Hamilton County school is looking to help prepare students for school this fall
Hamilton County students are spending part of their summer getting ready for school.
"Camp K" is a month-long program to get more than 400 students ready for August.
The goal is to make sure every child is ready for their next grade level especially kindergarten. Last year, more than 60 percent of students enrolled in Camp K improved their kindergarten readiness score.
Teachers like Kelly Piazza are dedicating their summer for the betterment of their students in the fall.
Piazza has taught kindergarten at Bess T. Shepherd Elementary School for four years. She knows what students need to learn before the first day of class.
“So, I meet with each student every day,” said Piazza. “It looks a little different for the ones who are still learning their letters. So I'm working on the letters, sounds, but we still put books in their hands. That's to give them that exposure.”
On day six of Camp K, students are split into small groups to learn.
In addition to Piazza, there's an assistant as well as a volunteer in the class to help as many as they can.
“We need to spend more time on our social, and emotional learning like how to be a good friend,” said Piazza. “That includes what it looks like to follow directions, classroom routines, and procedures.”
Piazza says they spend the first two months of school teaching children how to be successful in the classroom.
Down the hall, parents learn what it takes to provide their children with the tools they need.
“Pointing to objects, naming them and categorizing. All of those things to help bolster brain development,” said Molly Blankenship with Chattanooga 2.0.
Jennifer Croft is one of those parents in the classroom. She has two children, one going to first grade, and the other is going to kindergarten.
Croft says this is her first year in the program, and so far it's beneficial. She says when she's caring for both of her children alone, it can be difficult. “Give you ideas like counting backward, seeing what colors are around, and just getting their minds to do something,” said Jennifer Croft.
Croft plans to volunteer at Bess T. Shepherd where her children attend. She's confident her students will be stellar.
“I'm kind of getting anxiety of being at home by myself,” said Croft. “So it's like am I going to need to find a job to keep myself busy?” Croft also suggests for parents to get their children out to explore Chattanooga.
That will help them get thinking about the world around them.