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P.E.I. schools welcome children entering kindergarten next year

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Island schools are making special efforts this month to welcome 1,350 pre-schoolers who will be entering kindergarten next year.

The Welcome to Kindergarten program is being offered by 43 schools to give children and their parents a chance to tour their new school, meet teachers and administrators and learn how they can support their child’s learning by nurturing literacy at home.

Kindergarten classrooms have been equipped with many new resources through a new investment of $250,000.

Every English kindergarten classroom has 311 new books that support independent reading and more choice based on a child’s interests and reading level.

French language classrooms have a variety of new play-based learning resources such as sand stations, educational games and toys.

At Welcome to Kindergarten sessions, parents actively engage with their children at several stations which highlight the value of play-based learning.

For example, read-aloud stations help parents to model reading that builds vocabulary, knowledge and awareness of letters and numbers; cutting and pasting stations highlight the impact of fine motor skills on learning; physical education stations stress the importance of gross motor skill development and music stations may illustrate the benefits of using song or dance to build oral language, patterning and a sense of belonging.

The program is supported by several community partners, including the Public Library Service, Public Health Nursing, Mi’kmaq Confederacy of P.E.I. (MCPEI), P.E.I. Home and School Federation and La Fédération des parents de l’Î.-P.-É.

Each family is presented with a Welcome to Kindergarten bag which contains books, craft supplies, CDs and resources that encourage families to read, play and learn together at home.

MCPEI has supported the program for several years by providing a book on Indigenous culture to each family. This year the 1,240 bags will include a new book about reconciliation.

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