Junior kindergarten helps young students prepare

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By Peg Wunder

A program about junior kindergarten was presented by Jill Olson, principal of the grade school at Mobridge Pollock School System, when Rotary met on Monday.
The junior kindergarten program that will be implemented in the coming school year is a new concept and will be open to 5-year-old children who are not quite ready for the regular kindergarten. This program will be welcomed by families with a child who has a birthday in the summer and is just not quite ready to enter the regular kindergarten. Currently there are eight enrolled with a target enrollment of 10.
This gives the child an extra year to grow and build confidence by providing real school experiences. This year there are 66 children in kindergarten and there are 43 pre-registered for next year as of Monday morning. Children who are not quite ready for kindergarten need a lot more attention, which takes time away from the other students in the class.
An elementary principal from a South Dakota school stated that “there are students who are kindergarten age eligible that do not have the necessary skills, academically, behaviorally, or emotionally to handle all day every day kindergarten.”
These students take up all of the teacher’s time. This program does not compete with preschool and there is no fee for this class as the student is school age according to South Dakota law. The class will be taught by a teacher certified in elementary education, and the program will follow the same hours and schedule as Freeman Davis Elementary School. All children who are eligible for kindergarten are candidates for this program. Screening will be done and children who turn five in the months May through August will get top priority and/or may also have needs in the following areas: scored low on the DIAL screening assessment; did not previously attend preschool, recommendation by preschool for child to wait a year to attend the regular kindergarten, do not separate easily from parents during round up, parental concerns about the maturity level of the child and child lacking fine motor skills.
Katie Konold was recognized as a guest of Jesse Konold. Jan Sayler announced that Thursday is Poppy Day conducted by the American Legion. It is hoped that 116,000 poppies will be distributed in South Dakota this year.
Peg Wunder reported that the conclusion at the Beef ‘n Fun Meeting held last Thursday night is that Beef ‘n Fun will continue, but with some changes. Haden Bowie is the new secretary. In July letters will be sent out requesting $65 as has been done each year.  Possibly the biggest change is that there will be no follow-up phone calls or personal visits to those business and professional people who do not send in their $65 donation.  Everyone felt that, after 35 years, people should know what the event is all about.  The donations sent in and money taken from savings will meet the expenses for the event.  Eventually, the savings will be gone so it will be up to the community to see how long Beef ‘n Fun will continue.
Jan Sayler was present to claim the 50/50 pot. Rotary will not meet next week as it is Memorial Day.  Monday, June 3 will be the monthly meeting when Rotary meets at noon at the Moose Lodge.

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