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Families can register their kindergartners for school and other transition programs at upcoming events

HOLLY SCHOLZ - Crooked River Elementary kindergarten teacher Ashley Smith works with incoming kindergartners during Jumpstart Kindergarten last summer. Families will be able to register for kindergarten transition activities during Crook County Kindergarten Roundup nextmonth.

It's Roundup time — the Crook County Kindergarten Roundup, that is!

Local families with children who will be 5 years old before Sept. 1, 2018, will need to register their students for school, and the school district wants to start the process early with two Kindergarten Roundup events next month.

"It not only helps families to get registered early, they learn about all the transition activities that are happening, and it helps facilitate a smooth transition for their kindergartner," said Mona Boyd, who is administrator of the grant funds and part of the PK-3 Design Team.

The Crook County School District will host Kindergarten Roundup from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8 for incoming Crooked River Elementary kindergartners at the school, 1400 SE Second St. in Prineville.

The following week, the event will be held for incoming Barnes Butte Elementary kindergartners at 1875 NE Iron Horse Drive, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15.

Families can check a school boundary map on the school district website to confirm which school their children will attend.

Families should bring the child's birth certificate and proof of address to registration.

"We put it on because the earlier we have registration, the earlier it is to allocate the resources we need for kids," Boyd pointed out. "If we know we've got a big year with more kids, we'll know to put another classroom in place, so it helps us to allocate the resources for the upcoming kindergarten."

A grant from the Oregon Community Foundation funds the two registration events, as well as other kindergarten transition activities. Transition Night is held each May, inviting incoming kindergartners and their families to come in and learn about full-day kindergarten. Jumpstart Kindergarten is a summer program that children attend to learn how to succeed in a classroom setting.

Boyd said families will also be able to register for these upcoming events during Kindergarten Roundup.

Students will also get to meet their teachers at registration. Additionally, several community partners will be on hand to share information about other community resources for children. For example, Healthy Beginnings will conduct screening tests.

"If students have something that they need to be evaluated for, having that opportunity to do it early and get them into possibly some services before kindergarten can help with their transition," Boyd said.

Crook County Library representatives will be at the event to tell about their children's programs. People from Head Start and NeighborImpact will be on hand to provide information on childcare resources. Larson Learning Center staff will also be in attendance. Healthy Beginnings and Crook County Fire and Rescue will be there to do car seat checks, and Family Access Network advocates will provide information about their services.

Boyd encourages local families to attend Kindergarten Roundup, register their children for school, sign up for upcoming programs, and meet the teachers.

"The kids get a chance to say hello, we sign them up for Jumpstart, which is our summer program, and they get a chance to see their school," Boyd said.

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