Creative Discovery Museum Kicks Off Countdown to Kindergarten Program

Published: | by Kyrstin Hill

Program registration begins March 15

Kick-off Celebration – April 29, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

CHATTANOOGA, TENN. (March 13, 2017) – According to a recent study by Chattanooga 2.0, only 40 percent of Hamilton County kindergarteners arrive on the first day of school prepared with the skills needed to succeed. In an effort to ensure that rising kindergartners and their caregivers have access to free resources and fun activities, Creative Discovery Museum invites all area preschoolers to register for Countdown to Kindergarten, a free program that will help prepare for the first year of “Big School.”

Beginning kindergarten is a monumental transition for both children and parents. Many factors contribute to kindergarten readiness outside of a child’s ability to say the ABC’s and count. In response, the Museum will seek to enroll more than 2,000 children as part of a broader community-wide effort to improve school readiness throughout the region.

The Program
Countdown to Kindergarten provides Chattanooga area parents and caregivers with information and resources that will help their child be better prepared to start kindergarten. All children enrolling in an area kindergarten this fall are eligible to join this FREE club. Funding for the program was made possible through support from United Way of Greater Chattanooga and BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee.

“Children who enter kindergarten with the emotional, social, physical and intellectual skills needed to be ready for school are more likely to be successful during all of their school years,” said Jayne Griffin, Ed.D, Director of Education at Creative Discovery Museum. “Creative Discovery Museum is proud to partner with other community organizations that support parents and children as they prepare for this meaningful milestone.”

Rising kindergarteners can register starting March 15 at Creative Discovery Museum. Children entering a Hamilton County Kindergarten fall 2017 can sign-up at their new school during Hamilton County School’s registration day on April 5. Registration will also take place at Chattanooga Head Start and Hamilton County Pre-K for preschoolers currently enrolled in those programs.

All Countdown Kids will receive a book full of tips to help prepare them and their parents for kindergarten. Children registered for the club will also receive a Countdown Kids t-shirt and one free visit to the Museum anytime with one adult.

The Kick-off Celebration – April 29, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Children enrolled in the club and wearing their shirt will receive free admission to the Countdown to Kindergarten Kick-off Celebration on April 29 at Creative Discovery Museum.This fun-filled event will allow children to develop skills needed to start school through a variety of hands-on activities in a fun environment.

Scheduled activities include: simulated school experiences, readiness activities and Kids on the Block puppet shows. At 2:00 p.m. there will be a blast off countdown party complete with balloons, cake and ice cream. Children not previously enrolled in the club can sign-up for free at the event to receive free admission.

“Kindergarten officially marks the beginning of a child's formal education, and we want all children to be ready to learn and succeed in school,” said Erin Townley, Early Childhood Manager at Creative Discovery Museum. “This event will be the official kickoff celebration to create momentum for school readiness throughout the spring and summer, including Discovery Mobile days at the Southside Library.”

Children wearing their Countdown to Kindergarten t-shirt receive free admission to the Chattanooga Zoo from June 1 – August 1 and free admission to the Lookouts Countdown to Kindergarten Day home game on May 7. The Lookouts Countdown to Kindergarten Day will provide another opportunity for children to register for the program on the Lookouts Plaza which allows the children free admission to the game May 7.

Creative Discovery Museum is leading this effort in collaboration with many partners in the Chattanooga area including: Hamilton County Department of Education, Chattanooga Public Library, United Way’s Project Ready for School, First Things First, Chattanooga Child Care Resource and Referral, Chattanooga Head Start, Siskin Children’s Institute, Read 20, Youth and Family Development, Chattanooga Area Association for the Education of Young Children, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC), Chambliss Center, Chattanooga State Community College, Chattanooga Zoo and Chattanooga Lookouts.

For more information on Countdown to Kindergarten and how to participate, please visit www.cdmfun.org.

About Creative Discovery Museum
Creative Discovery Museum is recognized as one of the top children’s museums in the nation. It is a non-profit organization dedicated to educational enrichment for children ages 4 months to 12 through interactive, hands-on experiences that foster creative and critical thinking.

Creative Discovery Museum focuses on a broad range of areas encompassed by Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Technology and the Sciences. In addition to its exhibits, Creative Discovery Museum provides local residents and visitors with special events, educational programming, teacher resources for the classroom, field trips, after school programming, early childhood education classes, artist residencies, camps, art lessons, science demonstrations, and a branch of the local library. Creative Discovery Museum is a funded agency of ArtsBuild and also receives funding support from Tennessee Arts Commission and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

For more information, visit cdmfun.org, and stay connected with us onFacebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About United Way of Greater Chattanooga
United Way builds a stronger and healthier community by focusing our powerful network of partners on the building blocks of a strong community: Education, Stability and Support. We mobilize people and organizations with the passion, expertise and resources essential to create measurable social change in our communities. Working together through partnerships, we accomplish more than anyone can do alone.

United Way serves 16 counties in Tennessee, North Georgia and Northeast Alabama. Visit www.UnitedWayCHA.organd follow us at UnitedWayCHA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee’s mission is to provide peace of mind through better health. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on serving more than 3.3 million members in Tennessee and across the country. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company's website at bcbst.com.

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