On the morning of Aug. 3, the sound of shuffling feet and little voices could be heard echoing off the brightly-decorated halls of Westwood Elementary as new students attended the first-ever Kinder Kamp. Teachers allowed incoming kindergartners to come in before the start of school to take a tour of the building, show them the classrooms and teach them the basic skills they will need for school.
“The kinder teachers wanted to offer a time before school started for students to get acclimated to the new building,” Kristin Moffitt, principal of Westwood Elementary, said. “We think having a chance to rotate through classrooms, tour the school and start to make friends will help the students adjust faster and be more prepared for the first week of school.”
Michele Klump, a Westwood kindergarten teacher, agreed.
“I think [attending Kinder Kamp] will make the kids feel comfortable,” Klump said. “Seeing the building, seeing the faces of other little kids and actually being able to meet the teachers ahead of time will help.”
Students were able to learn how to walk in a line, how to rotate through stations and how to raise their hand to ask a question. Additionally, students were able to have some fun by playing with blocks, coloring, having story-time and dancing along with children’s songs.
“My favorite part about Kinder Kamp is just seeing the excitement of the kids. They’re so eager to come to school when they’re little, and that’s what it’s all about,” Klump said.
While the students were in classrooms working with their teachers, parents were invited to attend a meeting where they were able to get information on forming a kinder-parent network, learn about Westwood and get all of their questions answered.
“I trust everyone here,” Jessica Frantz, mother of an incoming kindergartner, said. “My husband went here 25 years ago, my brother-in-law went here, so the whole family went to Westwood.”
Frantz said she thinks attending Kinder Kamp will help her son be better adjusted to a new environment once school starts.
“With this, he could be prepared for the first day [of school], and it won’t be as much of a sad separation,” Frantz said. “I’m excited. He’s ready. I think he’ll be nervous at the beginning, but I think it will end happy.”
Moffitt said she is also excited for school to begin on Aug. 15.
“I love the first day of school,” Moffitt said. “So much time, effort and preparation go in to preparing for this day and it is always the best day. Sweet new smiles and hugs from returning students make all of the work worth it.”
Cline Elementary will also be hosting Kick-Off to Kinder on Aug. 13 from 8:00 to 10:00 in order to give its incoming kindergartners the same opportunity to get ready for the new school year.
Pictures from the event can be found on SmugMug.