La Crosse, WI (WXOW)- The first day of school means different things for different kids. For a lot of kids its exciting. For others, especially younger students, the first day can be scary. But as News 19's Amy DuPont explains a new program at La Crosse's Hamilton Elementary is helping kindergartners get a "jump start" on the new year.
This may be Sebastian Nerud's first day of school, but the five year old already knows his way around Hamilton elementary. Sebastian and roughly half of the other Hamilton kindergartners took part in the school's new Jump Start program. Jump Start is a week long orientation where they met their teacher and some of their classmates, and learned their way around the building.
Teacher Traci Schneider says school can be a scary place. Jump Start replaces fear with fun. "I think they'll still be anxious, but I think they'll be a lot more comfortable with who their teacher is and what their classroom looks like and what's expected at kindergarten."
Most of the Jump Start program is focused on play, but it also gives teachers an opportunity to learn more about each student's learning style. Schneider says: "So that way we don't have one classroom heavy on kids with special needs and another with high academics. We're really well rounded."
After spending a week in his classroom Sebastian is excited for school to begin. So is his mom. Deborah Nerud says: "I think I feel better about it. It's easier to send someone out the door when they know where the bathroom is, they've washed their hands, they've had lunch; they know where things are."
Thanks to Jump Start, Sebastian and his family are ready for the school year and ready to learn.
Jump Start is optional. Hamilton principal Steve Michaels plans to offer it again next year and hopes more parents will take advantage of the program.
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