School district creates book to make transition into Kindergarten easier

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NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Starting Kindergarten isn't always easy for students, or their parents! The North Kansas City School District says it's found a way to make that transition easier.

Teachers and staff at Gracemor Elementary School have created a book to help make the transition from pre-school easier for Kindergartners and their parents.

"I didn't have a clue what her day was going to be like, or what to expect," said Erin Schuweiler, a mom of two, who recalls sending her first child to Kindergarten.

"She was actually pretty nervous because we didn't go through Kindergarten round up, and so we kind of didn't really know what to expect," Schuweiler said.

Her second daughter, five-year-old Kiah, starts Kindergarten on August 13th at Gracemor Elementary.

"I still feel a little bit nervous, because Kiah is just a different child, and so it's going to be a different experience for her," added Schuweiler.

This time around, she feels a bit more prepared, thanks to this book titled: I'm ready for Kindergarten. The name is one she feels couldn't be more accurate.

"It was something we could read over and over this summer, it was something that helped me gauge was she knew," Schuweiler explained.

Shelly Sanders, the assistant principal at Gracemor, and one of the authors of the book, says changes in Missouri's learning standards needed to be communicated to parents.

"Within the last five years we've seen a big shift in Kindergarten expectations," Sanders said.

One goal for the upcoming school year was to prepare all students for Kindergarten. So the school district, teachers, and staff decided on a book.

"We expect a lot from parents, so this is North Kansas City saying now we're going to give you something to work off of," Sanders added.

"That was one thing I struggled with my oldest, was I don't even know what she's supposed to know!" said Schuweiler.

Sanders said starting last year, they received input from pre-school and Kindergarten teachers, and wrote the book based on what's expected in class. Kiah says she's been busy practicing for her first day:

"Learning my numbers and learning how to read," Kiah said.

And she says she's excited for Kindergarten to start.

The book will also be translated into multiple other languages, like Arabic, Spanish, and Vietnamese, to meet needs of the diverse community.