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					Region IV Parent Information Center: Gearing Up for Kindergarten
The Situation                                                                                             Impacts
A prevention-focused preschool/parent                                                                     Parent involvement in children’s education is
involvement program for parents and their                                                                 clearly demonstrated to be a benefit for student
children who will be entering kindergarten in the                                                         achievement and emotional and social growth.
following year, Gearing Up for Kindergarten                                                               Schools and families who work well together have
(GUK) is designed to;                                                                                     a greater support system and are likely to
• facilitate child development and school                                                                 experience success in high school and in
     readiness,                                                                                           decision making.
• provide families with an educational
     experience that combines preschool learning                                                          The research is clear that teachers and schools
     activities for pre-kindergarten children with                                                        do impact the likelihood of parent participation in
     parent education and involvement                                                                     their child’s education. Teachers do have the
     opportunities,                                                                                       ability to influence involvement through their
• and, focus on engaging these families in the                                                            attitude and beliefs about parent involvement.
     next 1-2 years.
Program objectives include: (a) School                                                                    Survey questions include the impact on
Readiness for Children Entering Kindergarten, (b)                                                         knowledge, confidence, skills, behavior and
Parent Education, (c) Early Awareness and                                                                 relationship with their child. A striking number of
Intervention, (d) Parent Involvement with                                                                 parents (49.6%) indicated that participation in
Children’s Learning & School (e) Building Home-                                                           Gearing Up for Kindergarten increased their
School-Community Partnerships and (f)                                                                     confidence in being a good parent by “A lot” or
Transition-to-School Knowledge and Practices.                                                             “Very Much”.

Extension Response                                                                                        Documented program impact, when compared to
The NDSU Extension Service / Region IV Parent                                                             a control group, indicates that familiarity with
Information Center collaborated on a record                                                               numbers was 4 times higher and familiarity with
number of classes with the Grand Forks Public                                                             the alphabet was 2.5 times higher for children
Schools in the fall of 2011.                                                                              who participated, compared with those who did
Gearing Up for Kindergarten has been very well
attended in 2011 with 236 families’ enrolled and                                                          Feedback
488 parents participating in classes.                                                                     Post programming outcome survey responses:
                                                                                                          • “He was very proud to share what he did with
Supporting partners include; Phoenix School,                                                                 his dad once we got home!”
University Children’s Center, (where we used a                                                            • “We had a great time…he is EXCITED to go
total of six classrooms) and Grand Forks Head                                                                to school. “
Start and Lake Agassiz School, (where we                                                                  • “It was well planned, who could predict such a
utilized three classrooms) for parent education                                                              HUGE turnout, BUT that's a great problem!”
and onsite childcare for siblings.
Gearing Up for Kindergarten is funded by the                                                              Judith Konerza, PIC Coordinator
legislative Education Bill #2150. Other financial                                                         3351 17th Ave. S.
partners include United Way and Grand Forks                                                               Grand Forks, ND 58201
Schools. Costs for holding one series that                                                                Phone: 701-787-4216 Fax: 701-787-4079
provides parent involvement and school                                                                    E-mail: jkonerza@gfschools.org
readiness education are approximately $5000.                                                              Counties served: Grand Forks, Nelson, Pembina,

County commissions, North Dakota State University and U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. North Dakota State University does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability,
gender expression/identity, genetic information, marital status, national origin, public assistance status, sex, sexual orientation, status as a U.S. veteran, race or religion. Direct inquiries to the
Vice President for Equity, Diversity and Global Outreach, 205 Old Main, (701) 231-7708. This publication will be made available in alternative formats for people with disabilities upon request,
(701) 231-7881. 2012

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