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Thanks to a PNC Foundation grant, LVCC helped ease the fears of transitioning to kindergarten for Allentown summer pre-k students who visited Lincoln Early Childhood Center and met Principal Joshua Radcliffe.

 

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s LVCC’s preschoolers heading to kindergarten! A PNC Foundation grant, which supports early childhood education through PNC Grow Up Great, made it possible for LVCC to successfully launch a series of kindergarten transition activities for underserved preschoolers in our care this past summer.

“PNC recognizes the role kindergarten readiness plays in the wellbeing of local children, their families and ultimately, our economy,” said Pete Danchak, PNC regional president for Northeastern Pennsylvania. “By preparing our youngest students for educational success, we help build a solid foundation for the future of this region.”

With additional scholarship support from the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, LVCC offered an extended summer pre-k class for children who would benefit from extra instruction in the months before starting kindergarten. The program was held at LVCC on Walnut Street, Allentown. Nine children received scholarships to attend; four of the children were English language learners from Burmese refugee families. By the end of the summer, the pre-kindergartners improved on many skills, including their English language development.

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Author and Marvel/DC artist Bob McLeod introduced his work at LVCC's family literacy night.

To promote literacy, LVCC circulated 150 library backpacks containing books, puppets and materials among Allentown and Bethlehem preschoolers, which could be borrowed and returned. Along with the literacy backpacks and classroom visits by a children’s librarian, summer preschool classes visited their local public libraries for story time and library card sign up. LVCC then held a family literacy event with local author and renowned illustrator, Bob McLeod. Children and their families learned about the illustrator’s work and received an autographed copy of his new book, “Superhero ABC”, with colorful and humorous graphics of characters like Bubble-Man, who blows big bubbles at bullies.

In addition, LVCC collaborated with our community partners at Allentown Public Library and Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley to distribute summer supply kits filled with activity guides, art supplies, and learning materials for children in low-income neighborhoods to develop and practice new skills at home.

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Allentown summer pre-k students enrolled at LVCC listened to Principal Joshua Radcliffe explain what a typical day in kindergarten looks like during their visit to Lincoln Early Childhood Center.

With PNC's support, 68 LVCC preschoolers from Allentown visited local elementary schools to ease the transition to kindergarten. The children rode the bus to the school, where they toured the classrooms and met the principal and teachers. LVCC provided parents with bilingual information on the school registration process and kindergarten readiness, which resulted in 100% of those kindergarten-bound children to be registered on time for Fall 2016 classes.