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United Way Receives Grant To Help Danbury Kids Get Ready For Kindergarten

United Way of Western Connecticut's Strong Start Neighborhood Initiative at Park Avenue School hopes to connect families so that they can get involved before their child goes to school.
United Way of Western Connecticut's Strong Start Neighborhood Initiative at Park Avenue School hopes to connect families so that they can get involved before their child goes to school. Photo Credit: Contributed

DANBURY, Conn. -- United Way of Western Connecticut has received a significant grant to help prepare incoming kindergartners at Park Avenue School in Danbury for a successful first year of school.

The Grossman Family Foundation has awarded UWWC funds to support Kindergarten Summer Skills for at least 25 students who will be entering the school in the fall.

The program will be held at Park Avenue School for four weeks this summer. The program targets lower-income children whose parents may not have been able to afford formal preschool and children who have been identified as needing additional help.

The program will include bus transportation and free breakfast and lunch. Children will receive help with social and classroom skills to ensure that their first experience in a classroom is a positive one.

“The first day of kindergarten can be a little scary for any child,” said Kim Morgan, CEO of United Way of Western Connecticut. “But for children who have not been to preschool, the classroom setting can be especially overwhelming. This program familiarizes children and their parents with Park Avenue School and gives them a sense of what kindergarten will be like. It lays the foundation for a successful first year. When children feel good about their kindergarten experience, it sets the trajectory for success for their entire school career.”

Park Avenue School’s Principal David Krafick is thrilled to have the support for his incoming students.

“When children are given an opportunity like this, to gain skills before the school year begins, it helps get them off on the right foot. Students who have more familiarity and comfort with school will lead to more productive classrooms in the fall. It also helps our teachers assess children who may need extra support and prepare for the coming year."

For more information about the Strong Start Kindergarten Readiness Initiative at Park Avenue School and the Kindergarten Summer Skills Program, contact Caroline LaFleur, Community Impact Coordinator, at 203-297-6307 or visit its website .

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