‘Kindergarten Countdown’ program gives students head start on upcoming school year

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MONROEVILLE, Ind. (WANE) – More than 100 soon-to-be kindergarteners are getting a head start on the upcoming school year thanks to a partnership between United Way of Allen County, Fort Wayne Community Schools and East Allen County Schools.

Throughout July, the United Way of Allen County hosted young learners for the annual Kindergarten Countdown program. Children learn basic literacy and math skills, go on virtual field trips and participate in other hands-on activities. This program helps families navigate and prepare for the transition into kindergarten and helps students be better prepared for school.

After last year’s Kindergarten Countdown was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns, the program returned this summer and expanded by two classrooms. Heritage Elementary School and New Haven Primary School were first-time hosts of Kindergarten Countdown, expanding access to students outside of Fort Wayne and in more rural communities.

“Heritage Elementary is a school that does not offer preschool in the building, and so we were very excited to offer this Kindergarten Countdown program to get students in who haven’t had that preschool experience,” said EACS Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education Teresa Knoblauch.

Below is a complete list of participating schools:

Fort Wayne Community Schools

  • Abbett Elementary
  • Bloomingdale Elementary
  • Indian Village Elementary
  • Maplewood Elementary
  • Waynedale Elementary

East Allen County Schools

  • Heritage Elementary
  • New Haven Primary
  • Southwick Elementary (two classrooms)

On Monday, WANE 15 got an inside look into what future Kindergartners at Heritage Elementary School got to experience during the summer program. Children got to participate in a virtual field trip and “taste the rainbow,” trying produce like kiwis, broccoli and blueberries.

This year’s Kindergarten Countdown program goes from July 6-30.

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