Countdown to Kindergarten engages families, educators and the community in a citywide effort to enhance early learning opportunities and to support the transition into kindergarten. Mayor Martin J. Walsh, the Boston School Committee and Superintendent Dr. Brenda Cassellius partner with 28 local organizations to implement a school readiness campaign that helps families participate actively in their children's education right from the start, understand the value of kindergarten, and learn how to choose schools and then register in the Boston Public Schools (BPS).
In Boston, our work has promoted teacher collaboration on school readiness issues; doubled the percent of families visiting schools to make informed registration decisions, and increased the percentage of children who enter BPS at kindergarten rather than first grade. It has also resulted in more schools being ready to engage families.
Countdown's goals are as follows:
- Ensure that Boston's families with young children take advantage of the academic and social benefits kindergarten provides, by raising public awareness about the value of kindergarten, the availability of full-school-day kindergarten, and the steps they can take to support their child's kindergarten experience.
- In collaboration with our community partners, coordinate and expand social and learning activities that help children prepare for school and transition from home or pre-school into kindergarten.
- Lay the groundwork for primary caretakers (parents, grandparents, guardians) to be active partners in their children's education at home and at school, from birth through their education in BPS elementary school and beyond.
- Support Boston Public Schools in its effort to ensure that the process of choosing schools, registering and entering kindergarten within BPS is clear and welcoming for all families.