Serving Monroe, Owen, and Greene Counties

Countdown to Kindergarten

June 2017 

Taking turns. Sharing. Making new friends. Meeting teachers. Listening. Being curious and engaged.

These are just a few of the ingredients for a successful start to school. In early June, youngsters jumped on the path to success as part of the Kindergarten Countdown Camp.

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 academic and social skills in a classroom setting while having fun. They are also increasing their reading readiness, which is important for school success. At the beginning and end of camp, each child takes home new books to expand or start their very own home library.

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

In Indiana, only 42% 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. Fewer than 1 of every 3 low-income kids are able to get this key experience.

For the past seven years, United Way has provided Kindergarten Countdown scholarships for dozens of children. This summer, we are sponsoring 11 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. A special thanks to Indiana United Ways for their grant support of Kindergarten Countdown and to Target for supporting employee volunteer activities and for also sponsoring school supplies for the campers.

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. Experiences like this now will pay future benefits as these kids grow up to lead more stable, safer, and healthier lives.


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