United in Learning

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New Community Partnership for Antioch CCSD 34 
United Way of Lake County’s mission is to unite leadership and resources to create lasting change that will improve and save lives in Lake County, Illinois. Summer 2023 brought a new community partnership and resource to Antioch CCSD 34. United Way of Lake County joined the district to offer one of their programs called Kindergarten Countdown Camp. Antioch CCSD 34 is proud of this newly established community partnership with United Way of Lake County and looks forward to continuing and extending United Way of Lake County’s resources to Antioch CCSD 34 families and community. 

What is Kindergarten Countdown Camp? 
Kindergarten Countdown Camp is a free learning opportunity for qualifying incoming kindergarten students. The goal is to provide students with no or very limited preschool exposure an opportunity to prepare for Kindergarten. By eliminating barriers such as transportation, hunger through free snacks, and school supplies to learn, the focus is on basic academic skills such as letters in one’s name, colors, fine and gross motor, basic school routines such as sitting on the carpet as well as social emotional and peer relations skills. 

What did the students experience when participating in Kindergarten Countdown Camp? 
Antioch CCSD 34 Kindergarten Countdown Camp took place at W.C. Petty Elementary School from June 5th-June 29th during the annual Antioch CCSD 34 summer learning programming. Students worked with a team of three adults, which included an Antioch CCSD 34 classroom teacher and paraprofessional, as well as a United Way Kindergarten Countdown Camp Coordinator, who helped the students with their daily learning and routines. A rich learning environment conducive to the young learners from the size of the furniture to the tactile learning experiences in the classroom were provided. The students also were exposed to and learned how to load, ride and unload on a school bus which is an important skill set as well. 

Why does Kindergarten Countdown Camp matter? 
Kindergarten Countdown Camp makes a difference in the lives of incoming Kindergarten students. Using the pre and post assessment data collected by the United Way Kindergarten Countdown Camp Coordinator, there is evidence that the exposure and experience made an academic difference for these students. This fall we are eagerly awaiting to see these students arrive in the classroom with a little more confidence and familiarity to school routines. The readiness skills learned in Kindergarten Countdown Camp will enable the students to adjust to their full time kindergarten day with confidence and perhaps even be a leader for others.