Building Bridges at Hoover-Wood
Kindergarten teachers from Hoover-Wood Elementary School have reached out to the local community and are working with students in the Batavia Apartments during the summer months to prepare them for an impending academic year. The HWS Building Bridges program is working hard to invest in students before the school year begins.
Teacher volunteers, local high school students, and parents worked together to establish relationships and provide support for the future Kindergarteners in the community. Kindergarten-readiness is the main goal for all incoming students. “Everybody deserves the chance to have early learning opportunities,” says Lisa Hillquist, a Kindergarten Teacher at HWS.
Prospective students and the Kindergarten teachers met together for three weeks last summer in the resource room of the Batavia Apartments to work on skills needed for a smooth transition into the school year. For four days every week from 9am-11am, students were prepared for future classroom activities by practicing basic, yet imperative skills such as writing, using art supplies, and following typical structures in the classroom. This three-week initiative gives students a preview of what is to come in August. By the time students arrive on the first day of school, they have worked on how to write their name, following classroom routines, transitioning between activities, and working together with other students. “[This program] helps them assimilate into the classroom and be successful,” states Hillquist.
The Hoover-Wood School PTO, in combination with the adults and children involved, afforded the opportunity for community outreach. Bridging home and school life sends a consistent message to the children in our community and supports them in achieving their personal best. “Empower them and let them be leaders!” says Hillquist.