Program Uses Play to Help Students Adjust to School

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Program Uses Play to Help Students Adjust to School

June 01, 2017 - 05:30
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City School District of New Rochelle

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NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Starting school can be a difficult adjustment for children, but three New Rochelle elementary schools are implementing an evidence-based program to help students make a smooth transition. The national program developed by Children's Institute is called "Primary Project" and is grant-funded.

Barnard and Trinity received awards three years ago to fund Primary Project for their kindergarten and first grade students. Recently, both schools were granted national certification from the Children's Institute for their excellent implementations of the program.

The successful programs at Barnard and Trinity inspired Jefferson Elementary School Principal Kimmerly Nieves to develop a program for her students under the direction of Dr. Diane Massimo, Associate Superintendent. Their plan was recognized as "stellar" by Children's Institute, and Jefferson is the latest school to be awarded a grant for Primary Project.

The program will be implemented at Jefferson in the fall. Following program standards, Jefferson will designate a playroom where students can gain confidence, cultivate social skills and develop academic motivation, all through play.

"We are thrilled that students at Jefferson will be able to take part in this innovative program," said Nieves. "Research shows that children learn through play. With careful evaluation and progress monitoring, this program will help maximize students' learning potential."

Jefferson students who can most benefit from the program will be chosen using data-based candidate selection. Fifteen kindergarten students and 15 first graders in all are expected to participate in the new program.