Hobbton staff makes kindergarten registration a ton of fun
Mar 29, 2012 (The Sampson Independent - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Upcoming kindergartners Estefany Ramos, Sonia Butler and about 80 others were excited after just registering for school Thursday at Hobbton Elementary School.
And why shouldn't they? Staff members went all out for the day's registration by making it a Dr. Seuss-themed morning of fun.
"I am having a good time," Ramos exclaimed, as she showed off a farm she and new friend Butler were building out of Lincoln Logs while waiting to be tested. "Did you see? We are getting goody bags with candy, books and a DVD in them," she continued excitedly.
"I can't wait to come back to school," interjected Butler, who is wearing a Cat in the Hat cap on her head. "I have had fun today."
Those words are precisely what staff members love to hear and heard quite frequently Thursday.
"Well, there have been a few tears," admitted principal Rhonda Spell, laughing, "but overall, everything has gone really smoothly and it has been great."
Unlike previous years, Spell's staff has seen a steady stream of registrations Thursday, with more expected at open house in the fall.
"We generally have five kindergarten classes, but it looks like we may very well have six with the enrollment turnout today," she attested "With those numbers, it looks like we have about 80 today. Open house will be when we come back in the fall, usually we will get anywhere from 10 to 15 that night as well, that is typically the trend."
And unlike previous years, Spell's kindergarten staff, led by Casey Avery and Kathy Williamson, came up with the idea to make it a Dr. Seuss theme.
"Our kindergarten team has worked hard this year and they wanted to do something to make the day special for the children who came in," Spell said. "They created the registration around that theme."
The educators at the school went out and got sponsorships from area businesses to pay for the goody bags, which included educational materials, pencils, erasers, stickers, candy and an interactive DVD.
"We went to Newton Grove Drug, Ford of Clinton, Mary Mack's, Inc., Nissan of Clinton, Pretty Good Stuff Teacher Supply Store, Jimmy Lockamy Construction, Clinton Drug, Warren Farming Partnership, Horace Mann, Warren Williams, JDS Advertising, Inc., and Farm Life Designs," said Avery. "And the moment we mentioned what we wanted to do, they were all on board."
Avery said the effort raised $700.
"We didn't spend it all," she said proudly. "So, we have some in there for next year."
When children came in to register, their picture was taken in a cutout of the Cat in the Hat (which they got to keep), they got a hat and a chance to play while their parents were completing forms, talking with nurses, transportation and there were waiting to be tested.
"We wanted to make the day special for the students coming into the school," said Avery. "You know, this school is very big to a 5-year-old and they can easily get intimidated. So we figured, why not make it fun and inviting? And you know what, it has worked out great."
Avery said it was Williamson's idea to create the interactive DVD for children. "She went to a conference and came back with this idea to do it," she said. "We kind of took it to the next level by taking a tour of the classrooms that the students will be in and introducing them to the teachers. We also talk about manners while in school. At the end, we also have interactive skills on it that has letters and counting activities."
The effort works in a lot of ways. "Number one, if the children watch it, they are more apt to not have such a scary experience when they come in here next year," Avery said. "They will also know about their letters and counting. For us (as educators), it kind of gives them a head start on what they will be learning. We have had good response from it."
"We are having fun with it," noted Spell. "We just wanted to go about it in a different way this year. The reaction has been positive. Everybody seems very excited, because it is really special for them. We want to make that good first impression for the kids and we want them to have a good feeling about coming to school."
It sounds like the effort has paid off.
"I can't wait to come back," said Ramos. "It is very exciting."
To reach Doug Clark call 910-592-8137 ext. 123 or email to email@example.com.
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