ARISE and Partners Launch Kindergarten Preparedness Plan

CITC social media to promote K-prep activities throughout November

Look for the ARISE K Prep badge on this and partner websites.

Preparing for kindergarten starts long before a child’s first day at school. That’s why Anchorage Realizing Indigenous Student Excellence (ARISE) has joined with its partners for a year of kindergarten preparedness.

Starting this October, ARISE is rolling out a variety of activities, videos, social media promotion, and events with the goal of increasing the percentage of Alaska Native and American Indian kids judged to be “kindergarten-ready.” As it stands, only about 35 percent of Anchorage’s Native children entering kindergarten are assessed as prepared; ARISE’s Kindergarten Preparedness Action Plan aims to raise that number to 48 percent.

During a 2015 survey of parents of Anchorage children, the ARISE team found that while there are resources out there to help parents prepare their children for school, often those resources weren’t readily available or widely advertised.

About 35 percent of Anchorage’s Native children entering kindergarten are assessed as prepared; ARISE’s Kindergarten Preparedness Action Plan aims to raise that number to 48 percent.

“I think there is a lot of stuff available; people just don’t know about it,” one parent said.

Another parent expressed concern about her definition of “ready” not being the same as that of the Anchorage School District.

“I felt like [my child] was not ready, but she was interviewed by the teacher, and they thought she was. I thought she should know how to write her name, and stuff.”

The Kindergarten Preparedness Action Plan hopes to promote a better understanding of kindergarten preparedness, in addition to connecting parents and guardians to a variety of useful resources and activities.

While the campaign is targeted at parents and caregivers of children entering kindergarten in 2017, it’s never too early to prepare a child for his or her first year in school, and beyond. There are simple things every parent can do to get their children ready to interact with other students, approach learning with curiosity, pay attention, communicate, and understand their own emotions. Activities like reading together, singing, playing, and even talking help children develop the tools they will need to be successful in school.

How can parents get involved? First, visit ARISE’s Kindergarten Preparedness page and explore the activities and information offered there. Next, follow ARISE and its partners (CITC, thread, RurAL Cap, Best Beginnings, Anchorage Public Library, the Anchorage School District, Southcentral Foundation) on Facebook and other social media outlets to get twice-weekly posts with that will help you find fun tools to get your child kindergarten-ready. And keep your eye on these sources for additional information, activities, and events, through October 2017.

For more information about ARISE, visit the program website.