Ready For Kindergarten

Preparing Children to Reach their Full Potential

Our mission is to unite families, schools, and community resources to prepare children to reach their full potential by focusing on school readiness.  We assist children ages 0-5 and their families by identifying and addressing any barriers to learning.

The program works through a Family School Navigator who operates as a liason between the local elementary school and families.  

Fundamentals of the Program

Home & School Visits

Visits with children and families to begin a relationship and comfort level with area schools.

Identifying Needs

Assessments are made to identify and address any needs relating to a child's preparation for kindergarten.

Connections & Support

Facilitating connections and making referrals to community services and educational programs.

Events

Sharing the schedule of programs & activities offered to families through the school or community.

Family School Navigator

A dedicated liason between families and the school. This person provides support, information and connection.

Definition

School Readiness

School Readiness means that each child enters school ready to engage in and benefit from early learning experiences that best promote the child’s success. Success is achieved when families, schools and communities work together to provide environments and developmental experiences that promote growth and learning. The five developmental and interrelated areas to ensure school readiness are:

Ready For Kindergarten Programs:

Dolly Parton Imagination Library

Through the program, every child receives high-quality, age-appropriate books in the mail – one book per month until a child’s fifth birthday – at no cost to families.  Every child is eligible regardless of school district or family income. Currently parents that will have children attending Camden, Dolgeville or Utica City School District can email robinr@perchplace.org or call 315-880-0551.

Look At Me, I’m Three!

Community-wide outreach for 3-year-old children and parents to visit the school monthly and interact with each other and staff to build a strong early learning district. This program was created to support and expand the children’s:

  • Self-confidence
  • Language skills
  • Cognitive skills
  • Comfort with the school setting
  • Transition into PreK

This will happen as the children play, make new friends, and have fun with other three-year-olds. This also benefits the parents with building rapport with staff, learning about and staying connected with the school community, receiving information about milestones, appropriate behavior, expectations, and much more. Currently the program is offered at Camden Elementary. Additional schools will start the program either in the current 2023-2024 school year or 2024-2025 school year.

Leader in Me!

This program is an evidence-based, comprehensive model that builds leadership and life skills in students (PreK through 12th grade), creates a high-trust school culture, unfinished learning, resilience, trauma-informed practices and lays the foundation for sustained academic achievement. Currently this program is offered at Little Falls City School District. The R4K Program pushes into the PreK and Kindergarten classes at Benton Hall Academy with the curriculum.

Kindergarten Passport

An interactive incentive program that tracks the child’s milestones and how to “Be A Healthy (school mascot name).” Parents with child navigate a requirement list: I’ve had my immunizations, my doctor’s name is, I have good eyesight, I visited the dentist, I have my own library card, I’m registered for kindergarten and visited my classroom, I met my teacher, etc. Each future students receives their first T-Shirt with the school mascot name and a welcome book.

Social Emotional Learning Programs

PreK and Kindergarten students that may have challenging behaviors are invited to meet one-on-one or in small groups with the R4K Program staff where activities, discussions, and solutions occur and are modeled. Currently groups are modeled at Central Valley’s Fisher Elementary, Herkimer Elementary, Little Falls Benton Hall Academy, and Utica City School District.  

Perch Place Consulting

Our Team of Family School Navigators (FSN)

Meet our team of caring and dedicated Family School Navigators (FSN). Our Family School Navigators work closely with elementary school personnel and the community to identify families with children ages 0-5 that may have barriers to learning. Barriers such as behavioral, social/emotional, medical, educational, or basic needs that require connectivity to services, fostering an ongoing partnership between the home and school. The FSN role has evolved through the years adapting to each school district’s culture and needs. While some of the responsibilities are the same in each district, new and emerging programs and projects are developing all the time. Post pandemic there is an increase in non-verbal children, more aggressive behaviors, lack of potty-training, and high levels of absenteeism.

A snapshot of the FSN activities:

  • Push into PreK/K classrooms to address behaviors, lead curriculum activities (i.e. – mindfulness, leader in me, steam).
  • Conduct meetings (i.e.- student one-on-ones, small groups, library sessions, parents, home, and school visits).
  • Assist with assessments, recommendations, and referrals to service providers.
  • Develop/oversee programs (i.e.- Look At Me, I’m Three, Kindergarten Passport, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library)
  • Building an age 0-4 information census for the school district.

Amy Bladek, FSN

Little Falls City School District

Benton Hall Academy

Erica Johnson, FSN

Central Valley School District

Harry M. Fisher Elementary School

Patricia Ferretti, FSN

Camden Central School District

Camden Elementary School
McConnellsville Elementary School

Joanne Zilkowski, FSN

Dolgeville Central School District

Dolgeville Elementary School

Mechelle Widay, FSN

Herkimer Central School District

Herkimer Elementary School

Kristen Tobiason, FSN

Utica City School District

Administration Building 
929 York Street, Utica 13502

Perch Place Consulting

Behavior Intervention Specialists (BIS)

We have added a new position to the Team. In addition to the FSN role, the BIS will be specifically focused on a student’s behavior in the classroom, at school and at home. The BIS will be working with the Utica City School District’s PreK Community-Based Organizations, addressing the child’s, parents/caretakers, and educator’s needs. Identifying and planning with all the necessary participants impacts better learning and outcomes for the child’s success in school and in life.

Zachary Martin, BIS

Behavior Intervention Specialist (BIS)

Get the R4K Program For Your School

Studies have shown that children prepared for kindergarten are more likely to have a successful start to their educational journey. 

Frequency Ask Questions :

Send an email of interest to Robin Robinson at robinr@perchplace.org to get started. 

Click here to view our calendar of events being offered by Ready For Kindergarten, the schools, or the community.

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