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BPS Hosts 17th Annual Countdown to Kindergarten Celebration


The Boston Public Schools hosted the 17th Annual Countdown to Kindergarten Celebration on Tuesday, August 30, at Boston Children's Museum. Mayor Martin J. Walsh, members of the Boston School Committee, Superintendent Tommy Chang, and more than 650 kindergartners were in attendance.

"Boston continues to place a strong emphasis on early education among our youngest residents," said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. "It's never too early for children to begin learning, and I'm proud to join families and educators in supporting our shared vision for robust early education."

The celebration was a free, citywide event that welcomed first time kindergartners and their families from across the city.

"Every year, the Committee looks forward to welcoming hundreds of our youngest students into Boston Public Schools," said Boston School Committee Chairperson Michael O'Neill. "The Committee is grateful to everyone, including all of our community partners, for making the celebration a huge success."

The new kindergarteners wore their infamous "I'm going to kindergarten!" yellow t-shirts - and took part in an afternoon of activities, food and fun-- all in preparation for their first day of school.

"We are thrilled to be a partner of Countdown to Kindergarten since its inception," said Jeri Robinson, Boston Children's Museum's Vice President of Early Learning Initiatives and Boston School Committee Member. "It really is heartwarming to watch the kids and families embark on their educational journey."

Participants were able to enjoy free access to the Museum's exhibits, pose questions and have them answered by BPS personnel, and take advantage of free dental and vision screenings. This event was made possible by event sponsors, which include: Cradles to Crayons, Boston Children's Hospital, MEFA, Whole Foods Markets,and WGBH/the Krueger Foundation. Other partnering organizations include the Boston Public Health Commission, the Boston Public Library, the Boston University School of Dental Medicine, New England Eye On-Sight Mobile Vision Clinic, and many more.

"We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Boston Children's Museum, and all of our key sponsors who share in our vision of preparing students for success at Boston Public Schools," said Superintendent Tommy Chang. "Part of achieving increased access to early education is building a community around closing opportunity and achievement gaps, and developing the whole child. It is evident that our families and students are excited, and we look forward to providing them with all of the support necessary for their success this year."

Each kindergartner will leave with a backpack full of school supplies and families will have the opportunity to participate in mini-readiness workshops - stations led by BPS teachers where children and their families can learn how to use materials typically used in the classroom to support their learning at home.

"Countdown to Kindergarten continues to be moved by all the excitement around the annual citywide celebration that welcomes our youngest scholars to BPS," said Director of Countdown to Kindergarten Sonia Gomez-Banrey. "We would like to extend a special thanks to all our partners that help make the event possible and most importantly, congratulate our parents for choosing BPS and remaining engaged throughout their child's educational career."

 View Photos of the event 


 WATCH: Boston City TV reports on Countdown to Kindergarten

Countdown to Kindergarten 2016
Countdown to Kindergarten 2016

WATCH: Boston City TV reports on Countdown to Kindergarten