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Migrant students better prepared for kindergarten

Migrant students better prepared for kindergarten
Migrant students better prepared for kindergarten This summer, a number of preschool children were selected for the Migrant Education Pre-K Academy - an intensive language arts and mathematics program designed to prepare them to start kindergarten this month. Migrant's School Readiness Coordinator Karina Lara reports that assessments conducted early in the program indicated that only nine of the 30 children enrolled had any knowledge of the alphabet. While the data was "eye-opening," Ms. Lara was impressed with the teachers' ability to jump right in and deliver the instruction children needed to build their academic readiness skills.

Migrant students better prepared for kindergarten Children enjoyed the academy, learning language and math concepts through interactive play. The children in Shameen Rayani's classroom at Doyle Elementary in Porterville played a bakery game - adding and subtracting colored, felt donuts from a board. They earned an opportunity to visit the "bakery" and select a donut by correctly answering Ms. Rayani's questions about the quantity on the board. Next door in Yolanda Rosales' room, children were eagerly identifying letters, colors and objects.

With help from teachers and aides, the children also learned to develop journals with stories and illustrations of their own. The journals integrate well with the School Readiness Program's goal of promoting family literacy. Ms. Rayani's classroom had a small lending library from which students borrowed books to take home. "One of the major goals of the program is increasing family literacy and reinforcing parents' role as their child's first teacher," says Ms. Lara. The combination of the Academy's intensive instruction and empowered parents sets the course for these children to find success in kindergarten and beyond.

For more information about the Migrant Education Program, call Tony Velásquez at 559/651-3026.

Photos above:
~ Yolanda Rosales works with picture and color recognition, while ...
~ Shameen Rayani helps children with math concepts.
~ School Readiness Coordinator Karina Lara accepts work from children who are excited to be learning the alphabet.