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Families invited to explore early learning resources
Students in Ms. Ochs’ 4-year-old preschool classroom at Riley Elementary gave a “thumbs-up” for learning this week. Students also searched through a bin of blocks to find their initials.

Making connections that support child development and early learning opportunities, USD 428 is inviting parents and guardians to attend the first-ever Preschool and Kindergarten Pre-Enrollment Information Fair at the Great Bend Events Center on Wednesday, April 21. 

“Learning begins long before a child enters kindergarten,” said Tricia Reiser, USD 428 director of teaching and learning. “This enrollment fair will be an opportunity for parents and families to connect with community resources as well as learn more about USD 428 preschool and kindergarten programs, enrollment requirements, and complete necessary paperwork before online enrollment opens in July.”

At the come-and-go event, USD 428 teachers and support staff will be available to talk with parents about academics, social-emotional support, and more. Preschool typically includes programs for both 3- and 4-year-olds, kindergarten requires students to be 5 years old on or before Aug. 31.

“One of the strengths of our kindergarten program, and really our elementary buildings, is a unified curriculum taught across each grade level,” said Reiser. “A kindergarten student attending Park Elementary will have the same academic program and supports as a kindergarten student at Eisenhower Elementary. Our teachers have flexibility in how they implement lesson plans, but they also have peer teachers for collaboration and encouragement in their work.”

Other exhibitors at the event include community preschools, Barton County Health Department, Great Bend Public Library, United Way of Central Kansas, Parents as Teachers, and other services and resources that support young learners.

“We started a conversation about a district-wide ‘kindergarten round-up,’ and the ideas grew from there,” said Reiser. “By including community partners we hope to give families a big-picture overview of the resources available for their young learners. Parents, students, community, and schools – we’re all partners in building a child’s foundation for learning.”

To learn more about the Preschool and Kindergarten Pre-Enrollment Information Fair online, visit Vendor applications are also being accepted on the website through April 10. 

Specific questions should be directed to the District Education Center by calling 620-793-1500.