READY! for Kindergarten program hoping to close education gap - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

READY! for Kindergarten program hoping to close education gap

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KENNEWICK, Wash.--  The Kennewick School District and the Children's Reading Foundation of the Mid-Columbia are signing parents up for class.  It's the "READY! for Kindergarten program, which is aimed at teaching parents how to get their children prepared for school.

Nikki Morgan has a 2 1/2 year old daughter, Rebecca.  Morgan has been going to the "READY for Kindergarten" workshops and classes since Rebecca was born.  "You read the books and watch the videos, but it's different to have a hands-on experience with an instructor who's willing to show you how to use the toys and use them as an educational toy, rather than just playing with them,"  says Morgan.

The goal is to close the educational gap, according to Hollie Keller, a READY! instructor.  She explains, "Some children are coming in ready to read and some children coming in never having seen the alphabet.  It makes it very difficult for teachers to prepare those kids and get them ready for first grade when they have such a wide range of abilities."

Morgan is confident her daughter will be ready. "She's a pretty smart little girl.  She goes to pre-school and she's pretty advanced.  I do like to think a lot of it has to do with the READY! for Kindergarten program."

"They have actually done studies where they have seen improvements in the test scores in kindergartners that come in," says Keller.

The program is now enrolling parents for winter classes.  It's free to parents living in the Kennewick School District and includes some free toys and books.   There will be a total of 10 classes, eight in English and two in Spanish between January 22nd and February 5th.  Click here to learn more.