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Library to host ‘Countdown to Kindergarten’

MADISON – Youngsters, along with their anxious parents, can prepare for attending school when Madison Public Library hosts “Countdown to Kindergarten.”

Lisa Blackmon, who works as Youth Services Librarian, will lead this program on April 7 from 10 a.m. to noon. Volunteers will assist in the informal session, which will not be as structured as a class.

Families can come and go to Countdown to Kindergarten as fits their schedule. Registration is not required.

“Bring your three-, four- or five-year-old to explore and practice the skills your child needs for a smooth transition into kindergarten,” Blackmon said. “Parents can observe (and assist, if necessary) as their preschoolers practice various skills that they’ll use in a variety of settings.”

LeAnna Whitaker, who formerly worked as Youth Services Librarian, introduced the Madison staff to Countdown to Kindergarten after using the program at another library. “It’s not a national program, but many public libraries make school readiness a priority,” Blackmon said.

“We have found it successful for the past two years and are pleased we can spread out in the new auditorium. The event also will include some practical life skills, in addition to traditional literacy-related skills,” Blackmon said.

Blackmon realized the importance of these skills from classroom experience and discussions with teachers. “When teachers don’t have to stop to open 15 milk cartons or help zip 20 little coats, they have more time to engage students in language arts, math and other Alabama Courses of Study,” she said.

“Just as in many kindergarten classrooms, the auditorium will be set up with various stations throughout the room. Each station will focus on a different skill, and parents will walk among the stations with their preschooler to explore and practice,” Blackmon said. “Once children have been to all stations, they will receive a small prize.”

During Countdown to Kindergarten, the Parent-to-Parent Team with the Military Child Education Coalition will lead one station. “We’ll also have information provided by Madison City Schools,” Blackmon said.

Madison Public Library’s address is 142 Plaza Blvd. For more information, call 256-461-0046.

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