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Mayor Greg Fischer Newsroom

Mayor, Library, JCPS Launch Kindergarten Countdown 2012

Tuesday May 29, 2012

School-readiness and educational events free for kids and parents

Surrounded by dozens of preschool children, Mayor Greg Fischer, JCPS Superintendent Dr. Donna Hargens, 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.”

“It is our job as educators to make sure we are prepared and ready for our students every day so they can achieve their goals. But it’s also important for parents to make sure students are coming to the classroom prepared,” Hargens 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, accompanied by 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
  • * Health Fair – Newburg Church of Christ, 4700 E. Indian Trail (NEW)

The program culminates with the Kindergarten Countdown Fair on Monday, July 23 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, and students will receive information about immunizations, health screenings and skills they should know before starting kindergarten. Students also will be able to meet teachers and tour a school bus.

“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 seventh year, is a partnership between the city, JCPS, Metro United Way Success By 6, the Louisville Free Public Library and PNC Grow Up Great. 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,” Maggie Elder, Vice President of Community Impact, 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,” said Mike Moll, Director of Client and Community Relations of PNC Bank.