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Clayton’s ‘Countdown to Kindergarten’ starts in May

Photo by Johnny Jackson 
Kelsey Miller’s pre-k class at Kemp Primary School participates in a science lesson on the environment.

Photo by Johnny Jackson Kelsey Miller’s pre-k class at Kemp Primary School participates in a science lesson on the environment.

HAMPTON — Kelsey Miller conducted a lesson on water condensation in front of 4- and 5-year-olds.

Miller teaches one of the Georgia Lottery Pre-K classes at Kemp Primary School, where students are getting a head start on next year’s kindergarten curriculum.

Miller called upon her pint-sized pupils for answers on how water condenses in the environment.

“In the weather,” answered Louis Garibaldo, 5.

“In the rain,” said Donovan Whitfield, 5.

Miller, who is helping inform parents about Clayton County Public Schools’ kindergarten registration event called “Countdown to Kindergarten,” was impressed.

“They can learn it if you give it to them,” she said.

Parents and guardians of children who will be 5 years old on or before Sept. 1 are asked to register their children early.

The district is hosting the event May 6-10 from 8:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. and from 12 p.m. until 3 p.m. Parents can register their child at the school they will be attending in the fall.

There will also be a Saturday registration May 4 at Tara Elementary School from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. The school is at 937 Mt. Zion Road in Morrow.

Annette McCraw is school counselor at Kemp Primary School. She said parents should register their children early because there are usually crowds the first week of school.

“Not many people come out for pre-registration,” said McCraw. “[But] by coming to the event, they can beat the long lines.”

She said parents should bring an official document proving the child’s date of birth. For example, an official birth certificate or birth registration, an official government form with the birth date or a passport.

Parents also need proof of residency within their attendance zone, said McCraw. That includes two proofs of residency, which may be verified by presenting a current utility bill (excluding telephone bills) and one of the following: a current lease/rental agreement, two utility bills, current residential property tax statement or bill, a current home purchase agreement or a mortgage coupon.

She said whatever documents are presented as proof of residency must have the same address as the accompanying utility bill.

McCraw said a valid Georgia certificate of immunization or notarized statement of religious exemption is required by state law for enrollment. The certificate must be completed by the health department or a private physician.

Other required documentation include evidence of vision, hearing and dental exams performed in the past year; a photo ID; the child’s Social Security number and a copy of the pre-k progress report if the child has attended a state pre-k program.

Miller said there are many things parents can do between now and the new school year to help prepare their children for kindergarten.

She and fellow pre-k teacher Lori Gardner said parents should help develop literacy skills in their children with daily reading activities. There are also basic skills children should have before they entire kindergarten.

“They should be familiar with their letters, colors, shapes and practice their fine motor skills,” said Gardner. “They should know their address, their home number and their birth date, and they should be able to go to the restrooms by themselves.”