First5 Madera County recently awarded a $2,500 grant to Spring Valley School to support its transitional kindergarten (TK) educational program.
"We're honored that First5 Madera considered the needs of our program and school," said Principal Kelli Bryant. "All our teachers are doing an amazing job with very little supplies and the TK grant will support this class and provide every student with immediate learning resources."
The new school program is a requirement of California Senate Bill 1381, which authorized the Kindergarten Readiness Act of 2010. The act was required to start in the 2012 academic year, but did not provide adequate start-up or long term funding for necessary program and student needs.
Overall, the TK program is designed to address some readiness issues that are sometimes inherent in younger children regarding basic skill sets and group interaction. While not every child may need the TK start, it allows for younger children to start and transition into education in a more formal school setting. Additionally, the transitional materials can be utilized to address class structure and specific learning techniques.
TK/Kindergarten Teacher Shandon Allen applied for the grant in order to obtain supplies that serve a younger group of students.
"This TK group has different educational needs and expectations as they transition into kindergarten," Allen said. "Bridging between the two programs is a challenge. but one that we are completely prepared for. The grant funds will help Spring Valley with specific number and alphabet recognition supplies and other necessary materials that we don't normally stock for our kinder kids."
Spring Valley School, located off Road 200 just east of Highway 41, has been part of the Mountain Area community since 1889 and serves about 200 children.