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Mayor Greg Fischer Newsroom

Mayor Helps Launch Kindergarten Countdown 2011

Monday June 13, 2011

School-readiness and educational events free for kids and parents

Surrounded by dozens of preschool children, Mayor Greg Fischer, JCPS Superintendent Dr. Sheldon Berman, Library Director Craig Buthod and others today announced plans for the city’s annual Kindergarten Countdown to help prepare students entering school for the first time.

“This program helps kindergarteners and their parents get excited about starting school,” Fischer said. “It helps cultivate the next generation of life-long learners in our city and provides a summer full of educational fun.”

“Our teachers and staff are committed to preparing the young people of this community for the future,” Berman said. “This partnership shows that community leaders, business leaders, and parents understand the importance of making sure our children are ready for and excited about the journey ahead.”

Parents and families may enroll their children by registering at any of the 18 Louisville Free Public Library locations. Each student will receive a free book and an “I’m Going to Kindergarten” T-Shirt. Students wearing the T-shirt, along with one adult, will receive free admission to a series of events throughout the summer at many Louisville attractions including:

· Calypso Cove, Northeast YMCA

· Walden Theatre

· Kentucky Derby Museum- 704 Central Avenue

· Louisville Science Center- 727 W. Main Street

· Stage One- Story Time!

· Louisville Zoo

· Speed Art Museum

The program culminates with the Kindergarten Countdown Fair on Tuesday, August 9 at Louisville Slugger Field from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Students and an adult will receive free admission to the Louisville Bats game. Students will receive information about immunizations, health screenings and skills they should know before starting kindergarten. Students will also be able to meet teachers. Local law enforcement authorities will prepare identification badges for children.

“This program helps young people enter school ready to learn. The Library is proud to be part of it,” LFPL Director Craig Buthod said.

Kindergarten Countdown, now in its sixth year, is a partnership between the city, JCPS, Metro United Way Success By 6, the Louisville Free Public Library and the Making Connections Network. The agencies work throughout the year to increase school readiness and to educate parents and children about the transition to kindergarten.

"One of Metro United Way's long term community aspirations is that children arrive at kindergarten prepared to succeed,” Kelly Garvey, Director of Engagement Initiatives, Metro United Way said. “Kindergarten Countdown is a fun way to celebrate a very important milestone in child's education."

“PNC's support of this early childhood education program is another strategic initiative to help our non-profit partners, preschools and caregivers develop stronger, smarter and healthier families and communities. Through this grant, we expect children will enjoy meaningful experiences that would not otherwise be possible,” Chuck Denny, Regional President of PNC Bank, Kentucky/Southern Indiana/Tennessee said.