On Tuesday, Nov. 15, dignitaries from around the region joined with Harry M. Fisher Elementary School prekindergarten students to celebrate the launch of the United Way’s Ready for Kindergarten (R4K) program. R4K is a collaboration between the United Way and Central Valley, Dolgeville, and Remsen school districts. The program encourages families, schools, and communities to work together to provide environments and developmental experiences that promote growth and learning.
A boost for the Thunder
Central Valley Superintendent Rich Hughes said afterward that he expects this to have a profound impact on the district and its children.
“Research is clear. Students who begin school underprepared, struggle throughout their lives to make up up that learning gap,” he said.
“To overcome this challenge, we must reach students as early as possible—before they enter kindergarten. We know we can move the dial when families, local agencies and organizations, and child development and education professionals collaborate. Together, we can empower parents to be a a positive force in their children’s education. That is why we are so excited by R4K. It combines the passion and resources of the United Way, our schools, and our families to prepare our children for a life of learning.”
Great day for children
R4K is about children, so it is appropriate that the majority of the launch centered around the district’s seven prekindergarten classes. Each class enjoyed a 10-minute stop at four locations. Herkimer County Sheriff Chris Farber and New York State Police Major Frank Coots read/sang “If You’re Happy and You Know It” in the library. Remsen Superintendent Bill Crankshaw and Family School Coordinator Beth Meeusen led a sing-a-long in a classroom. Mother Goose with occasional help from McGruff the Crime Dog mixed learning songs with high energy physical activity in the gym. In the other half of the gym, Dolgeville elementary principal Susan Butler and Family School Coordinator Julie Castor helped students make Thanksgiving turkey crafts.