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Back to School: Library Gives Kindergartners Dry Run at the Teary First Day

Kids can learn about the first day and sit on the bus before the school year starts.

The Howard County Public School System is projecting more than 3,000 kindergartners will enter the county’s 40 public elementary schools at the end of the month, and nearly 1,000 of them will be prepped with the help of Howard County Libraries.

For five years, "Kindergarten Here We Come!" has given soon-to-be kindergartners and parents a practice swing at their first day of school.

Through Aug. 24, parents in Howard County can register their child for this hour-long program, which organizers hope will allow the real first day of school to go smoothly.

“We are talking to the children a little bit about getting ready for kindergarten,” said Susan Morris, early childhood education specialist for HCLS.

Unlike most children’s programs with HCLS, organizers actually want parents to let the kids go alone, like a real school day.

“We encourage the parents to allow their children to attend independently,” said Morris, who admits tears often flow even on this test-drive day.

“We have some separation anxiety issues for the parents and the kids,” Morris said.

Kids do a few activities that are common in kindergarten classes, like listening to music, reading stories about riding the bus and making crafts.

At the end of the program, organizers line up the children and they board a school bus, where the driver talks to them about bus safety and waiting at the bus stop.

Sessions are still available for registration, but each group is limited to 40 children, so HCLS encourages parents to register as soon as possible. Visit the HCLS website for more information about programs like "Kindergarten Here We Come!"

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