Pre-K pilot program aims to help children with no early childhood education

United Way, YISD launch 'Summer K Kamp'

EL PASO, Texas - Early childhood education is meant to prepare children for kindergarten by teaching social skills, classroom behavior and the early stages of basic reading skills.

For those children who miss out on Pre-K, United Way of El Paso and the Ysleta Independent School District teamed up to launch a summer readiness program called 'Summer K Kamp'.

The two-week pilot program will offer basic classroom etiquette most children learn in a Pre-K. The camp is also expected to help kids build their personal libraries at home.

"While we have a wonderful headstart program in El Paso, we still have a lot of children in our community who enter kindergarten without early childhood education," said Deborah Zuloaga, CEO of United Way.

United Way of El Paso estimated for every 3,000 children signed up for kindergarten in El Paso County, one-third of the students did not attend Pre-K.

Zuloaga said United Way wants to make the transition easier for children entering the classroom for the first time.

'Summer K Kamp' is part of a long-term initiative in which United Way wants to ensure children in the area are at reading level by third grade.

The pilot program is funded by a $100,000 grant from Wells Fargo.

YISD is in the process of selecting 40 children who have registered for kinder. The district will select the students by identifying those who have not attended Pre-K.

If the program is successful this summer, Zuloaga said it will be introduced to other school districts in El Paso.

Parents who would like to get assistance from the United Way to help prepare their children for kindergarten can contact the United Way of El Paso at (915) 533-2434.

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