KCDC preparing parents, kids for kindergarten

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT)– It’s hard to see your kids grow up especially when they’re on their way to kindergarten.

In just a few weeks, moms and dads are going to say a temporary goodbye as their babies head to school.

Sunday, the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center (KCDC), along with the Greater Topeka Partnership held a kindergarten fair to help ease parents worries.

For mom Jessica Cowen, sending her first child, Aaliyah, to school by herself is a nerve-wracking moment.

“I think kindergarten is just different,” Cowen said. “They’re able to ride the school bus or walk home. You don’t have to sign them in and out. It’s just a big step.”

To help with the big step, the KCDC had a kindergarten fair. A day for moms and dads to learn more about what their kids will need for their new adventure.

“We know that in an hour or two here, we’re not going to be able to get a child ready,” said Dené Mosier, president and CEO of KCDC. “But what we can do is empower those parents. Providing those opportunities for children to come together with their families. Figure out what it is they need to work on. And then we give them those tools so they can work on them at home.”

From booths to crossing guards and a chance to meet someone from the school districts.

It was even a learning moment for parents who have already sent a kiddo to kindergarten.

“It’s fun to see other people in your same situation,” said Kristina Figguerres who was at the fair for her second child going to kindergarten. “There are a ton of parents out here. Even if a community resource doesn’t have an answer, you can just ask a parent next to you who may have gone through it. Or may have other ideas as you’re starting down this path.”

Helping to ease Jessica Cowan’s nerves, just until the first day of school.

“It’s an opportunity to get parents informed on a whole bunch of different things that you may not know you have resources to,” Cowen said. “Or activities that you may want to get your child involved in.”

Starting this school year, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment is requiring all kids heading to kindergarten and first grade, receive two doses of the Hepatitis A vaccine. Only religious and medical exemptions are accepted.

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