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Do you know someone who was born in 2010?

If so, kindergarten is around the corner. Later this summer, as it comes to pass every year, millions of children will crowd around doors at their local elementary schools—many smiling, some crying—ready to begin their first day of kindergarten. Although the first day of kindergarten is still a few months off, the time to start thinking about transition is now.

We dedicate this issue of the FINE Newsletter to the transition to school. We do this because a smooth transition to school makes a difference for student outcomes, and also because it is a matter of equity. Research shows that children from homes with increased social and economic risk benefit the most from transition activities; yet these are the children least likely to receive them. We seek to not only explore the evidence-base supporting the importance of the transition to school, but also, to profile programs in high-risk districts that are working to address inequalities.

In this issue we:

  • Highlight four important things research tells us about the transition to school;
  • Explore strategies the Silicon Valley Community Foundation's Center for Early Learning has used in its bold initiative to develop ready children, ready families, ready schools, and ready communities, in one county in California;
  • Discover how Iridescent, a national nonprofit, stimulates children’s early interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) through workshops and mentoring for the entire family; and
  • Talk with the program Comienza en Casa | It Starts at Home to learn how the program uses technology to prepare migrant children and families in rural Maine for the transition to school.

We thank you for reading, as always, and invite you to pass this issue on to interested friends and colleagues. We also hope you’ll send us any comments that you might have!


Commentary

Four Important Things Research Tells Us About the Transition to School
The transition to school is a process—not just a one-time event—and begins during children’s preschool years and continues into and on through the early elementary grades. Find out four important things research tells us about the transition.


Voices From the Field

Building Bridges to Success  Building Bridges to Success
In 2010, Silicon Valley Community Foundation's Center for Early Learning started a bold and innovative initiative designed to ensure success by third grade for all children in San Mateo County, California. It focuses on ready children, ready families, ready schools, and ready communities.
Engaging Families in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Project-Based Learning Engaging Families in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Project-Based Learning
To be successful, children need a strong science, technology, engineering, and math foundation. Learn how Iridescent, a project funded in part by the National Science Foundation, connects families, engineers, and children to develop these skills early on in school. 

migrant children and families using technology

Q & A With Comienza en Casa: Using Technology to Smooth the Transition to School for Migrant Children and Families
In this Q & A, the developers of Comienza en Casa │“It Starts at Home,” talk about supporting migrant families to ensure their children have smooth transitions to school through the use of real-world and digital activities. 


HFRP Interact

What’s New for Parent U? Web Conference Recording

What’s New for Parent U? Web Conference Recording
Parent universities are school-sponsored workshops and seminars that develop families’ capacity to support their children’s development and learning. In this parent university web conference, expert practitioners and enthusiastic participants explore new resources that promote family engagement. 


Family Involvement News

Harvard Family Research Project's Family Engagement News

Family Involvement News: March 2015
What effective family engagement strategies promote educational equity? How can professionals who work with families use their experiences to shape the future of professional development? How can technology support home–school communication? Read here to answer these questions and more!


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© 2017 Presidents and Fellows of Harvard College
Published by Harvard Family Research Project