Page 14 - Scene Magazine 45-07 July 2020
P. 14

BY TOM MCPHERSON, Principal at Endeavor Charter Academy
A public charter school managed by National Heritage Academies
   Young 5s Program Builds a Foundation for Student Academic Success
Back to school season often brings tough decisions for parents and families who are paving the path to success for their children. One challenging choice that families face centers around when to send their child to school. With pre- school programs, Young 5s programs, and kindergarten, the options seem endless.
for educational success in the future. By the end of kindergarten, students
recognize and name all upper- and low- er-case letters of the alphabet, they may be ready for kindergarten. Additionally, a Young 5s candidate may have the ability to read several sight words like their name, while a kindergarten candidate can read common high-frequency words by sight, including the, you, she, and he.
Program specifics aside, children need quality learning experiences early on. Young 5s programs, offered at many National Heritage Academies (NHA) schools across the state, provide support for young learners who may benefit from the gift of an additional year.
the academics are play-based to ease the transition into learning.
Young 5s is a form of pre-kindergar- ten that is meant for children who have either missed the cutoff date to turn 5 for kindergarten or will not turn 5 until the end of that academic year. These pro- grams offer an extra year for children to develop social and emotional skills, al- lowing them to build a strong foundation
At the end of the Young 5s year, students are shown to be well-rounded individuals who are ready for full-day kindergarten. A substantial amount of in- formation is covered in kindergarten, and not every child is equipped to handle the material during their first year of school. Families can identify key factors
in their children to help determine the program that best suits their needs. If a child can identify 10 or more letters of the alphabet, they may be a good fit for Young 5s. Alternatively, if a child can
For the 2020-21 school year, in Mich- igan, a student’s birthday must be on or before Sept. 1, 2016 to enroll in kinder- garten. However, families whose child is born between Sept. 1-Dec. 1, 2016 may enroll their child in kindergarten. Young 5s programs fill that gap. NHA provides options to help families choose what is best for their child.
are expected to count, do simple math, and read. Young 5s programs ease stu- dents in before taking on the demands of kindergarten. Young 5s programs, like kindergarten, teach students standard curriculum, including reading, writing, math, science, and the arts; however,
Factors used to determine a child’s readiness for Young 5s and kindergarten are based on a variety of criteria, often including cognitive and language devel- opment, early literacy, social-emotional development, and physical development, among others.

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