Kindergarten is a major step in a young child’s life. Many struggle initially with spending time away from loved ones and are overwhelmed when entering a room of other kindergartners that they don’t yet know. For several, this is their first time stepping foot into a classroom. As summer was wrapping up and families across CFBISD were preparing to start a new school year, Rainwater Elementary hosted a playground playdate for kindergartners to calm their nerves and make new friends.
Students and families met up on the Rainwater playground before the start of school to get to know each other, meet their teachers and have some fun.
“It was great to see the kids start to make friends and play together,” said Deena Carter, Rainwater kindergarten parent. “Like many new kindergarteners, my son had been very anxious the week or so leading up to the first day of school. Having this playdate provided him with some security about who would be at school with him, including all the teachers they would have this year.”
Rainwater Principal Nicole Greenleaf and a team of kindergarten teachers, enrichment teachers and PTA members welcomed families and spent time getting to know each new Rainwater Rocket.
“Kinder, for a lot of families, is the first time their student is away from home and in a school setting,” Greenleaf said. “Parents were able to connect with other families and also ask any questions of staff members there.”
While the students spent the morning playing on the playground with their future classmates, parents also made connections with other parents.
“Families had the opportunity to meet other parents who were also partaking in this significant milestone for their students,” Greenleaf said. “We had around 20 families attend, and everyone had a great time. Staying connected with one another is key to ensure the success of all of our students. Building relationships with our families is huge.”
Greenleaf understands the importance of a positive school culture and is finding ways for students and families to connect while also creating new traditions.
“It is comforting to see your child playing with others; you know they will be safe and have friends,” she said. “That’s ultimately what we all want for our students….to keep them safe and ensure they are learning.”