Kalamazoo, Mich., May 29, 2015 — Pre-kindergarten students from four Northside
preschools marked an important educational milestone Friday by participating in
an “Inching Ceremony” to celebrate and recognize their completion of the
2014-2015 academic school year. More than 125 family members were on hand to
honor the 42 three-year-olds enrolled at S.E.E.D.S., located in Mt. Zion
Church, Jennings Development InterPlex (JDI), New Genesis and Little Grads.
Planned by the preschools and Parent Educators, the ceremony was held at
JDI and emceed by Angela Anderson, also known as “Double A” from The Touch
radio station. The young honorees wore mortarboards they embellished themselves
through art exploration. Each name was read and the students received summer
learning activity kits and certificates of achievements. The children also
performed songs they learned through Marvelous Music.
Representatives from Kalamazoo Public Schools, Communities in Schools,
and the Kalamazoo Promise shared information with families about the numerous
opportunities that await their children as they transition from the 3-year-old
program to the 4-year-old program, and then to K-12 and beyond.
“We hope the joy these youngsters experienced with their first year of
school will carry them through each successive educational milestone,”
says Jim Green, chair of the
Northside Committee. “A quality Pre-kindergarten education is essential to
success in school and life. This ceremony marks the beginning of that journey.”
Ready 4s is a community-designed organization with a goal of providing joyful, intentional and life-changing high-quality
pre-kindergarten opportunities to every child in Kalamazoo County.
The four preschools
were the benefactors of a grant from The Learning Network of Greater Kalamazoo
to KC Ready 4s in 2014, which made the 3-year-old program possible. Monies from
the grant were used to expand the availability of quality pre-kindergarten
education to 3-year-olds in these neighborhoods, ensuring up to two years of
quality education prior to starting kindergarten. The grant funds were used to
upgrade facilities, purchase curriculum, provide on-site coaching/mentoring,
and offer tuition assistance. To address
transportation barriers, a bus was also purchased.
Learning Network of Greater Kalamazoo is a unifying force to ensure that all
children in the county are ready for school, ready for post-secondary
education, ready for a career and ready for the world. Learn more and stay
connected at www.thelearningnetwork.org.