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Partnership encourages school readiness

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FLATHEAD RESERVATION — Transitioning from a life of free-range growth to structured public education can be a huge leap for both parents and children gearing up for kindergarten, but upcoming meetings hosted by the Best Beginnings Child Partnership aim to make sure both grown-ups and tots are prepared to head into the new phase of life. 

The Best Beginnings Child Partnership is a collaboration of all different organizations and businesses involved in early childhood on the Flathead Reservation. In the past three years the group has worked to train early childhood educators on what youngsters need to know based on information gathered from local school districts. 

“We kind of created, based on the information from all the different districts, this basic guide for parents of ‘this is what you need to know,’” said partnership coordinator Caroline McDonald. 

This year the partnership is hosting three events geared toward parents and guardians of 4-year-olds. The meeting will provide resources that let parents know what academic expectations teachers might have of children, like alphabet recognition or knowing how to write a name. 

Social and emotional expectations are also explained. 

“Sometimes we forget those skills are actual things that kids need to practice,” McDonald said. 

The events will include dinner, demonstrations from local volunteers, prizes and written material. 

“We are really excited about being able to offer this to the community,” McDonald said. “This gives parents the chance to make connections with the people who will be working with their kids for the next 15 years.” 

Event dates and contact information are as follows: 

• Polson Headstart, March 11 at 5:30 p.m. Contact Lisa Wall-Wilbert at 

• Dayton School, March 12 at 5:30 p.m. Contact Emerald Green at

• Ronan/Pablo Headstart, March 18 at 5:30 p.m. Contact Joan Graham at (406) 676-3390, ext. 7450. 


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