SIUE Head Start program to run kindergarten-readiness camp


EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – For the first time ever, the SIUE Head Start/Early Head Start program is conducting a kindergarten-readiness camp.

For one month, a group of Head Start preschoolers will get to spend extra time with their teachers.

Kindergarten readiness camp starts at 8:30 a.m. and wraps up after lunch at 12:30 p.m.

Marica Oliver, coordinator at the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Head Start Center, said the camp really is about getting kids specifically ready for kindergarten.

“Kindergarten is a totally different event. In kindergarten, you do more sitting, you have to listen,” she said. “You can’t decide you want to jump up and go to an area to play or I’m going to an area and read a book. It’s more structured for kindergarten.”

Of course, the teachers are making sure camp is still fun. Students work on their numbers through games like number bingo.

As part of Head Start, all preschoolers have to have a transition plan into kindergarten. Directors said for some students that is taking a trip to the classroom they will be in next year, but for others there is now the option on kindergarten readiness camp.

The directors said due to resources, they weren’t able to take every kid into camp who wanted to come but since this is just the first year that could change.

SIUE holds the grant that has the resources to run the head start programs in St. Clair County. On their East St. Louis campus, they have summer programs for performing arts and high school upwards bounds.

Across the board, teachers are making sure that despite the pandemic, year-round kids are given the chance to learn.

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