We believe Early Learners thrive in connected and supportive communities of family, friends, and educators, especially when making the big step to kindergarten. This page shares information about kindergarten readiness (you might be surprised!), the Early Kindergarten Transition Program, and tools and tips so you feel confident about starting school.
Kindergarten ReadinessYou might think that it's most important for children to start kindergarten knowing their ABCS, number, shapes and colors. But there are equally, if not more, important skills that prepare your child for success in school.
Raising an eager learner is the goal, and it can be achieved through play and day-to-day activities. Here are the top readiness skills that kindergarten teachers look for:
- Excitement toward learning
- Talking about thoughts and feelings
- Listening to others
- Desire to be independent
- Playing well with others and taking turns
- Following simple instructions
- Ability to hold and use a pencil or crayon
- Recognizing numbers and letters
The ABC's of Kindergarten booklet helps you and your family transition to school confidently. It includes information about a typical day in kindergarten classroom, monthly get-ready tips, family resources and a directory of helpful departments. The booklet is available in all languages at your school. Here are English and Spanish booklets.Ready Set Connect to Kindergarten is a booklet with activities you and your incoming kindergartner can do together. Here is a favorite: Go on a letter search. Look in old magazines and newspapers. Circle the G's, H's and I's. Use a crayon to write the letters on a piece of paper. Available in all languages: Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian, Somali. This booklet was created by the Multnomah County Commission on Children, Families, and Community and Portland Public Schools with funding from United Way.Additional Resources
- Multnomah County Library: information about library story times and the summer reading program. Don't miss their list of favorite books for preschoolers.
- Scholastic's Kindergarten Website
- Literacy Parent Resources and the Common Core.
- Colorin Colorado! includes handouts to support early literacy skills and school readiness.
Early Kindergarten Transition (EKT)
Update: Due to COVID-19 and budget constraints, EKT is cancelled this summer.
Early Kindergarten Transition (EKT) is a school-based, family-oriented summer program designed to increase family engagement in school, improve children’s attendance and success in school.
Children attend school every morning for three weeks in summer. Parents or caregivers gather twice a week to meet school staff and discuss ways to support their child's learning. Interpreters are hired. Meals are provided. Child Care is offered during parent meeting times.
SUN Community School lead agencies, Multnomah County, and Multnomah County Library are major partners.
Child Centered Plan
The Child Centered Plan is a form that families complete with their child's preschool teacher (when possible) to explain student interests, strengths and challenges. Before school starts, parents have an opportunity to meet with the teacher and share the plan.
Read-Aloud TipsTen Tips for Reading
Aloud to Children
1. Make time for reading everyday.
2. Choose a variety of books about
3. Choose books with interesting
words and engaging pictures.
4. Be sure the child can see the
pictures while being read to.
5. Read with expression.
6. Stop after the first few pages
and talk about who or what the story
is about and where it is happening.
7. Ask the child to predict what might
happen next as the story develops.
8. During the story, stop and talk
about what the main character is feeling.
9. After reading the story, have the child
talk about favorite parts and pictures.
Always encourage the child to tell the ‘why’
of his/her thinking.
10. Have fun !!!!!