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    Smoothing the Entry to Kindergarten

    by Charles Borst posted August 22, 2017

    Nearly 4 million kindergartners will be enrolled in the nation’s schools for 2017-18, mostly starting with a blank slate for teachers who may have little information on their skill level and previous learning experience. Reporting on efforts to ease young children’s entry into school, Education Week reporter Christina A. Samuels and freelance photographer Amanda L. Smith featured the Kids in Transition to School program at the Prairie Mountain School in Eugene, Ore., which helps prospective kindergartners focus on school readiness, social skills, and literacy.

    Autumn Edwards and her mom Lindsey Edwards walk towards Prairie Mountain School Monday morning so that Autumn can take part in the Kids in Transition to School (KITS) program. KITS gives children entering school the opportunity to go to 24 sessions of school readiness focused on promoting social skills and early literacy. (Amanda L Smith Photo)

    Autumn Edwards and her mother, Lindsey Edwards, walk toward Prairie Mountain School, where Autumn will take part in the KITS program.

    Assistant Teacher, Kimberly Fisher, works with a student signing their name in for school Monday morning at the Mountain School during the Kids in Transition to School (KITS) program. KITS gives children entering school the opportunity to go to 24 sessions of school readiness focused on promoting social skills and early literacy. (Amanda L Smith Photo)

    Assistant Teacher Kimberly Fisher talks with a student preparing for kindergarten. Children in the KITS program attend multiple sessions, where they learn the so-called soft skills they will need to be successful when they start school in September.

    Students learn how to properly raise their hands while during the Kids in Transition to School (KITS) program. KITS gives children entering school the opportunity to go to 24 sessions of school readiness focused on promoting social skills and early literacy. (Amanda L Smith Photo)

    Assistant Teacher Kimberly Fisher talks with a student preparing for kindergarten. Children in the KITS program attend multiple sessions, where they learn the so-called soft skills they will need to be successful when they start school in September.

    Gracie Walters (back center) works with Jamileth Ixmatlahua (cq,back right) building a large building for their class's "city" during the Kids in Transition to School (KITS) program. KITS gives children entering school the opportunity to go to 24 sessions of school readiness focused on promoting social skills and early literacy. (Amanda L Smith Photo)

    Incoming kindergartners Gracie Walters, at center left, and Jamileth Ixmatlahua build a block building for a wooden “class city.” The program focuses on activities that help students learn about skills such as sharing and taking turns.

    Lead teacher, Katie Rutherford helps her students learn how to line up by playing Simon says during the Kids in Transition to School (KITS) program. KITS gives children entering school the opportunity to go to 24 sessions of school readiness focused on promoting social skills and early literacy. (Amanda L Smith Photo)

    Lead teacher Katie Rutherford helps her students learn how to line up by playing Simon Says.

    Tyler ____________ is picked out to choose the next movement during the Kids in Transition to School (KITS) program. KITS gives children entering school the opportunity to go to 24 sessions of school readiness focused on promoting social skills and early literacy. (Amanda L Smith Photo)

    Tyler Johnson, center, is picked to choose the next lesson during a KITS class.

    Tyler________ hugs his neighbor, excited that he was finally old enough to go to school too while leaving the Kids in Transition to School (KITS) program. KITS gives children entering school the opportunity to go to 24 sessions of school readiness focused on promoting social skills and early literacy. (Amanda L Smith Photo)

    Tyler Johnson, right, hugs a neighborhood friend after completing the KITS class at Prairie Mountain School in Eugene, Ore.

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