New learning kits help Palm Beach County children prepare for kindergarten

Roughly 50% of kindergarteners not considered 'kindergarten-ready' at start of school year, data shows
Children register for kindergarten at Citrus Cove Elementary School in Boynton Beach on April 11, 2023.jpg
Posted at 4:46 PM, Apr 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-11 16:46:24-04

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — The class of 2036 is getting registered for kindergarten!

The School District of Palm Beach County is launching a bigger effort than ever before to make sure students are enrolled and ready to start their elementary school careers.

Data shows only about half of Palm Beach County students were considered "kindergarten-ready" when they started this school year.


It was kindergarten round-up on Tuesday at Citrus Cove Elementary School in Boynton Beach. Families learned about one of the biggest transitions in their child's life: starting kindergarten.

Everything was on display from after-school to a campus tour, along with what tools kids need to be successful, both academically and socially.

"From cutting skills to the grip of a pencil, those are some basic skills, and having the students be able to communicate," teacher Samantha Riggio said.

"It's an exciting time for us," father Jonathan Price said. "She's been in VPK for a year, and all week she's been talking about how she's going to big kid school."

Price said he now feels more at ease with his daughter Josie heading to kindergarten next year.

"Just how much the teachers and administrators understand what it's like to be in my shoes when you are going to be putting your daughter is someone else's hands," Price said. "It's comforting to know they have everything in place."

As part of the kindergarten round-up experience this year, every student who registers in a Palm Beach County public school is going to receive special learning kits. One is for numbers and one is for letters. The school district is giving the kits out to make sure kids have a little extra preparation before they walk through the door.

"It's so important," principal Dr. Natalie Cromwell said. "Those little skills that just may take a few moments each day that parents can do at home in the summer and be able to help their child so they just have a little step forward in walking into kindergarten."

Cromwell said these little tools can make a big difference, especially for kids who are not coming from a preschool.

District numbers show only about 50% of Palm Beach County students were considered "kindergarten-ready" when they came to school this year.

"If they don't have those skills, it takes a little bit longer, so we have to spend a little more time," Cromwell said. "If they did it over the summer or they were in a program, it just makes the child feel a little more confident entering the school setting."

Price said that while it's a big change for the whole family, he's ready to see his daughter soar.

"We're looking forward to that next step so that every day it's something new with her. And when we get to kindergarten, she just keeps growing and growing and growing," Price said.

Growing with her new Citrus Cove family.

For more information about enrolling in kindergarten in the School District of Palm Beach County, along with what your child is expected to know — both socially and academically — when heading into kindergarten, click here.