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UWCK literacy kits only available at kindergarten roundups
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Great Bend High School students show their pride for helping raise funds for the United Way of Central Kansas literacy program. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

 United Way of Central Kansas Executive Director Julie Smith wants to remind parents of kindergarten-aged children to take part in the upcoming kindergarten roundups at area schools. 

Kindergarten roundup is when the local kindergarten newbies can learn about their new school and meet their teachers. These only take about 15 minutes per student, and are scheduled for area schools starting the first week of April.

But, there is more involved this year, thanks to the UWCK. “This is also the time they pick up their literacy kits. The kits will be available at the kindergarten round-ups only,” Smith said.  

These kits are designed to help pre-K students and their families get ready for kindergarten and spend quality time together before the children head off to school. The kits will include a Curious George book, worksheets to practice writing their alphabet, flashcards for numbers and letters, crayons and lists recommended by the local kindergarten teachers to help the students be prepared to enter school; all in a monkey drawstring bag.

United Way of Central Kansas will be at all the Kindergarten Round-Ups come Spring 2016 in Ellinwood, Larned, Otis-Bison and Great Bend to hand out these bags to all the children that attend.  

“We have prepared 400 literacy kits and we hope that we can hand every single one of them out to local students,” Smith said. “We have had tremendous feedback from the teachers and schools about these kits and they are very excited. We have also had a lot of volunteers helping us to cut out the flashcards, and we couldn’t be doing this without the help of our community.”  

This project has been a partnership, Smith said.

In April 2015, Great Bend High School Students were able to raise money to give to a charity of their choice. GBHS decided to donate the check to United Way of Central Kansas. This money was used as seed money for literacy kits.

“On behalf of GBHS Student Council, we are thrilled to have been able to donate towards such a meaningful charity,” said Andrea Stalcup, GBHS Community Day coordinator. “Our organization is always looking for ways to give back, and we couldn’t be more proud to support United Way with this project. The literacy kits promote the importance of education as well as fostering a healthy family dynamic.”  

For more information on the roundups, contact the schools. For more information on the UWCK, call the office at 620-792-2403 or visit