Kinder Bridge prepares BVSD students for Kindergarten
In 2013, in collaboration with Boulder Housing Partners, Impact on Education piloted a summer literacy program for children living in Kalmia public housing in north Boulder. 40 students participated in that first Summer Shuffle program, which eventually grew to serve 60 students across three Boulder public housing sites.
In 2022, the program, now called Kinder Bridge, became part of BVSD’s summer learning program – Summer Summit. Impact on Education funding now enables 160 students to receive four weeks of full-day instruction to prepare them for their first year of school.
2023 program and results
“The whole school had social-emotional time every morning. Doing those activities and team building within our classroom was really helpful. It gave the kids a grounding point.”– Lead Educator, Kinder Bridge
The 2023 Kinder Bridge summer enrichment program delivered 105 hours of programming to 160 incoming Kindergarten students. Transportation, school supplies, and nutritious meals, along with lessons on healthy behaviors and social-emotional learning, were included in the program.
Licensed educators conducted Kinder Bridge at four Summer Summit locations across Boulder County: Emerald Elementary School in Broomfield, Whittier Elementary School in Boulder, Lafayette Elementary School in Lafayette, and Monarch PK-8 in Louisville.
New this year, students were given a preview of the first month of the Kindergarten curriculum. The site leaders believe students responded well and that the familiarity with both the school routine and academic content would lead to stronger school readiness.
“They’re going to ride the bus, they’re getting a full day. They are going to specials. They get to learn how to stand in line and how to walk from their classroom to the lunchroom and how to put their stuff away in their cubby. I saw a lot of growth in school readiness.”– Lead Educator, Kinder Bridge
An important element of the original Summer Shuffle program was family engagement, which we were thrilled to bring back to Kinder Bridge this year. Two partnerships allowed us to offer opportunities for parents and guardians to participate in Kinder Bridge:
- WOW! Children’s Museum – This local museum brought their “Romping Stomping Dinosaurs” program to each site and welcomed parents to participate, helping their little learners practice counting and comparing. Over 40 parents attended.
- Vroom – In partnership with Parent Possible, families were encouraged to download the Vroom app (available in 19 languages) which offers 1,000 science-based Brain-Building Activities that boost children’s brain development and help prepare them for school. Nearly 40% of the families downloaded the app.
Continued learning and growth
Each year we learn how we can improve the program for the following summer. Two ways we’ll continue growing Kinder Bridge next summer include:
- Increasing our community outreach to enroll more families who are not yet involved with BVSD
- Providing more one on one support for students with high needs
We know opportunity gaps start early, and it’s why Impact on Education remains committed to investing in early childhood education.
BEFORE YOU GO …
Impact on Education is a nonprofit organization, and we depend on our community to help us put our mission into action. We need your help to to provide opportunity and resources to 29,000 students and 4,000 educators in the Boulder Valley School District.