Bellefonte

Ready to learn: Pleasant Gap Elementary holds kindergarten registration

Kindergarten teacher Shea Hazel works with Jolene Witherite during kindergarten registration Tuesday at Pleasant Gap Elementary School.
Kindergarten teacher Shea Hazel works with Jolene Witherite during kindergarten registration Tuesday at Pleasant Gap Elementary School. CDT photo

Jolene Witherite grabbed a pencil and wrote numbers on a white piece of paper as she was asked to.

But when Pleasant Gap Elementary School kindergarten teacher Shea Hazel asked her to write the number nine, Jolene was stumped.

“That’s OK,” Hazel said. “Do your best.”

Jolene is a soon-to-be kindergartener whose parents attended kindergarten registration at the school on Tuesday afternoon.

“She’s our first so I’m excited now, but know I’ll cry on her first day,” said Melanie Witherite, Jolene’s mother.

Tuesday was the second round of kindergarten registration at Pleasant Gap where teachers and staff interacted with future students during an assessment, and their parents signed them up for school.

Kindergarten teacher Megan Rankin said nine children were signed up, but she expects many more.

“We hold these meet-and-greet type things twice, but registration will be open all summer,” she said.

Pleasant Gap has two kindergarten classes.

This year, there are 19 students in Hazel and Rankin’s classes, and they expect it to be similar next school year.

“We’ll be assigned students in August, so we’ll know by then,” Hazel said.

Rankin said, for the most part, it’s an easy transition into kindergarten for children, because most students go to day care or preschool that prepares them for the next step.

But for others who may not be as enthusiastic, Hazel said the school will hold a kindergarten camp in August to help boost their spirits.

“It shows them a day in the life of what to expect, and we work a lot with parents who might be apprehensive,” Hazel said.

Hazel said students should know how to recognize and write some letters, numbers and shapes.

And those are some things Jolene already knows.

“She works on this stuff at day care and then we practice at home,” Melanie Witherite said. “She’s so excited so I really think she’s ready.”

The last kindergarten registration date in the Bellefonte Area School District is 8:30 a.m. to 2:50 p.m. Wednesday at Marion-Walker Elementary School.

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