K-Prepare program aims at getting youngsters ready for Kindergarten

Getting kids ready for Kindergarten is a major concern for York City leaders.

Evaluations show that not even 22% of kids are prepared by the spring of their Pre-K year.

In an effort to improve that statistic, students received backpacks filled with books, flash cards, crayons and scissors to help them prepare for the future.

All 250 students in the York City School District Pre-K program now have one.

"The more we can expose them to reading, writing and math, and whatever else.. the more they're going to absorb and be ready to enter kindergarten," said Pre-K Supervisor, Julie Fabie.

America's Promise K-Prepare Program aims at doing just that.

It's the first year for the program... and it's modeled after another program that proved success in Toldeo, Ohio.

"We could reach kids who were very young, about 3 to 4 years old, in this program and really help get them ready so when they hit kindergarten, hopefully, they're on level so they can really start their school career out well," said Rotary Club Member, Ann Reynolds.

End of year evaluations from last school year show that only 21.9% of kids in the Pre-K program were prepared for Kindergarten.

Members with the Rotary Club of York are hoping to push that up to 35% by the end of this year.

"If three students met the goal, if we could change the life of one child - that would be incredible," said Reynolds.

Besides all the cool gear, there's an incentive for parents.

"There's something to strive for, which we thought would be very beneficial to the kids," said Reynolds.

At the end of the year, each student will be evaluated and a $100 gift card will be given to students who score at least 96%.

While the money gets the parents motivated to help, those who donated to the cause agree, it's all for the kids.

"Anything that's going to promote parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles reading and getting involved in their children's education is just going to help the children in the long run," said Angie Sparks, the Community Progress Council Pre-K Education Manager.

The total cost of the project could end up surpassing $50,000, depending on how many students earn the incentive.

For more information on how you can donate, contact the Rotary Club of York by visiting http://www.yorkrotary.org or at 717-848-1370.