Beverly Park Elementary School kindergarten teacher Richard Dunn says he's never had such a great start to the school year ... and, when he said that, the school year hadn't even officially started.

Dunn and three other kindergarten teachers at the White Center-area school spent last week at school with many of the school's 76 enrolled kindergartners as part of the new Kindergarten Transition Program.

For three hours each morning, kindergartners got know each other, their teacher and what to expect at school, such as how to behave in circle time, where to find the bathroom and how to get lunch. Teachers also visited each family's home to learn more about their students' families, set shared goals, and talk about school expectations and ways for families to support learning at home.

Dunn says it's great to have this time with the kindergartners before the "big kids" show up and that it will make it so much easier to jump into the school year. Dunn advocated for the program to come to his school after hearing how successful it has been in Yakima schools.

This week on Learning for Life, we travel to Beverly Park Elementary to look at the Kindergarten Transition Program. The program first started three years ago in four East Yakima schools as part of the work of Ready by Five, one of two Thrive by Five Washington Demonstration Communities. Beverly Park's Kindergarten Transition Program is supported by the White Center Early Learning Initiative's (WCELI), the other demonstration community.

The Kindergarten Transition Program is funded by The Norcliffe Foundation.

Learning for Life airs every Wednesday on KING 5 Morning News on KONG 6/16 TV between 8:15 and 8:30 a.m. Please send any story ideas about people, programs and work being done to support children from birth to age 5 to molly@thrivebyfivewa.org.

View past Learning for Life series and specials on Thrive's website.

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