- 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 is associate managing editor and reporter, covering Byron Center, Kentwood, Wyoming and Grand Rapids Community College. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013 and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She 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, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio or email Erin.

LATEST ARTICLES

Fourth-grade hockey fan gets a magical hour on ice: ‘I made the shot!’

Raised as a Red Wings and Grand Rapids Griffins hockey fan, Jackson Solow lights up while skating on an ice rink wearing his favorite hockey jersey...

‘This time it is continued learning’

One school’s switch from in-person to virtual education last week was nearly seamless, especially when compared with the forced school closure in March...

Foundation grants $28,285 in fall funding requests

Virtual phys ed and art experiences, materials to improve classroom focus and books on social issues aimed at middle-schoolers are among the grants approved this fall...

Latest school closings expand on state-ordered high school mandate

More Kent County districts continue to announce temporary school building closures, as schools contend with a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in Kent County and Michigan...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Babysitting an apple

Ninth-graders wrote apple adventures during the weeklong “35 Ways to Babysit an Apple” project in English teacher Jeremy Schnotala’s class. The writing project inspires creative narratives and lots of drama...

Class of 2021 has ‘test-optional’ choice when applying for college

Most schools in the state of Michigan have become SAT/ACT-optional for the Class of 2021 for admission purposes. There are, however, pros and cons for students...

Schools in nine districts announce closures as COVID cases spike

New temporary school building closures were announced by nine school districts in Kent ISD this week, as schools contend with a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in Kent County and Michigan...
- 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