By the time children reach kindergarten, Cindy Blount said they should already know the alphabet, how to spell their name, and count to 50. She has been a kindergarten teacher for 31 years and has high expectations for her students.
“I actually teach first grade and second grade skills in my classroom,” said Blount, a kindergarten teacher at Grandview Elementary in Dothan.
However, this is nothing new. Teachers are calling kindergarten “the new first grade.”
23 schools partnered up with several groups in the Wiregrass to host a Kindergarten Readiness Event.
“Early school readiness is just the key to success later on. Not just in school, but when they get out of school,” said Collins Trott, H.I.P.P.Y. Coordinator.
Teachers explained what children should know at that age, and how parents can help them get there.
“They're giving some advice, some tips, things that they see are troublesome when kids get into their kindergarten class,” explained Trott.
Blount said reading is the most important activity—especially non-fiction books.
“That just helps broaden your mind and you learn all different kinds of vocabulary words. And then the parents can tell them what the words mean,” she explained.
Early education is a team effort. When parents and teachers work together, the outcome is effective.
Blount said, “Our students are reading. They're adding, subtracting. It is amazing what they are learning now in kindergarten.”
Blount is ready to teach her next group of 5-year-olds how to count to 100.