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Metro Newsroom 

Mayor Announces Kindergarten Countdown Fair

Thursday July 27, 2006

Event is August 7th at Louisville Slugger Field

Mayor Jerry Abramson today unveiled a new initiative that will help students and their parents make the transition to kindergarten. The City will host the first community-wide Kindergarten Countdown Fair at Louisville Slugger Field on Monday, August 7, 2006 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Each child entering kindergarten this fall and an adult will receive a free ticket to the Louisville Bats game. The game starts at 7:15 p.m.

“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 in their lives,” Abramson said.

Students who attend the fair will receive information about immunizations, health screenings and skills children should know before school starts. Future kindergarteners also can tour a school bus, apply for a library card and receive student identification badges. In addition to free tickets, children will also get a T-shirt from the mayor, a backpack from the Louisville Free Public Library and a book and bookmark from Metro United Way Success By Six. Abramson and several kindergarten students will also throw out the first pitch at the Bats game.

Vouchers for the fair will be distributed through local library branches, the Louisville Metro Health Department, Family Health Centers and Neighborhood Places. Vouchers will also be available on the day of the event at Slugger Field.

The City has published a booklist of 25 titles that are appropriate for children entering kindergarten. The booklist will be available at the 17 Louisville Free Public Library locations, online at, or view and print it here (197kb PDF).

Abramson and the Making Connections Network will also launch a 10-day radio campaign on Saturday, July 29 offering tips to kindergarten parents.

9,000 students are expected to enroll in kindergarten this year – 7,000 in the Jefferson County Public School System. Early childhood development experts report it is important for parents and children to learn what is expected of them when the school bell rings. The first day of school for Jefferson County Public School students is August 15, 2006.

“It’s our goal to engage parents to make sure their children are ready to hit the ground running,” Abramson said. “If not, many children spend the entire first year trying to catch up to their classmates.”

The City, JCPS, Metro United Way Success by 6 and the Making Connections Network will work together throughout the year to increase school readiness and to educate parents and children about the transition to kindergarten.

Mayor Jerry Abramson’s Kindergarten Countdown Tips

Tip #1

It’s important to get our kids off to a good start. Make sure kids are up to date on immunizations before the first day of school – your children must have shots before they can attend classes.

Tip #2

Spend time reading to your child everyday and visit the library. If your kids are starting kindergarten, have them read to you - pointing out letters, shapes and colors!

Tip #3

Make sure you attend your child’s school orientation – let her meet the teacher and tour the building. This get kids excited and eases first-day-of-school anxiety. Call your child’s school for times and dates… and join the PTA.

Tip #4

Parents, establish a routine before school begins – make sure your child has a regular bedtime and gets plenty of sleep. This makes life easier for everyone when the alarm sounds on the first day of school.

Tip #5

If your child is starting kindergarten, it’s a good idea to review the rules of good behavior – taking turns, raising hands, standing in line and sharing.

Tip #6

Talk to your child about what he’ll be learning in class and why it’s important. This lets kids know you think what they’re doing is special!

Tip #7

Make everyday a learning experience – teach your kids about healthy eating and count aloud as they help you set the dinner table! Discuss the world around you as you’re running errands.

Tip #8

Pay attention to the “little” things – notice the new skills your child is learning at school and reinforce that excitement about learning with praise.

Tip #9

Learning experts encourage you to talk with your children – discuss things you see while riding in the car and talk about the day’s events at dinner. This increases vocabulary skills.

Tip #10

Make sure you go over safety rules with your children before they start kindergarten – talk about crossing the street and riding the bus.




View and print:
Mayor Abramson's
Kindergarten Countdown
Book List

(197kb PDF)

View and print:
Mayor Abramson's
Countdown Top Tips

(143kb PDF)