We are thrilled to share the next post in our Kindergarten Countdown Camp (KCC) summer blog series that kicked off in Waukegan on June 19th. Up next, we have Amy Warrington KCC classroom volunteer sharing her reflection on the first weeks of camp:
My role at camp is basically to help the teachers in any way possible. This has included everything from helping kids learn how to hold a pen to taking them to the nurse. I also participate in class activities and just generally try to be a helping hand.
The most memorable part of my involvement in KCC has been hearing the kids talk about their enthusiasm for “real kindergarten” to start. Many of them have told me how much they love coming to school every day for camp, and I hope that enthusiasm continues as they begin their journey into formal education.
One teacher in particular that has impacted me is Mrs. Feldman. She is one of the most patient, kind people I have had the pleasure of meeting. Even though she always has her hands full with her class of energetic campers, she takes time to talk to the other volunteers and me about our own lives and plans for the future, which we really appreciate.
I do believe KCC is having a really big impact on the children attending. Many of them, on the first day, did not know to raise their hands for a question or how to sit correctly at a desk. I participated in some of the in-take testing and even just a week in, it is impressive how far these kids have come. The fact that they are learning how to “do school” now, instead of when the year starts, gives them a priceless advantage and opportunity to learn even more.
Education, to me, is something that is necessary to succeed today. Most opportunities a person has professionally are as a result of education. Higher education, be it through an apprenticeship, a co-op, or a four year university, education determines the course of an entire person’s life, and it starts here in kindergarten. The basics these kids learn in camp and kindergarten will be built upon for the rest of their educational careers. A strong base is necessary for later success. KCC is an important leveler to give these kids, who may not have as many opportunities as others, that strong base that will be advantageous for later in life.