Ready for 'Real' School

Children's Museum counts it down for kindergartners-to-be

Tom Giffey

Learning about RCU’s School $ense program.
Learning about RCU’s School $ense program.

For those of us for whom kindergarten is a long-ago memory, it’s hard to appreciate what a huge transition it is for the 5-year-olds who will soon stream uncertainly through school doors armed with little more than backpacks stuffed with glue sticks and washable markers. In addition to learning the basics of reading, writing, and ’rithmetic, the new kindergartners will confront the mysterious rituals of boarding buses and navigating lunch lines. To help children entering kindergarten and their parents, the Children’s Museum of Eau Claire will be holding its second annual Countdown to Kindergarten event from 4-7pm Thursday, Aug. 18. The free event is open to all incoming kindergartners and their families – regardless of their school district – as well as homeschooled kids. “Starting school has always been a big deal – it’s a rite of passage! And as a community organization that spends a lot of time watching kids grow up from toddlers to teenagers, the team at the Children’s Museum is honored to stand along new school-agers as they get ready for their first day of kindergarten,” says Jacqueline Van Hemert, the museum’s director of programs and events. Countdown to Kindergarten will feature a ton of “school readiness activities,” including: riding a real Student Transit bus; practicing a morning meeting with teachers; enjoying recess and gym class activities with the Eau Claire YMCA; signing up for a library card (and winning prizes) with the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library’s BookBike; learning about Royal Credit Union’s School Sense program; and walking through a simulated lunch line thank to the Kiwanis Club. (And, yes, kids will have unlimited access to all the fabulous attractions that are always in the museum.) If there’s a kindergartner-to-be in your life, this is a can’t-miss event.

Countdown to Kindergarten • Thursday, Aug. 18, 4-7pm • Children’s Museum of Eau Claire, 220 S. Barstow St., Eau Claire • FREE • (715) 832-KIDS •