United Way of Porter County (UWPC) is excited to announce the second year program, Kinder Kamp, to prepare children entering into kindergarten this fall for the skills they need to be successful. United Way is the recipient of a Community Grant from 1st Source Bank that allowed it to expand to three classrooms at the Myers Elementary School to prepare children for the first year in Kindergarten. On July 21 at 8:30 a.m. Matt Vessely, 1st Source Regional President and Jesύs Cervera, 1st Source Portage Central Banking Center Manager will join United Way and school officials to assist in handing out backpacks, t-shirts and school supplies to the Kinder Kamp students. This follows the personal library being supplied to the kids with the 18 books purchased for each child.
“The beautiful component is that the Kinder Kamps will be taught by kindergarten teachers using the curriculum already being used in the schools,” said Kim Olesker, Regional Director for United for Children, a United Way Collaborative Initiative. “We really try to reach those kids who have not been exposed to learning. The extra time the summer before Kindergarten helps to balance the classrooms and acquaint the kids and the teachers.”
“There were more than 374 interested families this year, up from 98 last year” said Dr. Deb Dudek, Assistant Superintendent for Portage Township School Corporation. Children have access to bus transportation and the summer meal program, giving them breakfast and lunch each day.
Reading is a strong component of the Kinder Kamps. Leveraging a strong relationship with Scholastic, the 1st Source grant allowed for books to be purchased so that the students can bring books home for their personal library and backpacks to start their year off correctly. Local veterinarians at Vale Park Animal Hospital, McAfee Animal Hospital and Westchester Animal Hospital also contributed to bring awareness for animal care and appreciation for that practice to the level of the children.
“Reading is so fundamental to a child’s success in school. Verbal, cognitive, and imaginative skills build with each book read,” states Sharon Kish, President, United Way of Porter County. “There is nothing more important than getting the kids off to a great start.” If you wish to be involved, please contact Sharon Kish or Kim Olesker at United Way of Porter County at 219-464-3583 for details.
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