Getting kids ready for kindergarten involves much more than just shopping for school supplies. Preschoolers need to be prepared in many profound ways to begin the first step of their educational journey.
Beyond the Backpack gives parents and caregivers the help they need to prepare their children for kindergarten and the ensuing years, providing tips, activities and resources covering four major areas: language and math skills, social and emotional skills, physical wellness and parent involvement in schools.
Parents can use the initiative’s website at beyondthebackpack.com to build a customized learning plan for their children. There they’ll find a kindergarten readiness quiz and printable checklist, school readiness plans, skill-building activities and other resources, all of which are available in both English and Spanish.
The site was developed with the help of educators and developmental experts. The National Parent Teacher Association is the initiative’s signature grassroots partner, providing critical on-the-ground support.
Research shows that early education is vital for children. Kids who get off to a good start by or before kindergarten tend to maintain that advantage as they progress through school. But educational achievement gaps often already exist by the start of kindergarten, and the larger the gap is, the harder it is to close. Beyond the Backpack is Nickelodeon’s way of helping close that gap and helping many more children thrive at school.