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Countdown to Kindergarten!

A science experiment on Thursday night at Discovery Place Rockingham.
Rita Thames


An enjoyable time was had by all at Discovery Place Kids-Rockingham as the regional children’s museum partnered with Richmond County Schools for a back-to-school event called ‘Countdown to Kindergarten’.

This is the third year of the celebration for rising kindergarteners and their families as they celebrated the entry into a formal school setting. Kindergarten representatives from all local elementary schools were available with supply lists and other valuable information. Museum director Katie Rohleder says this free event gives the students and their parents an opportunity to meet the kindergarten teachers, ask questions, and participate in fun events like lunch tray relays, a scissors safety activity, a science show, a story-time about school, and a discussion on healthy snacks that students can take to school. She also said that all month long the museum uses back-to-school themes in the activities they implement. When asked what the kids enjoy the most Rohleder shared, “They love getting excited about going to school and having the opportunity to come to the museum and join in all the fun activities.”

Kelly DeLong, director of K-12 Math and Science for Richmond County Schools, stated that Rohleder contacted her 3 years ago with her vision for this event, and the two subsequently partnered to make it happen.  She stated that one of the things Rohleder desired for this event was a mock kindergarten classroom. She said, “Joann Taylor, from Washington Street Elementary School, was gracious enough to bring her own classroom items and develop a warm, inviting replica of a kindergarten classroom.” DeLong stated that ‘school representatives came with items that help the parents understand the curriculum and to alleviate any anxieties that a child might have about coming to school on the first day.” DeLong is also quick to thank Corey Davis, transportation director for RCS, for providing a school bus for the occasion. Students practiced getting on and off the bus and learned about bus safety.

Cameron, an upcoming kindergartener, and his mom, Shareka, were enjoying the activities. The two recently moved to Richmond County and learned of the event through Facebook. She said, “This is his first year going to big boy school. He’s excited about it and I think this is a really nice event.”

‘Countdown to Kindergarten’ successfully provided upcoming kindergarteners and their parents an opportunity to meet teachers and staff of county schools and access information about curriculum, school supplies, and other pertinent material.  


To learn more about Richmond County Schools, visit www.richmond.k12.nc.us

To learn more about Discovery Place Kids-Rockingham, visit http://kids.discoveryplace.org/rockingham