Prairie Elementary welcomes incoming kindergarteners with smiles, books and fun
Parents brought their little ones to Kindergarten Round-Up for registration and a sneak peek of the school on Monday.
WORTHINGTON — Scores of tiny people arrived at Prairie Elementary for the first time Monday, some chattering happily, some desperate to run and play and some shyly clutching their parents’ hands — and all of them were registering for kindergarten.
“They are excited,” said Lori Bristow, one of the 12 kindergarten teachers shepherding parents and little ones through kindergarten round-up.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, last year’s registration event took place outdoors, much later in the spring, said Principal Heidi Meyer, but this year’s event maintained the open-house model. Parents stayed with their prospective students and went to each table in the gym, gathering information as well as books, resources, activities and amusements together.
“This is a good way to have it, it’s more of an open house... I think they feel more comfortable. I know they do,” said Bristow, noting that there hadn’t been any crying at all during the morning session.
Students checking in received a little tote bag with some paperwork, as well as fruit snacks, smelly stickers, Play-Doh and a book. Parents spoke with a school nurse for information about immunization requirements, and got a “Welcome to Kindergarten” checklist and a sheet of stickers, so that each station could be marked with a shiny star.
Kids could get another book and a Spanish-language coloring book at the Head Start station, along with a make-at-home beaded bracelet craft. At another station, they received a bottle of water, a “Kindergarten Here I Come” book and the opportunity to choose a colored vial of bubble solution.
Little Vylit Tun-Smith, 5, of Worthington, opted for a purple one, as one of the teachers said “Welcome to kindergarten, we’re glad you’re here!” She was accompanied by her mother, Thein Tun, on her trip around the gym.
When their tiny totes were full, students had their pictures taken under a balloon arch shaped like a rainbow with sparkles at its end, and parents could snap their future kindergartener’s picture on a school bus too.
Parents who couldn’t attend the Round-Up event may still drop off their registration materials at Prairie Elementary during office hours.