Serving Monroe, Owen, and Greene Counties

3, 2, 1... Kindergarten Countdown

Thirty-two excited youngsters were better prepared to start school ready to succeed thanks to the local 2012 Kindergarten Countdown Camp. These campers, alongside IU Health Bloomington and United Way team members, are proudly showing their new backpacks and “I am Ready for Kindergarten” t-shirts they received on the last day of the 7-week half-day camp. Each camper also received a book and crayons.

For the past two years, IU Health, the Monroe County Community School Corporation, and United Way of Monroe County have partnered to make Kindergarten Countdown a success.

Developed to give youth the best start in school and help families navigate the kindergarten registration process, Kindergarten Countdown offered at-risk children the chance to connect with their peers while learning valuable skills. Participating students showed a 7% increase in kindergarten readiness skills.

But children aren’t the only ones learning through the Kindergarten Countdown program! Families received tools and resources to prepare them for the academic, social, and health expectations of school. As well, they become more comfortable navigating the education system.

These camps are based on standard curriculum and are focused on helping children with little or no preschool experience or who are otherwise identified to be at risk. A primary goal of camp is to increase each participant’s pre-reading readiness. Skills are assessed at the beginning and end of camp through the "Get Ready to Read" assessment tool and teacher-based observation. Volunteers from IU Health Bloomington worked with United Way and school staff to measure campers' progress.

Research shows that it is never too early to prepare children for kindergarten. At United Way, we want all children to enter school excited and ready to learn. Monroe Smart Start, a United Way partnership initiative, recently developed a Kindergarten Readiness Booklet and Kindergarten Readiness Checklist to offer tips and strategies for building a good academic and social foundation during a child’s first five years of life.

Thanks to all the camp counselors and partners for their dedication to giving our youth a strong start and best wishes to our new kindergartners!

Read more about Kindergarten Countdown.


Do you feel passionate about strengthening education supports 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