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Summer Camp in California District Helps Kids Get Ready for School

Summer camp is usually a time for fun and games for kids, but the Sacramento Bee features a story about a California school district that is using it as a much-needed time to prepare young kids for entering kindergarten.

About 228 students, many of whom have never been to preschool, are attending the five- week program in nine prekindergarten camps run by the Sacramento City Unified School District. The program is funded by the First 5 Sacramento and First 5 California, programs that aid low-income children with money from a tobacco tax, the article says.

"Statistics show that children who haven't had preschool take six weeks to feel comfortable enough to engage and be at a higher level of participation (in kindergarten)," says Donna Elmore, the administrator of child development for the Sacramento district, in the Bee article. "That's a lot of lost time."

Kindergarten teacher Lor Xiong, who is teaching at one of the camps, says she helps kids deal with separation anxiety from their parents so that kindergarten won't be as difficult a transition for them. Also, she says preschool programs, in general, let kids learn how to raise their hand to ask questions, are able to sit during instruction, and have the social skills to play well with other children, the article says.

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