Great Start

Great Start is a series of eight free Family Nights 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 2019-20 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 math. Teachers lead workshops for each grade level on what math skills students need to learn that year, and how parents can help. The session also includes math games, which parents and children play together. They go home with all of the instructions and supplies to play them there.

3. The fourth and fifth sessions focus on behavior in school and at home. For behavior management at home, the fourth workshop teaches a method called 1-2-3 Magic, which provides techniques to quickly stop negative behavior. The fifth session focuses on numerous strategies from 1-2-3 Magic that can be used to motivate positive behavior.

4. The sixth session focuses on ways parents can help their children master informational reading, as distinct from reading fiction.

5. The seventh session focuses on how students can build their writing skills. Teachers also explain what standardized reading tests the children take, and give the test results to the parents.

6. The eighth and final workshop focuses on summer activities to help children retain their skills and a look 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 2019-2020 year.

Schools Reading Nights Math Night Behavior Sessions Info Reading Night Writing Night Next Grade
Bond Mill 9/25, 10/16 11/06 11/20, 01/08 02/05 03/04 05/13
Calverton 9/24, 10/22 11/12 11/19, 01/21 02/18 03/17 05/12
Deerfield Run 10/15, 10/29 11/12 12/03, 01/14 02/11 03/10 05/05
James Harrison 9/26, 10/10 11/07 12/05, 01/09 02/06 03/05 05/14
Laurel 10/02, 10/23 11/13 12/04, 01/15 02/12 03/11 05/20
Scotchtown Hills 10/03, 10/17 11/14 12/12, 01/16 02/13 03/12 05/21

Read about the successes of the Great Start program.

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