This month, Forest Park Elementary second-graders, along with five other area elementaries, are participating in the little buddy/big buddy system, meant to help future kindergarten students make a smooth transition from pre-school to full day kindergarten.
"It helps them to know what to expect when they come next year," Title One Director Debbie Zimmerman said about the program, "The first week they went to the library, the following week they rode a school bus. This week, they are visiting a kindergarten classroom, and on the final week, they will eat lunch in the cafeteria."
On Thursday, current second-graders (the big buddies) read the book "Tip-toe into Kindergarten" by Jacqueline Rogers, to next year's perspective kindergarteners (the little buddies).
Fairren Franc said she is glad her son, Matthew Carroll, is participating in this program.
"It benefits them by knowing a new person at the school that is older, and it also shows them they can strive to be a big buddy when their opportunity comes," Franc said.
To set up the program, teachers and school officials send letters and acquire books, games, activities and snacks.
In addition, each big buddy has practiced reading the kindergarten book many times to help his or her little buddy.
"The parents enjoy it and the kids do too. It's a good boost for the younger ones to start kindergarten," Title One Instructional Assistant Arletta Keller said.