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franklin county times

TES hosts kindergarten camp

Tharptown teacher Susie Sellers reads a book with children at the school’s Kindergarten Camp this week.

THARPTOWN – The first day of kindergarten can be a scary experience for students and parents alike.
First-time kindergarteners don’t want to leave mom and dad behind and all mom and dad can think about is how little Johnny or Susie was just in diapers yesterday.
It’s big time of change for everyone involved, but Tharptown Elementary School is hoping to make the transition a bit easier for its students.
This past week, TES hosted a kindergarten camp during the morning where up-and-coming kindergarteners could be introduced to the teachers, become acquainted with the school and participate in activities that they’ll soon be doing on a daily basis come August.
Melissa Kiel, a kindergarten teacher at TES, said the school has hosted the camp for several years now, and she can see first-hand that it makes a difference.
“You can tell the camp just relieves a lot of that first-day stress for the students who have participated in the camp,” Kiel said. “They don’t seem as nervous to come in the classroom, they know some of the other kids in their class, they recognize the teachers and the classrooms and they just seem more comfortable.”
Kiel said the stress relief for the parents is visible as well.
“Nobody wants to have to leave their child at school with them crying and begging you to stay,” said Kiel, who is in her ninth year of teaching. “Getting your child used to the school atmosphere beforehand just seems to help everyone feel better.”
Kiel said this past week, the students have worked on name writing, cutting, tracing and coloring skills; had music time, play time, and they had a chance to do several art projects.
“We had a reading time each day and the art we did always reflected what we were reading,” she said. “It helps the students tie the story to something they are actually doing.”
Kiel said they averaged about 30 students per day.
She said each student that participated paid $10 for the week, which included breakfast and lunch.
The rest of the expenses were covered by a grant secured by Franklin County Community Education.

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