(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The United Way of Greater St. Joseph and the St. Joseph School District teamed up Saturday morning to offer a KinderClub Boot Camp at Edison Elementary School.
The camp is part of the United Ways's Success By 6 Program that helps parents get ready to send their children off to school for the first time. The program has been assisting families for more than a decade but Saturday morning's camp was the first time an event like this was held in St. Joseph.
"This is the first year we have tried this differently here," Bobbie Cronk, the director of children's initiatives with the United Way, said. "We are very fortunate to have our schools partnering with us and giving the parents the information they need to be partners in their child's education."
Parents and their children who attended the event got the chance to read stories, play games, receive information, and experience a bus ride for the first time.
"The key is really getting to spend the morning with their child, enjoying their time together," Dlo DuVall, the principal of Edison Elementary said. "We really encourage reading, having fun, [and] talking with their children. That's going to get their children ready for kindergarten."
Nearly 40 families were in attendance of Saturday's event.
Staff from the United Way and school district agree that having events like these and getting information to parents and future students is what will lead to a successful first day of school.
"We know parents, they care deeply about their child's success but don't necessarily have a guidebook to go along with that," Cronk said. "So this is just one way of us helping parents know what to do. To help their child be successful on that first day of school."
For parents who have not yet enrolled their child in kindergarten, contact the elementary school near you for more information. Information on summer school for children can also be found by reaching out the school district.