Kindergarten to get year started right with kickoff

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Kindergarten Kickoff is Thursday, July 18, from 4-7 p.m. at Paroquet Springs Conference Centre

By Stephen Thomas

 SHEPHERDSVILLE - For the Kindergarten Kickoff, it’s the fourth down and many goals to go for local students.

The fourth annual Kickoff is scheduled for Thursday, July 18, at Paroquet Springs Conference Centre. The event is presented by the Bullitt County Public Schools Family Resource Centers.

Kindergarten Kickoff is designed for new kindergartners and their families to acquire necessary information, as well as meeting their new teachers and principals, prior to first day of classes on Aug. 7.

“It’s a community event to ease entry into Kindergarten and to meet the faces that will become familiar,” said Terry Price, BCPS director of elementary education. “It gets the kids thinking properly about starting school. It gets the parents thinking.”

Each elementary school hosts an individual booth, supplying new students and parents with necessary and pertinent information. Parents also have an opportunity to ask questions about the upcoming school year.

“It’s informal, and it’s in a large group setting, so it’s non-threatening,” Price said. “It also gets the teacher back in the groove. It’s just an easy way to transition into school.”

Sherri Bishop, FRC coordinator at Brooks and Freedom Elementary, said each Kindergartner attending the Kickoff will receive a free drawstring backpack filled with with treats and school information, as well as a prize ticket.

“(Students) have to check for the golden prize tickets,” said Bishop. “If they get a golden ticket they also receive a bigger prize.”

Golden ticket prizes include bicycles, art sets, books, fishing poles, puzzles and sports items.

Along with the individual schools, informational booths will be provided by BCPS departments such as district nurses, food services and transportation.

“If a child needs to register for school, we can do so at the school booths,” said Price. “We always have a lot of resources for parents at the event.”

Bishop said the transportation department will host a school bus on site.

“If the kids have never been on a school bus before, this will give them an opportunity to see it and get familiar with it,” she said.

BCPS food services will host a computer site for parents to apply for free and reduced meals.

“It’s super quick and super easy to do,” Bishop said.

Hillview Family Dentistry will be in attendance, offering free dental screenings for the new students. Other community booths such as the Bullitt County Health Department and YMCA will attend.

The event’s big star this year will help promote reading as much as any teacher: Bullitt County’s favorite son, Woody the Kentucky Wiener, will be in attendance along with his mom, author Leigh Anne Florence.

Other “celebrities” include Clifford, the Big Red Dog, and Andy Armadillo from Texas Roadhouse.

“They always give out free peanuts and kids meals,” Bishop added.

Balloon bounces and fun games all around for the kids make the Kindergarten Kickoff a must event for new students and families.

The Kindergarten Kickoff takes place from 4-7 p.m. Admission is free. For more information call BCPS, 860-8000.

Price credited all Bullitt County Family Resource Centers for their ongoing commitment to the event’s success and to their respective schools.