City of Lincoln
2006 Media Releases
City, LPS, Children’s Museum Collaborate on Fourth Annual Event
Local children entering kindergarten next month will again have an opportunity to celebrate the beginning of their school years with the Kindergarten Kickoff. The fourth annual city-wide celebration is made possible through a unique partnership among the Lincoln Public Schools (LPS), the Lincoln Children’s Museum, Lincoln City Libraries and the City of Lincoln.
“Kindergarten is a time of exploration, growth and learning for our children,” said Susan Gourley, Superintendent of Lincoln Public Schools. “It is a time of strong partnership between teachers and parents.” Gourley believes events such as the annual Kindergarten Kickoff help educate the public about the importance of this first year of school. “This city-wide occasion brings our community together – our children, families, educators and community leaders – to honor a significant milestone in student lives,” said Gourley. “This moment underlines the truth that it does indeed take an entire community to support public education.”
In the 2005-2006 school year, LPS broke the previous year’s record with 2,700 kindergartners, the largest kindergarten class ever. “Research shows that early childhood experiences can have a positive impact on the entire life of a child,” said Gourley. “Our community has great pride in its public school system. Lincoln Public Schools takes our responsibility and commitment seriously. We work hard each and every day to meet your expectations and standards for excellence.”
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” Street, for one of four scheduled celebrations (see attached schedule) from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Monday, August 7 through Thursday, August 10. At the Lincoln Children’s Museum celebrations, all incoming kindergartners will receive a free book, “The Little Engine That Could.”
Community leaders, kindergarten teachers and administrators will be in attendance each night at the museum. Gourley and Mayor Coleen J. Seng have been invited to appear at each event. The Mayor has attended every Kindergarten Kickoff celebration at the Children’s Museum and said she is looking forward to meeting the City’s newest students.
“Kindergarten is a magical time for our children, and this celebration recognizes this big step they are taking in their lives,” said Mayor Seng. “The Lincoln Public School system plays an enormous role in the high quality of life we have in this community. The top-notch education we provide for our students has always been one of the biggest drawing cards for corporations and families that are considering a move to Lincoln.”
The annual Kindergarten Kickoff celebration continues to grow in popularity. The number of students attending increased from 1,012 in 2004 to 1,129 in 2005. About 4,000 people attended in 2005 compared to 3,460 in 2004.
Those 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 (keyword: library).
Kindergarten Kickoff Schedule