Countdown to Kindergarten

Developed by South Carolina First Steps – and identified as a promising state practice by the National Governor’s Association in 2005 – Countdown to Kindergarten is a home visitation program pairing the families of high-risk rising kindergartners with their future teachers during the summer before school entry. Teachers complete six visits with each family, centered upon classroom and content expectations.

Countdown to Kindergarten is designed to:

  • Establish lasting home-school bonds rooted in trust and mutual respect;

  • Enable parents and teachers to reach common understandings of both familial and classroom expectations for the coming school year; and

  • Establish strong student-teacher relationships that will facilitate the home-school transition and enhance classroom learning.

Partnering with the School District, Newberry County Frist Steps contracts with kindergarten teachers in our county elementary schools. The teachers make 6 visits to each participating child during the summer. This nationally recognized program helps the state’s most at-risk children make a smooth transition into the same teacher’s class in the fall.

Each child receives a CTK toolkit filled with learning materials that will be found in his/her classroom. Using defined curriculum, the teacher works closely with the child and parents to improve skills, increase knowledge, and build relationships.