Sunday, April 21, 2024

PAFE to host spring workshop

Staff Writer | March 21, 2024 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — Parents, grandparents and caregivers are invited to a spring workshop focusing on social and emotional development of kindergarten age children. 

PAFE brought the workshop program, READY! for Kindergarten, to the community in 2008 because then-Superintendent Dick Cvitanich was concerned about the number of incoming kindergarteners who were not ready for school and weren’t meeting school readiness targets, Heather Lowman, PAFE programs director, said. 

In 2008, 4% of incoming kindergarteners tested below proficiency for learning readiness.

“Since the program began 86% of READY! for Kindergarten graduates consistently test 85% or higher in learning readiness tests,” Lowman said. 

READY! for Kindergarten is a national children’s literacy program, founded by the Children’s Reading Foundation, with the mission to help parents, grandparents and caregivers of young children.

Focuses of the program include recognizing that parents are a child’s first and most influential teacher, reading to children for at least 20 minutes a day, and playing with a purpose with children every day. 

The program includes three workshops a year, each highlighting a different focus. 

“For fall the focus is language and literacy development, for winter it’s math and reasoning development and for the spring it’s social and emotional development,” Lowman said.

Since 2008, PAFE has provided a total of 48 workshops and served more than 800 families in the community, she said. 

“Just last school year we had 58 new families begin participating in READY!,” Lowman said. “Beginning in 2020 we implemented an E-workshop version of the workshop, so parents who aren’t able to attend the in-person event can still receive the information and toys via the E-workshop. This has  been a great addition to the program and has opened this resource up to many more families.”

Each workshop is 90 minutes long and facilitated by local educators. 

The upcoming workshop will be hosted Saturday, March 23, starting at 9:30 a.m. at Farmin Stidwell Elementary.

The event is free and childcare will be provided. Attendance will also include free interactive toys to take home. 

“We are excited to get the message out about READY! for Kindergarten because it is a wonderful free resource to the community,” Lowman said. “Parents are encouraged to be the best parents they can be, they are given information and tools to continue developing quality time with their child.” Pre-registration is recommended.