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United Way of Porter County and Portage Township School Corporation Announce Pilot Kindergarten Readiness Program

United Way of Porter County (UWPC) is excited to announce a pilot program – Kinder Kamp – to prepare children entering into kindergarten this fall with the skills they need to be successful.

UWPC is the recipient of a kindergarten readiness grant from the Indiana Association of United Ways, and has partnered with Portage Township Schools to offer two Kinder Kamps during the month of July.

“Some of our kids come to their first day of school not ready. It’s not just knowing the alphabet, but also the ability to line up and follow a schedule and to sit still and listen and follow directions,” said Dr. Deb Dudek, Director of Curriculum for Portage Schools. “The beautiful component is that the Kinder Kamp will be taught by kindergarten teachers using the curriculum already being used in the schools. There are two classes with 18 children, each with a teacher and an aide.”

Reading is a strong component of the Kinder Kamp. Leveraging a strong relationship with Scholastic, books were purchased so that the students can bring books home for their personal library. “Reading is so fundamental to a child’s success in school. Verbal, cognitive, and imaginative skills build with each book read,” states Sharon Kish, UWPC President. “There is nothing more important than getting the kids off to a great start.”

The camp runs from July 7 through July 21, from 8:30-11:30 a.m. at Myers Elementary in Portage. Children have access to bus transportation and the summer meal program, which serves breakfast and lunch daily.

If you are interested in volunteering or becoming a sponsor, please contact Sharon Kish or Kim Olesker ( at 219-464-3583 for details.

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