- Sponsorship -

Welcome to kindergarten!

Practice run gets little ‘geniuses’ ready for their first day

Teacher Amber Middlemiss helps student Dryon Smith with a puzzle during Play Time

Jake Cabada had a mighty start to kindergarten. While visiting his Gladiola Elementary classroom for the first time, he stood up tall,  a serious look on his face, flexed his arm muscles and proclaimed, “I’m strong!”

Around him, his new classmates looked around curiously, chatted with new friends and some even fought back a few tears. It was a practice run for their first day of school, and the beginning of their K-12 journey.

The district’s four elementary schools — Gladiola, West, Oriole Park and Parkview — hosted the two-hour Kindergarten Smart Start on the Friday before school started Tuesday, Aug. 20 to help the little ones feel comfortable with their new school.

Students Josiah Kink and Christian Aleman play together

After arriving by bus, they met their teachers, toured the building, sat “criss-cross applesauce” on the classroom rug, ate breakfast and visited the cafeteria.

They also received words of encouragement from their parents. “Can you go look for your name?” dad Victor Cabrera asked a shy Jaden Cabrera. Moments later, Jaden located the owl-shaped name tag on his new cubby and stood by it smiling.

Longtime kindergarten teacher Rebecca Schaffer said Smart Start serves as a great warm-up for beginning full-day school.

Teacher Karen Ward meets her new kindergartners

“The first day is chaos, so it’s a little more calming,” she said. “It acclimates them to their new environment. They meet their teacher, so it’s a familiar face on the first day.”

Schaffer is ready to start a new year with her pint-sized pupils. “The kids are so fun,” she said. “They are funny and they are so smart. You might think they are just kindergartners, but they are geniuses.”

Several fourth-graders worked as crossing guards and helped their younger peers. Fourth-grader Kaleah Lacy had some sage words for kindergartners: “It’s going to be OK. I went to kindergarten at this school too and it was good.”

- Sponsorship -
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers and On-the-Town Magazine. She has been covering the many exciting facets of K-12 public education for School News Network since 2013. Read Erin's full bio or email Erin.

LATEST ARTICLES

District welcomes new administrators, ready to ‘lead through uncharted waters’

New administrators share their thoughts on starting their posts during a pandemic...

Teacher and coach applies lessons in classroom and on field

New Kelloggsville head football coach Brandon Branch also teaches science and math at the high school and looks to bring academics and athletics together whenever he can...

Two high schools, newly renovated, await return of students

Two major renovation projects at Ottawa Hills and Union high schools are part of a 30-year, $175 million school improvement bond approved November 2015 with the majority, $155 million, earmarked for construction...

Avid reader, Petoskey-stone hunter, lover of great outdoors

Melanie Hoeksema is the new Ada Elementary principal. SNN gets to know her in this edition of Meet Your Principal...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

‘A positive in a time that’s somewhat negative’

The new two-story Wyoming High School building opened to 10th- through 12th-graders, who were happy to settle into their new digs for the first week of in-person classes...

Student athletes glad football is back, after trying other sports

Some student athletes briefly competed in other sports, such as tennis and cross country, after fall football was canceled. Now they’re happy to be back on the gridiron...

Making the best of it

Students, parents, teachers and others share their feelings about the start of this unprecedented school year...
- Sponsorship -

HOW'S SCHOOL TODAY?

Engagement: The Most Important Measure of Student Success

Polls find that students’ engagement in their school work declines as they ascend the grades. Tests that don’t relate to their real-life experiences exacerbate the problem...

RADEMACHER & FRIENDS

Food ‘angels’ support hungry kids through pandemic

They work all across Kent County, guardian angels with peanut butter on their hands and crumbs on their shirtsleeves...
- Sponsorship -

MEDIA PARTNERS

Maranda Where You LiveWGVU

SUSTAINING SPONSORS