By Michael Campbell, News Editor
PRINCE GEORGE – Parents looking to register their kids for kindergarten take note as Thursday, April 20 marks the seventh annual Regional Kindergarten Registration Campaign, coordinated by Smart Beginnings Greater Richmond.
Dinwiddie will join Prince George and 13 other school divisions comprised of 150 elementary schools in the region as they take part in the common registration day Thursday, which is the day for on-time registration for children in Dinwiddie and Prince George.
- CLICK HERE FOR DINWIDDIE SCHOOLS PARENTAL INFORMATION
- CLICK HERE FOR PRINCE GEORGE SCHOOLS PARENTAL INFORMATION
According to Smart Beginnings representative Dena Reynolds, parents and caregivers should be prepared for the paperwork that will be required to register a child for kindergarten while encouraging them to attend registration even if they do not have all the documents needed because exceptions could apply.
Those documents needed for registration are:
- Child’s official, certified birth certificate
- Two proofs of address
- School Entrance Health Form (This can be turned in at any time before the first day of school)
- Photo ID for parent or legal guardian
While efforts like the Regional Kindergarten Registration Campaign have improved rates of registration, Smart Beginnings reports that more than 4,000 children were not registered on time in the spring last year, enough to fill eight elementary schools.
“Our goal is to help more parents understand what it means for their child to be ready for kindergarten, and how they can help them at home,” said Rich Schultz, Executive Director of Smart Beginnings Greater Richmond.
In the Richmond region, 1 in 8 children enters kindergarten already behind in language and literacy skills. This preparation needs to begin long before a child reaches kindergarten. “Children start learning as soon as they are born. Every day, there are teachable moments that parents can use to prepare their child to be ready for school,” added Schultz.Smart Beginnings recommends these activities to help children build the skills and confidence they will need to be ready for kindergarten:
- Read and look at books every day
- Stick to a regular bedtime and wake-up time
- Practice counting real objects — like cereal or crayons
- Talk about their feelings and what kindergarten will be like
- Meet and play with other children their age
- Show respect and use good manners
- Find and name letters of the alphabet everywhere you go
- Visit and explore libraries, parks, and museums
- Use scissors to practice cutting and crayons to draw
There are advantages for parents, children, and schools when children are registered on time on April 20:
- Parents can get important information that they might otherwise miss;
- Schools can adequately prepare for space, staff, and materials; and
- Teachers can prepare for the child in the classroom.
For more information about kindergarten registration and what to bring on April 20, parents can visit www.SmartBeginningsRVA.org or dial the phone number “2-1-1” and find information specific to their school division. 2-1-1 connects to trained professionals who provide free information on available health and human services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.