Pre-K to K Transitions Program Wraps Up Successful Year

Posted on June 15th, 2017

Preschool teacher Gretchen Bailey of Aldridge Elementary School hugs one of her students.

The Altgeld-Riverdale Pre-K to Kindergarten Transitions Program held a year-end celebration last week, with hundreds of students, their family members and teachers coming out for activities, games, and delicious food at the Carver Park fieldhouse.

The Transitions Program, which BPI launched in 2015 in partnership with the Chicago Public Schools Office of Early Childhood Education (OECE), strives to ensure all children living in the Altgeld-Riverdale community enter kindergarten ready to succeed—socially, cognitively, and emotionally—and without anxiety. The Altgeld-Riverdale program is unique in that it includes all students, teachers and caregivers from all six prek/kindergarten schools and childcare centers in the community—a total of 18 classrooms in four elementary schools and two childcare centers, with some 430 students in all.

The program features:

  • Common Classroom Practices: All 18 preschool and kindergarten teachers volunteer to meet monthly throughout the year for professional development and planning sessions, where together they have chosen to focus on three common classroom practices: dramatic play, self-regulation and trauma-informed practices. With an aligned curriculum, common language, and shared activities, students are prepared to succeed in any kindergarten classroom in the community.
  • Students enjoy their field trip to the Museum of Science and Industry 

    Field Trips: All preschool and kindergarten students participate in several joint field trips throughout the year.  These help foster collaboration and communication among teachers in the individual programs, build relationships between parents and teachers, and facilitate learning between preschool and kindergarten students.  During the 2016-17 school year, all 430 students in the program visited the Museum of Science and Industry and the Chicago Children’s Museum.  Preschool students also took trips to the Altgeld Library as well as to various kindergarten classrooms, where they had the opportunity to get to know the teachers and read, eat, and play with their kindergarten buddies.

  • Family Fun Hours: Several times during the year, schools take turns hosting a one-hour after-school event for both parents and children.  Teachers select the theme for each Fun Hour (this year’s themes included the Five Senses, Math and Movement, and Family Science Hour) and create take-home activities for parents and children to do together.

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