Serving Monroe, Owen, and Greene Counties

3, 2, 1... Countdown to Kindergarten

June 2016

“I know all of my letters.”

“I can spell my name.”

With a mix of nervousness and excitement, 23 kids started their first week of Kindergarten Countdown Camp in early June. Growing their literacy, math, and social skills, these youngsters are preparing to start kindergarten ready to succeed.

Kindergarten Countdown Camp helps children who have little or no preschool experience, or who might be at risk, transition successfully into kindergarten. By attending this seven-week summer camp, children gain valuable academic and social skills in a classroom setting while having fun. They are also increasing their reading readiness, which is critical for school success. At the end of camp, each child will get to take home six new books to expand or start their very own home library.

Parents are encouraged to join in the learning experience. Open houses, a book fair, and other family engagement activities will boost connections between families and help parents become more familiar with the classrooms and the school system.

In Indiana, only 40% of all children between the ages of 3 and 4 attend preschool or nursery school. This is below the 47% national average. The research is clear that children with less exposure to the social-emotional skills and literacy concepts needed for kindergarten are more likely to start and stay behind their more-prepared classmates. The percentage of children from low-income Indiana households attending preschool is even lower at 32%.

For the past six years, United Way has provided Kindergarten Countdown scholarships for dozens of children. This summer, with grant support from the Indiana United Ways, we are again sponsoring eight children from low-income families who would not otherwise have the opportunity to be part of the readiness camp. United Way is proud to partner with the Monroe County Community School Corporation to create this experience and ensure these young students are on the path to succeed in kindergarten this fall.

Early learning and school success is important at all levels. That’s why United Way focuses energy on programs like Let’s Read, Born Learning, Monroe Smart Start, and Real Men Read. By creating opportunities for children of all ages, United Way supporters provide a foundation for our youth to become productive and engaged adults in the community.

Do you want to strengthen education in our community?

Please consider donating to the United Way Education Priority Fund. This fund helps children achieve their potential through cradle-to-career initiatives that ensure kids enter kindergarten ready to learn and graduate high school ready to earn success in college or career.

Want to learn more about additional Education initiatives or the other building blocks for a good life - Earnings and Essentials?


  • Born Learning
  • Financial Stability Alliance
  • Monroe Smart Start
  • Familywize Discount Prescription Card
  • Bank On Bloomington