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Kindergarten Countdown Program Adds Two New Classrooms

Upcoming Kindergartners take a virtual field trip with Parkview Health at Heritage Elementary school on Monday, July 26, 2021.

Incoming kindergartners are getting a head start adjusting to a classroom atmosphere ahead of the school year thanks to a partnership between a number of Allen County’s school systems and the United Way of Allen County.

The Kindergarten Countdown program has been going for eight years as a partnership between United Way of Allen County, Fort Wayne Community Schools and East Allen County Schools. But this year, United Way was able to add two more classrooms in two EACS buildings.

The countdown is a four-week program for students who have little or no pre-k experience. It was developed to help students and their families prepare for the transition into kindergarten.

Steve Walter is the principal at EACS' Heritage Elementary School in Monroeville. Heritage has one of the kindergarten countdown classrooms they added this summer. Walter said much of the first month of kindergarten is learning school procedures, like lining up in the hallway and raising your hand.

“It’s a great transition for these kids and some of these kids will then be the leaders in their classes and help to kind of lead those procedures which will allow us to get to our academics a lot quicker," he said.

Kindergarten Countdown now has eight schools with nine classrooms participating. This summer they have seen more than 120 students.


Ella Abbott is a multimedia reporter for 89.1 WBOI. She is a strong believer in the ways audio storytelling can engage an audience and create a sensory experience.