NBPS Welcomes Incoming Kindergarten Students & their Families to "Smooth Sailing into Kindergarten" at Buttonwood Zoo

NBPS Welcomes Incoming Kindergarten Students & their Families to "Smooth Sailing into Kindergarten" at Buttonwood Zoo
Posted on 07/28/2017
Smooth Sailing Kindergarten pictureA child’s transition to kindergarten is an important educational milestone. Making that transition a success requires a team effort from teachers, principals, community partners, and families.

On Thursday, August 3, New Bedford Public Schools, in coordination with more than 20 community organizations that make up the New Bedford Birth–3rd Partnership, will hold a “Smooth Sailing into Kindergarten” welcome event at Buttonwood Park Zoo. This event is for all children registered to begin Kindergarten this fall. Children and their families will receive free admission as they enter the zoo that morning, between 10am and 12:45pm.

Children will be able to meet their school’s principal and teachers, participate in arts and crafts, have a snack, and take photos with their family. And of course, children will get to see all of the animals as they explore the zoo, including the new Rainforests, River and Reefs building.

Now an annual celebration, last year’s event was a big success with 235 students and 750 total visitors attending. 

Partners that provide services to young children and their families along with New Bedford Public School Staff, the Buttonwood Park Zoo staffers and volunteers work together to make this day a success for our children and families. Last year’s community partners sharing resources with families included P.A.C.E. Child Care Works Inc., Little People’s College, Mass in Motion, New Bedford Housing Authority, NorthStar Learning Centers, Read out and Read, WIC, New Bedford Early Literacy Consortium and New Bedford Community Connections Coalition. Additional partner organizations this year include: YMCA Southcoast, B.M.C. Health Net, New Bedford Free Public Library, Meeting Street/Early Head Start, Kennedy-Donovan Early Intervention/Healthy Families and Coastline Elderly Foster Grandparent Program.

Superintendent Pia Durkin called last year’s gathering, “The first step in a successful educational journey from kindergarten all the way through college.” 

New Bedford Public Schools works throughout the year on kindergarten registration, part of a larger strategy to meet and partner with families when their children are still preschool-age. This includes a “Smooth Sailing into Kindergarten” calendar created with P.A.C.E. Inc., that provides early learning activities for the home that families can do with their 4-year-olds in the 12 months leading up to kindergarten. The district is also working to expand high-quality preschool offerings in collaboration with several community-based preschools.