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The Kindergarten Kickoff project was first inspired by the R2L Board's desire to provide continued literacy support and encouragement to young learners in the Grinnell area as they transition to kindergarten. The project officially launched in 2021 thanks to the organizational and leadership support of the Grinnell Education Partnership AmeriCorps VISTA members.
The Kindergarten Kickoff brings together businesses and organizations from the area, such as Grinnell United Way, Connected PTO, Grinnell-Newburg School Foundation, Grinnell Mutual, Manatt's Inc., and Bayer, to provide a summer fun-themed, literacy-focused gift bag to every preschool graduate who resides in Poweshiek County or within the community school districts of Grinnell-Newburg, Brooklyn-Guernsey-Malcolm (BGM), or Montezuma.
The bags are given in celebration of preschool-aged children graduating from preschool and preparing for kindergarten. Eligible children receive a reusable Read2Lead tote, beach towel, water bottle, and teacher-recommended, high-quality children's books. The bags also include items that promote outdoor play, imagination, and fun, such as bubbles, chalk, crayons, sunglasses, and a beach ball.