Goldenhill gives youngsters a jump on school

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:15

    Florida-With backpack in tow, hair bows strategically placed and a smile on her face, Emma Meier declared, "Today is my first day of school!" And while her older brothers were still playing GameCube, off went Emma and her mom to Golden Hill Elementary School in Florida to begin her kindergarten adventure. Even though school starts early this year on Sept. 2, kindergarteners from Golden Hill were given the special opportunity to meet their assigned teachers and visit in their new classrooms a week before the official start date. On Tuesday, Aug. 24 and Wednesday, Aug. 25, kindergarteners were given one and one-half hours to explore their new environment. And despite end of summer vacations, over 75 percent of new kindergarten families attended. School Principal Ronald DePace said, "This format is new for us this year. It is made possible thanks to the teachers' efforts and planning and their desire to have your child transition to Golden Hill in as smooth a way as possible." The young students investigated their classrooms as they found their respective cubbies and were able to get their school supplies settled. In addition, they learned practical skills like how to use the ‘stop' and ‘go' signs on the classrooms' bathroom doors, as well as how to use a soap dispenser, paper towel holder and drinking fountain. Children and parents had fun with an easy craft and then it was off to get acquainted with the school at large. Children and parents went on a self-guided tour of the building in order to find the library, gym, cafeteria, music and art rooms, computer lab, main office and most importantly, the nurse's office. Their final stop was at the school playground where children greeted old preschool chums and made new friends. While the new students did have a general kindergarten orientation back in June, this August visit allows the children to ease into their new routine and have some familiarity with their surroundings for when they start their first, no n make that second, day of schoo