Worthington News

Library Lines

Kindergarten readiness

By Hillary Kline

Annalina wants to be completely honest with your soon-to-be kindergartener: she did not want to go to kindergarten.

But since her mom said she had to and even though she couldn't wear her favorite rainbow bathing suit, ballet skirt and cowboy boots on the first day, she went to "Big School" and, guess what? She liked it!

In the book Kindergarten Diary (2010), which Annalina "dictated" to author Antoinette Portis, the young girl "shares" her first days in Room 2K with readers. She may have been anxious at first, but before long, she is mastering the monkey bars, writing her name (which she shortens to Anna "because Annalina takes too many letters") and making new friends.

Although Annalina's diary starts the day before school starts, for parents, even the months leading up to that first day can be stressful. Teachers across the country would agree that, for parents, "How will I know if my child is ready?" is the most asked question this time of year.

To help answer parents' questions, Worthington Libraries will again partner with area schools and child care centers to present two sessions of the popular program, Kindergarten: Ready or Not?

There are many misconceptions about what is important for school success, which is why, as part of the program, a panel of kindergarten teachers from local school districts will discuss the skills they hope incoming kindergartners will have.

A program is planned at Northwest Library, 2280 Hard Road, on Thursday, Jan. 16, featuring panelists from the Smoky Row Children's Center, Worthington Schools, Dublin Schools and Olentangy Schools.

On Thursday, Jan. 23, the program planned at Old Worthington Library, 820 High St., will include a representative from the Smoky Row Children's Center, Worthington Schools and Olentangy Schools.

Both events will begin at 7 p.m.

Both panels will also include librarians, who will discuss the library's many resources, including books about the first day of kindergarten and what to expect as well as books that can help parents understand how their children learn to read and what kind of activities they can do with their children to help them develop important skills for kindergarten.

For parents who want to help their children with reading, information about early literacy as well as book recommendations can be found in the Kids section of the library's website, worthingtonlibraries.org/kids.

Hillary Kline is communications specialist for Worthington Libraries.