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Gearing up for kindergarten
Three things to prepare your child
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Belcher Elementary kindergarten students enjoy a recent school event.
Once you realize your little one is no longer a toddler, it’s time for yet another milestone – kindergarten.

There are many ways you can help your child prepare for this big step. Rather than focusing only on ABCs and numbers, concentrate more on cooperation, playing well with others and following directions. All of these skills could help your child get ahead.

Here are three ways to prepare your child for this important transition.

Know the basics

Help your child memorize basic information such as name, age, address and phone number. It’s also a good idea for children to know various body parts in case they aren’t feeling well or get hurt. This will prepare them when teachers ask questions.

Let real-life be your guide

Use real-life encounters to teach your child about numbers and letters. For example, while unloading groceries, you can ask your child to count anything from cans to bananas. Hone your child’s organizational skills by requesting items be placed in size order or alphabetized. Make a scavenger hunt out of your home and count windows, or find objects that begin with a specific letter. Identify colors along the way by sorting laundry into color-coded piles, cereal boxes and more. Real-life applications of numbers, letters and colors will give your child a jumpstart on an educational journey.

Get wordy

Nurture your child’s love of language whenever you can. Reading frequently during the day and encouraging your child to use imagination by making up stories will prepare your youngster for a love of reading. Read billboards, TV guides, magazines, shopping lists — whatever is visible. Visit libraries and bookstores regularly.

Learn about the district’s Parent Academy workshops, and find links to parent engagement tips and other great resources at

To learn how to register your child for kindergarten, visit

Visit to watch a video for more kindergarten preparation tips from parents and teachers.

Produced by PCS Office of Strategic Communications

Prekindergarten registration underway

There’s still time for families to register children for voluntary prekindergarten (VPK) at select Pinellas County Schools for the 2014-15 school year.

Families, with a child who is 4 years old on or before Sept. 1, will need to make sure they have their VPK voucher before registering for VPK at a PCS school.

To apply for a VPK voucher, contact the Early Learning Coalition at 727-400-4411 or visit to submit an online application.

To register for VPK, parents can call 727-588-6513 or visit Pinellas County Schools Administration Building, Early Childhood Office, 301 Fourth St. SW in Largo, during business hours.

For more VPK information and a list of schools with availability, call 588-6513 or visit
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