Kids entering school for the first time this fall got a head start at last week’s Kindergarten Countdown, a four-week program aimed at helping kids prepare for school in the fall.
In its second year, the program has expanded and nearly tripled in size – from 55 students last year to 160 students this year.
The United Way of Allen County program joined with Community Transportation Network, East Allen County Schools and Fort Wayne Community Schools to introduce kids to the basics of getting to and from school, literacy and language development, curriculum and schedules and social-emotional adjustment.
East Allen County Schools has two Kindergarten Countdown classrooms at Southwick Elementary and Fort Wayne Community Schools has two classrooms at Fairfield Elementary and one classroom each at Adams, Brentwood, Lindley and Waynedale elementary schools.
The program pays special attention to at-risk students – those with little or no early childhood learning experience or who are limited in English. Those students were identified by the schools and invited to participate in the program at no cost to the families.
“We are thrilled to not only continue this initiative again this year, but to also be able to expand it,” said Todd Stephenson, president and CEO of United Way of Allen County. “Last year the program was a tremendous success with several measurable outcomes, including that 52 percent of the students who entered the program unable to write their own names.
By the end of the program, 96 percent of the students were able to write their names.”
Community Transportation Network provided transportation for East Allen County Schools’ students and Fort Wayne Community Schools will provide meals through their summer food program to both of the school systems.
•Manchester University named Jeffrey R. Breese vice president and dean for academic affairs. Breese will join the university Aug. 1 and comes from Rockhurst University in Kansas City.
•Academic leader Glenn Sharfman will leave Manchester University to assume a similar position with Oglethorpe University in Atlanta this summer. Sharfman joined Manchester in 2005.
Kimberly Guise, who will study clinical laboratory science this fall as a USF freshman, has been awarded the Tom Jehl Lifetime Sports Academy Scholarship.
Students who have participated in Lifetime Sports Academy for at least three years, have performed volunteer service projects and have a high school grade-point average of 2.7 or higher are eligible annually for half-tuition scholarships.
Lifetime Sports Academy is a Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation program and is open to boys and girls ages 8 to 18 who wish to take free group lessons in golf, tennis and swimming.
•Stephen Mangold, a vocal director in Trine’s music department who also teaches in the Jannen School of Arts and Sciences, recently received the Distinguished Faculty Award from Trine University’s Campus Christian House senior class.
•Two new development directors have been added to the IPFW Office of Advancement, including Nathan Payne, director of development for athletics, and M. Quincy Davidson, director of development.
•Three Grace College business students, Bennett Putman, Lucas Denlinger, and Ryan Ramey, were recently listed on the Global Top 100 ranking in the Business Strategy Game, a web based business simulation software that gives students a hands-on opportunity to learn how the global marketplace works.
•The school’s seminary building has been renamed the William Male Center for Seminary and Graduate Studies in honor of William Male for his accomplishments as a faculty member and administrator, and for his significant financial gift.