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Get your child ready for kindergarten

Gear up for a new beginning!

Gearing Up for Kindergarten is a school readiness and parent involvement program for 4-year-olds that helps every child get off to a great school start. It is a research-based school readiness and parent education program to assist parents and their children in preparing for the transition to kindergarten.  The program focuses on families with a child entering kindergarten. Entering kindergarten is a major milestone in the life of a child. Kids need to be ready for school, and schools need to be ready for kids.

Why Gearing Up for Kindergarten?

  • Enhance school readiness.
  • Increase awareness of child needs.
  • Gain parenting tips and tools.
  • Improve parent involvement in school build partnerships among home, school, and community.
  • Parents learn techniques to help their child develop academic, social, emotional, motor and language skills.

Who attends?

Your child is growing up and about to step out into new territory—starting school. Take advantage of this unique chance for your child and you to explore the school adventure together. Walk alongside your child and participate in this interactive world of learning. Enhance your role in teaching your child.  Experience the first steps of this exciting journey together. It is indeed a new beginning.

Even if your child is already attending preschool, Gearing UP for Kindergarten is for you!  

How does it work?


  • Parents/caregiver and their child attend the year prior to entering kindergarten.


  • Children and parents attend interactive learning sessions together.
  • The program utilizes small group learning and activity sessions to facilitate school readiness and parent education.
  • Parents and children benefit by attending weekly sessions.
  • The program is offered by trained early childhood educators, usually kindergarten teachers and parent educators.

Some Benefits for Children:


  • Expectations of kindergarten students are higher than in previous generations.


A child’s involvement in education is like running a marathon. School readiness efforts assist children in getting to the starting line fully prepared. Children who start behind struggle to catch up.


  • Enhancing early academic skills


Gearing Up for Kindergarten programs show gains in basic academic skills, on average two times higher than for children not in the program.


  • Building confidence and familiarity with school.


Many children deal with anxiety and lack of familiarity with school routines, expectations and environment as they enter kindergarten. Children gain confidence and familiarity with school so they can make an easier and successful transition.

Parents are a child’s first and most important teacher. The home is a child’s first classroom.   

Some Benefits for Parents:


  • Building parenting skills and learning support for children.


Gearing UP for Kindergarten helps parents and other caregivers build their parenting knowledge and skills, explore how to provide a supportive learning environment at home and learn expectations for child’s school readiness.


  • Learning about healthy parenting and school readiness.


Many parents need and want support in their role of preparing their children for success in school.


  • Providing a supportive learning environment.


Parents are introduced to ideas and activities to support home learning with young children.


  • Learning expectations for school readiness.


Parents learn the expectations for children entering school so they are able to help their children becomes familiar with the school setting, teachers and routines.

Gearing Up for Kindergarten strives to build positive working relationships among families, schools and communities to facilitate school readiness and success.

Some Benefits for Schools and Communities:


  • Building positive relationships with families.


  • Establishing cooperation in learning supports among home, school and community
  • Facilitating parent involvement and community engagement in school readiness.


  • Support for Quality Early Learning Experiences.


High-quality early learning experiences are critical to closing the “readiness gap.”

Who gets to come to Gearing UP for Kindergarten?

YOU DO!  You and your child are invited to experience this once in lifetime chance that makes a lifetime difference.

Looking for a Gearing Up for Kindergarten program near you?  Contact your local school.

West Dakota Parent & Family Resource Center is currently taking registration for the Dickinson Public Schools Gearing Up for Kindergarten site.

To register for Gearing Up for Kindergarten log on to and click on Gearing Up for Kindergarten or call 456-0007.