Great Start

Great Start is a series of eight free workshops at six Prince George’s County elementary schools (Bond Mill Elementary, Calverton Elementary, Deerfield Run Elementary, James H. Harrison Elementary, Laurel Elementary, and Scotchtown Hills Elementary) for parents of pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, and second grade students.

During the 2018-19 school year:

1.Sessions one and two are focused on reading. Teachers lead workshops on the first of the two nights for each grade level, explaining what skills children need to master that year and offering ways parents can help. The second of the two nights is a Reading Family Fun Night, where parents and children play reading games together and go home with all of the instructions and supplies to play them there.  These evenings, and all evenings throughout the year, include a meal for the whole family, Spanish translation of the workshops, and children’s enrichment activities.

2. The third session focuses on behavior in school and at home. For behavior management at home, the workshop teaches a method called 1-2-3 Magic, which provides techniques to quickly stop negative behavior.

3. The fourth and fifth sessions focus on math. On the fourth night teachers lead workshops for each grade level on what math skills students need to learn that year, and how parents can help. The fifth session is a Math Family Fun Night, where parents and children play fun reading games together and go home with all of the instructions and supplies to play them there.

4. The sixth session, in January, focuses on motivating positive behavior. It presents numerous strategies from 1-2-3 Magic.

5. The seventh session is held in February, and focuses on skills that the students need to master in the second half of the year and how to foster writing skills. Teachers also explain what standardized reading tests children take, and give the test results to the parents.

6. The eighth and final workshop is in May, focusing on summer activities to help children retain their skills and looking ahead to the skills to be mastered in the next grade.

All the Family Nights begin with dinner at 6:00 PM and end by 8:00 PM.

If you are the parent of a pre-K, kindergarten, 1st- or 2nd-grade student at one of our six partner schools, you can register for Great Start through flyers sent home with your children.

Here are the dates for the 2018-2019 year.

School Day Reading Behavior in School & Home Math Motivate Positive Behavior Writing, Test Scores Summer Activities, Look at Coming Year
Bond Mill Wed Sept. 26, Oct. 3 Oct. 17 Nov. 14, 28 Jan. 9 Feb. 13 May 8
Calverton Tues Sept. 25, Oct. 2 Oct. 23 Nov. 13, 27 Jan. 15 Feb. 12 May 14
Deerfield Run Tues Sept. 25, Oct. 2 Oct. 23 Nov. 13, 27 Jan. 15 Feb. 12 May 7
James Harrison Thurs Sept. 27,          Oct. 4 Oct. 25 Nov. 15, 29 Jan. 17 Feb. 21 May 16
Laurel Wed Oct. 3, 10 Oct. 24 Nov. 28, Dec. 5 Jan. 16 Feb. 20 May 15
Scotchtown Hills Thurs Sept. 27,          Oct. 4 Oct. 25 Nov. 15, 29 Jan. 10 Feb. 28 May 16

Read about the successes of the Great Start program.


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