BRUNSWICK — Brunswick Schools and Brunswick Library are teaming up to help parents and preschool students gear up for the kindergarten experience with the help of their “50 books to read before kindergarten” list.
Classics like “Corduroy,” which Superintendent Mike Mayell recently read to young students, “Curious George” and “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” are not just fun family reads but gateways to early literacy that pave the pathway to kindergarten readiness.
And, now is the time when school and library officials would like parents to think about that first year of formal education.
Last year, the district held its first Kickoff to Kindergarten event. Two more are scheduled for this spring — 7 p.m. Thursday, April 11, and 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 15, at the high school.
“The education department led this event and the idea behind it was to provide families with information and tools to help prepare their child before they enter kindergarten,” said Amy Rutledge, the district’s community relations coordinator.
“Last year, we held the event in May. Attendees left with a pocket folder that included a lot of information and activities they can work on with their child from (then) until August when they start kindergarten.”
After last year’s event, the Brunswick Library purchased five copies of each book on the list and created a place for parents to access the reading material.
“We have a display where they are always out with the other information for kindergarten readiness,” said Kelly Halleen, the Children’s Department supervisor at the library.
Rutledge reached out to the library this year to see if they could participate in some of their story time events.
Rutledge said the district got enough copies of “Corduroy” to pass out to each preschooler who was at the story time event. They were able to bring the books home with them.
“The kids were really excited to get a book of their own,” Rutledge said. “It also highlights the great programming that is taking place between the school district and library.”
The book list is just a suggestion, according to Rutledge. She said the goal is to be proactive and to provide tips and tools for parents who are working to prepare students for kindergarten.
Other resources that have been provided through the Kickoff to Kindergarten event are lists of apps and websites that contain educational content. Activities where students could practice using scissors and writing letters and numbers were also included.
The Brunswick Library provides kits year round that also work to provide practice for kindergarten readiness, Halleen said.
These kits include activities that will allow students to practice their fine motor, math and writing skills.
For more information or to register for the Kickoff to Kindergarten event, visit https://www.bcsoh.org.
The Brunswick Library will also be hosting its own kindergarten readiness week from Feb. 25 to March 2.
“Kindergarten readiness and early literacy is the foundation of children services,” said Halleen. “It’s really us creating lifelong readers with that foundation.”