Children entering kindergarten vary in their early experiences, skills, knowledge, language, culture and family background. Teachers report 48 percent of children beginning kindergarten struggle with the transition to school. Through the "Passport to Kindergarten" initiative, Smart Beginnings Rappahannock Area is facilitating a connection among early learning centers, preschools, kindergarten staff and parents to foster the kindergarten transition process.
A Community Transition Steering Committee comprised of school and community agency leaders, retired educators and representatives from early learning centers is building a community-based program to promote continuity from birth to kindergarten. Collaboration among the key players is fundamental in developing and implementing successful transition practices.
Smart Beginnings Rappahannock Area is using "Ready Freddy," an evidence-based program from the Office of Early Childhood at the University of Pittsburgh. The Ready Freddy model for quality transition is supported by research on parent engagement, attendance and social emotional readiness. The core purpose of quality transition is to develop a positive pattern of relationships and behaviors that research demonstrates lead to future school success.