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StoryWalk planned for children entering kindergarten

WESTFIELD – Children entering kindergarten in the fall are invited to participate in a Kindergarten Kick-off Story/Walk on Aug. 5 in Amelia’s Garden, 21 South Broad St. located behind the Amelia Park Arena.

Coordinator Paula Hebert-Pike said the Kick off Story/Walk is sponsored by the Westfield Coordinated Family and Community Engagement (CFCE) program on a grant by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care.

“In the past we have had a large kick-off event in collaboration with the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Westfield, however due to the current circumstances we are not able to do that this year. We decided to do a kindergarten themed storywalk as a way to offer incoming kindergarten students a fun event before they begin school,” Hebert-Pike said.

Pages of the book “Welcome to Kindergarten” by Anne Rockwell will be staked into the ground along the pathway around the garden, and families will walk along and read the story together. To ensure social distancing, Hebert-Pike asked that families register for a time slot. The StoryWalk is from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., with slots every five minutes.

To register for the StoryWalk, parents may email Hebert-Pike at [email protected] or her co-worker Angela Zorzi at [email protected] Siblings of kindergarten students are welcome to go on the walk.

At the event, families will receive kindergarten readiness information and a kindergarten-themed book for the students, “In Kindergarten,” created by and provided to the CFCE by the Berkshire Museum.

Hebert-Pike thanked Christina Pagella, the general manager of Amelia Park Arena for the use of the park for the StoryWalk.

Families who have not yet registered their student for kindergarten in the Westfield Public Schools may do so now online at www.schoolsofwestfield.org, and clicking on the red button for online registration 2021-2022.

Susan Dargie, director of curriculum and instruction, said once the online registration form is completed, needed documents may be emailed, mailed or dropped off at the district’s central office at 94 North Elm St. in the Westwood building. Online registration may also be completed at the district office for families in need of access or assistance by calling Sarah Kotarski at 413-572-6439 to make an appointment for registration or with any questions.

Dargie said 269 kindergarteners have already registered for the fall, but there is usually a lull in July so she encourages parents to register now. Once registered, individual elementary schools will get in touch with incoming students and let them know about upcoming activities and dates.

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