Proof of residency, like a utility bill if you own your home or the lease for a rental property
-Divorced parents must bring court order awarding custody

The Parma City School District also has this list of 10 ways to prepare your child for kindergarten:

1. Create a routine over the summer. Give your child a bedtime (8:00 PM is great!) and stick to it.
2. Have your child practice writing his first name. If your child can do this, try the last name, or practice lower case letters.
3. Use counting in your daily activities. County how many steps it takes to get to the mailbox or the park. Count out fruit, placemats, napkins and so forth.
4. Take your child with you to the grocery store, post office, library, and other errands. Talk with her about what she's seeing, hearing and touching. It's all part of learning!
5. Visit your local library and help your child get a free library card. Then use the card to visit the library each week and borrow a book.
6. Let your child practice his independence by allowing him to make certain choices ("do you want an apple or a banana?"), and by encouraging him to try new things and to problem solve.
7. Set a limit to the amount of TV your child watches (1-2 hours should be the maximum). When possible, watch TV together and talk about what you see.
8. Prepare a "study spot" for your child and supply it with crayons, paper, scissors and other kindergarten "tools." Set aside a time each day for your child to draw there. Once a school starts this can become the time and place where your child does her homework.
9. Help your child know or be able to do the following before entering kindergarten:
Recite name, address, and telephone number
Use the bathroom on his own and button and zip their clothes
Share and play with other children. This will help him to adjust to his new kindergarten classroom.
10. Read, Read, Read! (In English or your native language!)

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