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Kindergarteners ease into their first week of school



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Sam Legget (center) makes friends during the first day of kindergarten. Lauren Tiner. (click for larger version)
September 08, 2010
While returning students from the Gilford School District knew what to expect on the first day of school, kindergarteners and their parents were more prone to first-day jitters last Wednesday.

Incoming kindergarten students were eager to jump off the big yellow buses, greet their new teachers and see their new school grounds though a little trepidation could be seen as well.

GES kindergarten teacher Patti Madore said administration and faculty members try to assuage the nerves of the children and their parents prior to the first day of school by communicating with parents over the summer and offering an open house.

During the open house the night prior to school, parents bring their soon-to-be kindergarteners to GES to meet their teachers and see their classrooms. This way, parents can also address their lingering concerns face to face with the teacher.

Parents were told they didn't have to worry about buying school supplies at Walmart or Staples this year, since the kindergarten classrooms are already fully stocked.

Kindergarteners were eased into their new routine on their first three days of school last week, and Madore said the children in her classroom adapted quickly.

"I think they are all nervous about the unknown, but once they get here and see their friends from the park or preschool, all their fears and anxieties go away," said Madore.

Last Wednesday the kindergarteners were sent to their classrooms ahead of the big crowd of older kids from first grade to fourth grade, and after playing with a few toys and making a few crafts, Madore said they were familiarized with classroom procedures.

"They learn the basics and then we can get into the educational things," said Madore.

She said she was happy to see that a handful of her prior kindergarten students, now entering their fourth grade year, came to visit during the GES open house last week.

"It's nice to have familiar faces and third graders come in," said Madore. "The kids love coming back because it is such a fun and happy place for them. We try to make academics fun in kindergarten," said Madore.

Madore said the children will often enjoy visits from third graders throughout the year who have volunteered to read a story or two in the kindergarten classrooms.

The Volunteer Steering Committee also helped organize the first day of school for the incoming kindergarteners, and led them to all their designated classrooms.

While the kindergarteners made their way to new classrooms for the year, incoming fourth graders looked on with anticipation as they gathered outside of the GES grounds last Wednesday, reminiscing on their earlier years in the school system.

Fourth graders Laurel Normandin and Hannah Perkins couldn't believe they were entering their final year at GES, although Perkins said she was excited for just about everything this school year.

"I was kind of nervous in kindergarten on the first day of school, but my sister was already in school and she helped me out and made it easier," said Normandin.

Perkins said she had an older brother in second grade at the time and was also nervous on her first day at kindergarten, but once class started her worries washed away.

"My brother told me it was a lot of fun, and I did have a lot of fun," said Perkins.

Fourth grader Cal Schrupp stood with his backpack on and a group of his friends outside of the GES grounds prior to the first bell of the day and said he felt much older after watching the kindergarteners walk in.

He and his friends agreed they were all excited for their last year of school at GES, although they said they wouldn't mind re-living their kindergarten years.

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