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Metro Newsroom 

Mayor Launches Kindergarten Countdown 2009

Wednesday June 3, 2009

School-readiness and educational events free for kids and parents

Surrounded by dozens of preschool children, Mayor Jerry Abramson today announced plans for the city’s annual Kindergarten Countdown to help prepare students entering school for the first time.

“Kindergarten is the start of something big,” Abramson said. “I want our kids to get excited about the first day of school, and I want our parents to know how to prepare their children for this important milestone.”

Parents and families may enroll their children in the countdown by registering at any of the 17 Louisville Free Public Library locations. Each student will receive a free “I’m Going To Kindergarten” T-Shirt.

During the summer, several free events are planned for Countdown students:

  • Speed Art Museum, Saturday, June 13, noon to 3 p.m. Children wearing their Countdown t-Shirts and one adult may tour the museum free and visit the ArtSparks children program.
  • Calypso Cove at the Northeast Family YMCA, Thursday, June 25 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Free admission for Kindergarten children and their immediate family.
  • Kentucky Derby Museum, Saturday, July 11, 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Children wearing their t-shirts and one adult will get in free. Families should arrive by 9:30 a.m. to see horses work out on the track. Tours of the museum are also available.
  • Walden Theatre’s production of Grimms’ Tales, July 31 at 1 p.m. or August 7 at 1 p.m. Children wearing their t-shirts and one adult will be admitted free; all other seats $5 each. To reserve a seat, contact Dan Welch at 589-0084 or
  • Louisville Science Center, Saturday, July 25 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Children wearing their t-shirts and one adult will get in free. Special programs all day, including the new temporary exhibition, Wild Music.

The program culminates with the Kindergarten Countdown Fair on Tuesday, August 4 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 also receive information about immunizations, health screenings and skills they should know before starting kindergarten. Students will also be able to meet teachers and tour a school bus. Local law enforcement authorities will prepare identification badges for children.

Kindergarten Countdown 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.

“If students enter kindergarten behind in their skills, they must spend an entire school year catching up and they are always behind their peers,” Abramson said. “We want all of our children to start school prepared and ready to learn.”