City of Lincoln
2005 Media Releases
City, Lincoln Public Schools, Children’s Museum collaborate on third annual event
The usual scholastic pomp and circumstance is normally reserved for students who have achieved their educational goals. But through a unique local partnership, Lincoln’s kindergartners will again have an opportunity to celebrate the start of their school years.
Kindergarten Kickoff – a partnership among the Lincoln Public Schools (LPS), the Lincoln Children’s Museum, Lincoln City Libraries and the City of Lincoln – is a city-wide celebration to recognize children who will enter kindergarten this fall. LPS Superintendent Susan Gourley praised the third annual Kindergarten Kickoff for raising public awareness about the significance of kindergarten as an important first step in school. “Kindergarten is such an important time; it is appropriate to celebrate the advent of this milestone in our children’s lives,” said Gourley. “Kindergarten Kickoff engages families, educators and community members in a city-wide effort to celebrate and support our children’s transition into school.” Gourley noted that Lincoln Public Schools had a record large kindergarten class last year, with more than 2,500 children starting school. “This fall we anticipate welcoming even more kindergartners and setting a brand new kindergarten record,” she said.
All children registered to attend kindergarten in Lincoln this fall were mailed an invitation encouraging them to visit a Lincoln City Library, register for their very own library card and receive a free Kindergarten Kickoff tee shirt. Kindergartners wearing their tee shirts, and their family members, will be admitted free to the Children’s Museum, 1420 “P” St., for one of four scheduled recognition events where their school is to be featured (see attached schedule). The recognition events are from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Monday, August 8 through Thursday, August 11. At the Children’s Museum recognitions, all incoming kindergartners will receive a free book, “Clifford’s ABC” or “The Berenstain Bears Go To School.”
Mayor Coleen J. Seng, who will attend her third Kindergarten Kickoff celebration, praised the event, Lincoln’s schools and the overall impact they have on Lincoln’s quality of life.
“Our schools are one of the biggest selling points in attracting new residents and businesses to our City,” said Mayor Seng. “This is a wonderful city-wide celebration that will encourage our children as they begin their journey to lifelong learning. This helps our youngsters get into the routine of visiting the City libraries to check out books and to explore their world through reading.”
Community leaders, kindergarten teachers and administrators will be in attendance each night at the museum. Dr. Gourley and Mayor Seng have been invited to appear at each event.
Statistics show that the annual Kindergarten Kickoff celebration is growing in popularity. Last year, 1,012 students attended the events compared to 674 in 2003. Just over 3,450 family members attended in 2004 compared to 2,628 the previous year, while 158 teachers and administrators attended last year compared to 93 in 2003.
Students and families wanting additional information on the Kindergarten Kickoff can call Pat Leach, Lincoln City Libraries, at 441-8565, or visit the City library Web site at lincoln.ne.gov or lincolnlibraries.org.
Kindergarten Kickoff Schedule - Lincoln Children’s Museum