Preschool students participate in Pave the Path at GPS elementary schools
Transitioning from preschool to kindergarten can sometimes feel a little scary for our youngest GPS students. To help students and their families overcome any fears and anxieties, Gilbert Public Schools recently launched Pave the Path. The new annual initiative allows preschoolers who are enrolled in GPS programs to see for themselves what it’s like to be in Kindergarten.
“It’s amazing, because we’ve never done this before,” said Isabel Otto, the lead teacher of four-year-old students in the Building Blocks program at Spectrum Elementary.
During the month of March, more than 800 preschool students participated in Pave the Path at a GPS elementary school campus or virtually online with a partner campus. As part of the experience, preschoolers from the K-Prep, Advantage, TOYBOX, and Building Blocks programs spent time inside a Kindergarten classroom doing activities such as storytime, scavenger hunts, worksheets, and games with Kindergarten teachers and students.
“They always see the big kids in the hallway, so this is fun for them to get to hang out with the big kids,” Otto said.
Pave the Path gets preschoolers excited about starting their K-6th grade journey with GPS by providing time for them to meet their teachers and learn more about the work they will be doing next year. Kindergarten teachers worked in collaboration with preschool instructors to tailor the Pave the Path experience directly to the needs of their students and the style of their school’s campus. Preschool students also received stickers with the message “I paved the path to Kindergarten.”
GPS families will have the opportunity before every school year to tour classrooms and meet teachers. Parents who are available can also volunteer to assist with the open house events on their school’s campus.