Preparing your child to enter their kindergarten classroom for the first time can be a daunting task filled with unknowns — this has never been more true than right now during a global pandemic. Luckily, the Girl Scouts' virtual Kindergarten readiness camp can help girls (and, in turn, their parents) start the year off on a confident foot no matter how much uncertainty still exists come fall.
When it comes to preparedness, the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) troops are top-notch examples of how a little prep work can go a long way. While you may think of the organization as your go-to source for scrumptious cookie snacking, they are indeed so much more. In fact, how do you think scouts and troop leaders get all of those cookies organized and sold? Simple: They make a plan and execute that plan.
Prior to starting kindergarten, most schools offer some sort of get-together before the first day of school that helps newly-minted kinder kids get acclimated. This could include a meet-and-greet with the teacher, a tour of their new school, and a bit of time to socialize with new classmates. Since COVID-19 has de-railed the traditional pre-start date gathering for most students, GSUSA has come up with a way to help kindergarteners prepare for their first day virtually with their Make New Friends virtual event series.
"Girl Scouts is filling the critical need of preparing girls to learn, lead, and thrive in their kindergarten classrooms," Sylvia Acevedo, GSUSA CEO, said in a press release. "Girl Scouts' national reach gives girls in rural, urban, and suburban communities the opportunity to learn important pre-K readiness skills, especially social emotional learning. Our Make New Friends virtual event series helps girls create friendships, develop independence, and practice social awareness skills so they are poised for success."
The four-part series is free and open to all girls entering kindergarten. Participants will engage in virtual activities during the series that will mimic traditional kindergarten readiness programs. They'll practice interacting with other girls in their own community while exploring new ideas and be encouraged to ask questions with confidence — skills they'll need whether their class meets online or in-person this year.
Additionally, girls will focus on exploring their emotions and staying persistent in the pursuit of the dreams. One session will focus specifically on using their senses and practicing the same reasoning and problem-solving skills that they'll need when school starts, while another will teach girls how to listen to a story, follow along, and share what they learned.
Through fun activities like drawing and creating that the Girl Scouts have built into their virtual program, girls can learn these important lessons. Plus, if your child will be participating in online learning this year, a virtual event like this one will help get them used to interacting and learning through a screen. (Which, I can say from experience, does not come naturally for most 5-year-olds.)
To register for the Make New Friends course, simply head to the Girl Scouts' website, enter your zip code, and follow the links to sign up. Girls will engage in each session with the same group of girls in your local area, led by a designated Girl Scout staff member. Your girl might meet her BFF and she might make some creative art projects, but she will most definitely learn the social and emotional skills necessary to help her enter her kindergarten year with the utmost confidence.