Long Beach schools open first Kindergarten Camp - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Long Beach schools open first Kindergarten Camp

Children enjoying Kindergarten Camp at Quarles Elementary School in Long Beach. (Photo source: WLOX News) Children enjoying Kindergarten Camp at Quarles Elementary School in Long Beach. (Photo source: WLOX News)
This camp helps children prepare for what to expect at school. (Photo source: WLOX News) This camp helps children prepare for what to expect at school. (Photo source: WLOX News)
LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) -

The first day of school in Long Beach is less than four weeks away, but classes already started this week for dozens of kindergartners? Kindergarten can be filled with anxiety and tears for many youngsters, especially those who've never been in a school setting before. So this week, two elementary schools in Long Beach opened their doors to introduce some four and five-year-olds to a whole new experience.

The little ones are getting a jump start on learning and trying to overcome their fears. About 60-children are attending the first ever Kindergarten Camp at Quarles Elementary School.

"Some of them have never been to a daycare, a preschool. So this program gives them an opportunity to come into big kid school and learn the routines and learn what their teacher will expect from them," said Quarles Elementary Kindergarten Teacher Holly Jo Engle.

For the teachers, the week-long camp gives them a chance to work closely with the children to determine their strengths and what they need to work on before school actually starts.

"We're able to screen some of the students with speech services, some special education services. Therefore, our teachers are better able to start day one with individualized instruction for those students," said Quarles Elementary Principal Dr. Jan Hansen.

Sarah Caudle is already seeing a difference in her daughter Jessica, who's getting her first school experience.

"She loves it. She thinks it's really cool. She already has a friend so she's excited, and she loves her teacher," said Caudle.

That's what the Kindergarten Camp is all about, building relationships and boosting academic skills early to give children a strong education foundation.

"I saw the benefit of having an additional week with the students. This gives us an opportunity to further develop a relationship early on with the teachers, with the parents, and with the students. So it creates a family atmosphere and builds a good strong culture for the students as they come into kindergarten," said Hansen.

"I was a little nervous coming in, but they came right in, they learned the routines. We learned how to walk in the hallway. That's a big one. So I'm excited about it," said Engle.

Nearly 30 children are also attending Kindergarten Camp this week at Reeves Elementary. The schools provide snacks, lunch, and supplies. The first day of school for Long Beach students is August 6.

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