Child and teacher at Educare Milwaukee

Preparing Students for the Next Step

The move from early childhood programs to kindergarten means meeting new teachers, new classmates and a new environment.

June 28, 2019
  • Early Learning and Care
  • Blog

Big changes in life can be scary, especially when it comes to education. The process is daunting, but through Educare Chicago, we take an intentional, individualized approach to prepare current and former students and their families.

The move from early childhood programs like Educare Chicago to kindergarten means meeting new teachers, new classmates and adjusting to a new environment. The same goes for former Educare Chicago students who may be transitioning to high school or perhaps post-high school life. Parents are also experiencing change, as they must build relationships with a new teacher or even a new school.

This summer, Educare Chicago, the Educare Chicago Alumni Network (ECAN) and several Start Early partners are working together to ensure that students and families are ready for the next chapter in the student’s life.

Educare Chicago Transition Process

The transition process at Educare Chicago is critical and prepares children and families for what is next for schooling!

“They’re prepared. They feel secure about this change in their life,” Angela Lampkin, director of Educare Chicago, says.

At Educare, parents and students experience an intentionally designed process to help get ready for what’s next. The school hosts a Charter School Breakfast as well as a GoCPS event, where family support staff assist parents through the application process. In the classrooms, students read books about what it means to be a “big kid” and also create a “goodbye book”, building excitement for the next year in school. For younger children, Educare hosts “Welcome to Head Start” to introduce new teachers, classrooms and classmates.

As families move toward a new chapter in their child’s education, Educare has thoughtfully and thoroughly planned this process to help them anticipate what is to come. The preparation and thought behind the transition will last with these families as they move from grade to grade.

Educare Chicago Alumni Network’s End-of-School Celebration

On Saturday, June 30, the Educare Chicago Alumni Network (ECAN) hosted an End-of-School Celebration for its graduates and their families. ECAN is made up of former Educare Chicago parents who provide resources for fellow parents, connect children to their childhood friends, and host events for both parents and their children. At the celebration, ECAN congratulated and celebrated a group of former Educare students graduating from middle school and high school.

For the second summer in a row, the Start Early Affiliates Board organized a fundraiser to help provide school supplies to middle school graduates so they can be the most prepared for their next step – high school. Collectively, the OAB was able to provide 28 backpacks and all the necessary school supplies to students at this celebratory event.

Additionally, this year, the second class of Educare Chicago students is preparing for yet another transition: graduation from high school. To help support these graduates, ComEd employees provided many of the necessary items for pursuing the next chapter – from kitchen utensils to bathroom towels – all nicely packed into a suitcase for easy moving. Collectively, employees raised $2,236 which helped provide these items to 15 graduating seniors that day.

Start Early is grateful for the efforts of Educare Chicago staff, ECAN, the Affiliates Board and ComEd to help ensure that students are excited and ready for whatever may be next in their educational journey.

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