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Metro Newsroom

Mayor Launches Kindergarten Countdown 2008

Wednesday May 14, 2008

Surrounded by a dozen 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 – and, for students, it’s often the first time they will be away from their parents and families,” Abramson said. “We want to help make the transition smooth.”

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 including:

  • A celebration at the Speed Art Museum on Saturday, June 21, noon to 3 p.m. Children wearing their T-Shirts may tour the museum and visit the ArtSparks children program.
  • A party at the Kentucky Derby Museum on Saturday, July 26, 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. 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 “The Completely Untrue Story of How I Lost the Race or the Litigated Version of Aesop’s Fables.” Children wearing their shirts and one adult will be admitted free on June 27th at 1 p.m. and July 25th at 1 p.m. To reserve a seat, contact Dan Welch at 589-0084 or

The program culminates with the Kindergarten Countdown Fair on Tuesday, August 5 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 children should know before they start 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.”