Passport to Kindergarten
What is Passport to Kindergarten?
Passport to Kindergarten is a community program funded by PNC Grow Up Great to help preschoolers in the Dayton Region prepare for kindergarten. The program partners with schools, community organizations, and parents to create AWEsome Moments to help children build language skills which are critical to reading success.
What is an AWEsome Moment?
An AWEsome Moment is a fun, engaging conversation with children that will grow their brains and build vocabulary skills. AWEsome Moments are modeled on dialogic reading, which is an interactive way of reading to children that encourages conversation while reading a book. Research shows that dialogic reading is effective in improving vocabulary. The AWE acronym is a way to remember how to interact with children in a manner that will build vocabulary:
- Ask questions to encourage your child to talk with you.
- Wait at least five seconds. Children need more time than adults to think about their response.
- Expand on your child’s response by repeating what he or she said and saying a bit more.
Although this format is used when sharing books with young children, there’s no reason to limit it to books. AWEsome Moments can happen on the playground, at the store, in a museum, at home, when reading a book – any time! The important part is taking time to stop and talk with children, by asking questions and expanding on their answers.
Where will Passport to Kindergarten Take Place in the Community?
Passport to Kindergarten is working with the Dayton Metro Library, Dayton Philharmonic, Dayton Art Institute, and Boonshoft to provide AWEsome Moments geared especially to preschool children and their families. Passport to Kindergarten is the umbrella name for the PNC funded program in the Dayton Region. ReadySetSoar is facilitating the program, and it was piloted at Dayton Public Schools Preschool Academy at Jackson Center for the 2010-11 school year.