Keiki Steps to Kindergarten

Stephanie Pratt
Stephanie Pratt
Julieta Barroga
Julieta Barroga

Waimanalo (KHNL) -  For many students, it's almost time to go back to school! "Keiki steps to Kindergarten" is a program which helps socialize young kids who have never gone to school before.

Thursday morning, Rianne says goodbye to mom like a pro, but that wasn't the case just two short weeks ago.

"This is the first time for my daughter in school and so the first few days she's been quite nervous. But, as the days go by, she's been looking forward to going to school," said Rianne's mom Julieta.

This two-week "kindergarten prep" is the first classroom experience all of these students have ever had. And for kids who've never been to school before, kindergarten can be a chaotic transition.

"It is crazy, the first day of school they're in tears, they want mommy, they don't want to stay, and then you feel like it's you. But, it's just the transition," said Kindergarten teacher Stephanie Pratt.

Learning to share, take turns, and raise their hands. Just a few of the basics that'll help these kids have success on their first day of kindergarten.

Ms. Pratt says one of the reasons the program works so well is the favorable student teacher ratio. Three teachers for 15 students.

"Whereas the first day of kindergarten there's like twenty-seven kids and just you and its whoa-- nightmare!" added Pratt.

The kids graduate from "Keiki Steps" tomorrow, but all of these well-adjusted kids should have no problem when they return to these classrooms on August 2nd for their first day of kindergarten.

The "Keiki Steps to Kindergarten" program is a collaboration of the "Institute for Native Pacific Education and Culture", and Kamehemeha Schools.

To find out more, click on the Keiki Steps to Kindergarten link.