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  • James Townsend

Transition to Kindergarten Program Aims to Prepare Parents

Transitions are an important piece to a child’s success in school. Strong family-school-community relationships are essential during transition times. When families, schools, and communities work together to ensure a smooth transition into school it sets the stage for lifetime successful learning.

Parents of incoming kindergarteners report needing guidance about the school’s efforts to prepare for transition, and what parents themselves can do to get children better prepared. Studies show families are more likely to stay involved as school progresses when relationships are built from the start, and they are a part of the transition process.

Great Start Collaborative of Ionia County is implementing a county wide transition to kindergarten plan in the Ionia, Portland, Lakewood, Saranac, and Belding school districts. This is a collaboration between parents, agencies, businesses, schools, and the community. Together, these organizations have created a kindergarten transition backpack that includes a parent guide, activities, and supplies to help parents prepare their child for kindergarten. About 850 backpacks will be handed out to children and parents at Kindergarten Round-ups in Ionia County. This is a big project that has involved many community members. The desired outcome would be that children are developmentally ready to succeed in school at the time of school entry.

Back packs will be given to parents with a teacher or assigned adult explaining what is in the backpack and what they can do at home to prepare their child for kindergarten. All of the school districts in Ionia County will receive backpacks for incoming kindergartners and entering DK students.

The Transition to Kindergarten project was made possible because of our wonderful sponsors:

  • Ionia County Community Foundation

  • Tri County Electric

  • Portland Community Fund,

  • Michigan One

  • Portland Federal Credit Union

  • Edward Jones

  • Meijer

  • Great Start Readiness Program

  • Great Start Collaborative

For more information about Transition to Kindergarten, Sally Kapteyn of the Great Start Collaborative at (616) 527-4900 or

For more information about Great Start Ionia, visit

Portland's kindergarten round up is next week, April 12th and 13th. According to the Oakwood Elementary website, “It is time to plan for our 2018-2019 Kindergarten classes. Children are eligible for Kindergarten if they are 5 years old on or before December 1, 2018. Interested families can contact Oakwood Elementary School at (517) 647-2991 to receive additional information regarding our Developmental Kindergarten and Kindergarten program, or the round up registration process. Kindergarten Round-Up registration appointments will be scheduled for April 12th and 13th. Students who are currently enrolled in Developmental Kindergarten will not need to go through the round up process.”

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