Let's flashback about 6 years, to when my oldest, who will be starting MJS this September (yikes!), was about to take his first steps into Central Avenue School. Though we had lived in Madison for his entire life, and he had gone to preschool just around the corner, none of his preschool pals were heading to CAS for kindergarten. We felt a bit lost, lonely, and scared. Fortunately, that summer, we happened to strike up a conversation with a fellow CAS kindergarten mom at the pool. She was planning a casual kindergarten meet-up in late August so kids (and parents!) would know some friendly faces on the first day. On that August day, my son, 3-year-old daughter, and I headed over to the meeting place, Dodge Field playground. My son played a bit, mostly on his own, in the sandbox and on the swings, my daughter spent most of the time in my arms, and I had a chance to meet some other moms. Looking back on that day, I now see how important it was for my son, and for me! It not only helped us know some faces on the first day of school, I also met a mom who now I consider one of my closest friends, and her son is one of my son's closest friends. In fact, as I write this post, the two boys are walking into town together to play wiffle ball at Dodge Field.
I recently found out that parents in all three Madison public elementary schools now coordinate playground meet-ups for incoming kindergarten families. Some PTOs manage it, while in other schools, parents coordinate it on their own. However it is done, if you have an incoming kindergartner, I highly recommend finding out when your school's meet-ups are, and heading on over there with the entire family. Even if you have an older child already in the school, be sure to go. It will not just show your younger child that it is a special time for them, but you can be the "pro" to the other parents, and answer many of the questions they have about the school. When it was my daughter's turn to head to kindergarten, I helped coordinate and spread the word about the meet-up. I clearly remember one of the moms and me trying to convince our daughters to play together, but they refused, preferring to play alone. Now, these girls share BFF necklaces and almost live at each others houses!
If you have a child entering kindergarten September 2017, contact the following people so you can get the details for all the events, and also to be alerted if they are canceled due to weather.
Central Avenue School: Contact Kelly Ostberg at email@example.com
Two meet-ups are planned for August at the Dodge Field playground.
Kings Road School: Contact Kumi Varga at firstname.lastname@example.org
Next meet-up is Saturday, August 5 at 9:30am at Dodge Field playground. More August dates to come.
Torey J. Sabatini School: Contact Marisa Chandler at email@example.com
Playground Popsicle Playdate on Tuesday, August 15 from 5:30-6:30pm at TJS playground. Also September 5 following the back to school Open House at 3pm on the TJS playground.