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United Way, Local School Districts Kick Off Annual Kindergarten Program

Zach Bernard/WBOI News

United Way of Allen County kicked off its seventh annual Kindergarten Countdown program Wednesday morning, in collaboration with East Allen County Schools and Fort Wayne Community Schools.

The four-week summer program seeks to familiarize young children with the general school experience before beginning kindergarten in the fall. The program itself focuses on literacy and language skills while helping kids with social adjustment.

United Way spokesperson Tiffany Bailey says the program could give some students a leg up above above their peers ahead of the school year.

“The teachers are talking about how these kids are walking in and they’re confident; they’re the leaders in the classroom because they’ve been there, they’ve experienced it and they know what to do," Bailey said. "And they’re able to assist their classmates that are coming in.”

This year, Parkview’s Ronald McDonald Care Mobile will also serve multiple locations in conjunction with the program throughout the year. This service will be available through August 1, and offers immunizations, screenings and more to children ages 0-18.

Zach joined 89.1 WBOI as a reporter and local host for All Things Considered, and hosted Morning Edition for the past few years. In 2022, he was promoted to Content Director.