Camp Prepares Children for Kindergarten

Most students in South Mississippi will be heading back to school within the next four weeks, but some first time students in Long Beach are getting a head start.
It’s all part of Quarles Elementary School’s new kindergarten camp. News 25’s Kendra Turley checked in today and shares the benefits of this new program.
The first day of school can be frightening for many children, but Jackson Esser got a helping hand from his mom, Kimberly Esser. “A little emotional but it was not as bad as you know, sometimes you can expect. It was a really good experience,” said Kimberly Esser.
The week long, half-day camp teaches fundamentals as well as social skills.
Dr. Jan Hansen, Quarles Elementary principal, said, “The students are engaged and they’re working and they’re having a good time. So, that type of progress we’re pleased to say that yes, we have seen some success and its only day 3.”
While students get a head start on ABCs and 123s, the camp allows for teachers to get a head start as well. With almost 50 percent of their class already registered in the camp, teachers are able to better prepare for fall curriculum. “I’m hoping to be able to get a gauge on where the students are, who knows their letters and sounds, who knows their numbers, shapes, colors. Just the basic things that you would want a student to know coming into kindergarten, so we know where to start with when the school year kicks off,” said Crystal Craver, a teacher at Quarles Elementary.
“This program is also allowing us to have some speech therapy needs screened and possibly some special education needs screened and analyzed and looked at, so that we are ready day one for our students,” said Dr. Hansen.
After this week long camp, these students will join others in the Long Beach School District on the first official day of school on August 6th
There are 58 students enrolled in the camp at Quarles Elementary and around 30 students enrolled at Reeves Elementary.

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