Kindergarten Intervention for Developmental Success (KIDS) Program
Article Featured in Spring Issue of Know Your Schools
Kindergartener Tommy Cromwell’s face was filled with concentration as he sought to come up with a rhyme for “hand” from the word wall in his East Hanover classroom. Suddenly, he smiled and said “and.”
Lower Dauphin Reading Specialist Amy Sell smiled back and praised him for his efforts.
Finding rhymes is an important strategy in developing the skills to become an independent reader. Developing these skills is the mission of the school district’s Kindergarten Intervention for Developmental Success (KIDS) program which Mrs. Sell teaches. More than 40 kindergarten students were invited to enroll in the program across the district. This is the first year the program has been offered.
KIDS classes are held in the afternoon once a week after the kindergarteners finish their regular classes in the morning. It is an intensive program focusing on literacy and language with small class sizes to provide targeted instruction for each student.
“KIDS has been successful for the students who need that gift of extra time to develop literacy skills,” said Michele Balliet, assistant to the superintendent for curriculum and instruction.
Almost every session, the classes are filled with looks of concentration followed by smiles when a student succeeds. And the successes have occurred – four students have “graduated” from the program.
Parent Eric Yoxheimer said the program had a big impact on his son Wyatt. “The emphasis with the KIDS program was on reading and confidence building in the school setting,” Mr. Yoxheimer said. “And we found improvement in his reading and his confidence and liking school. It starts a trend for the next 12 years and was very positive.”
Successes like those achieved by Wyatt and Tommy are the goal of the program, Mrs. Sell said. However, even small gains are important and nearly every child in the KIDS program has shown improvement in language and literacy skills and in their self-confidence toward working in school.