Mercer County educator Michelle Gigliotti from Hamilton Township School District, was awarded a $4306 grant to carry out a project at Greenwood Elementary School in Hamilton.
The Kickstart Kindergarten Backpacks project provides support for kindergarten students who are unable to attend pre-school. The grant would provide funds to purchase tools, supplies, and books. In homes touched by poverty, there is often only one book for every 300 children. The project would provide children the pride of owning their own book.
Tip sheets (in English and Spanish), would guide caregivers, themed activities (colors, shapes, the alphabet, numbers, counting, feelings …), using the tools and materials in the backpacks. Children would read, write, talk, sing and play to have experiences that develop school readiness skills and the ability to self-regulate behavior. The project supports engagement between children and their caregivers strengthening bonds. It is a community outreach project that encourages families to use fun, easy learning activities in their every-day life as well as help the child get ready for kindergarten.
Students registering for kindergarten would be tested using the Brigance Early Childhood Screen Test (BECST). Parents would attend a registration session and receive information regarding the Kickstart Backpack project. Students and caregivers would attend an orientation program and use the supplied activities over the summer. Students would again be tested using the BECST results compared to the original test. Parents teacher conferences, additional parent surveys, and presentations at Back to School night would help round out the information for data comparison.
For more information, contact:
Michelle Gigliotti, Project Coordinator
(609) 588-5516 (home)