Close to 450 youngsters participated in the kindergarten registration process last week, as well as 169 children qualifying for pre-kindergarten.
Screening coordinators Melany Crothers and Janet Nunley expected a large turn out this year, and made preparations to accommodate the crowd.
The excited children and their parents enjoyed visiting different stations set up in the West Elementary gymnasium. While the parents took on the task of completing the required paperwork, the children were allowed to play in a supervised area with large building blocks, Legos, assorted games and mini kitchen displays.
“It takes about an hour to complete the process with lots of paperwork,” said Crothers. “But this is something they won’t have to worry about in the fall.”
Each school was represented by staff members and met one-on-one with the students, quizzing them on a variety of subjects. While there, the children had a vision test provided by the Warren County Lions Club.
Veteran testers Bob Davenport and Inez Nunley were on hand manning the station, with assistance from fellow Lions Club members from DeKalb County.
“They are always good about helping us in anything we need, so we decided to offer assistance to them,” said Smithville Lion Steve Repasy.
Nurses with the Warren County School System checked the children’s hearing, with speech therapists providing speech evaluations. Notary publics were always on hand, as well as ESL teachers to assist with language barriers.
Warren County High School’s child development students were present, helping in many aspects of the registration process.
“We are so happy to have our volunteers helping us,” said Nunley. “It takes a lot of planning, but everything seems to be going very well this year. We did much better spreading out the appointment times.”
Lindsey Williams was going through the process for the first time with her daughter Briar, who will be attending Centertown Elementary.
“It was a little overwhelming when I first came in, but everyone was so helpful and they made it very easy,” said Williams.
Mother Daphany Cox had double duty, as she registered her two children, Eythan and Natalie. They will both begin kindergarten at Hickory Creek Elementary.
“I have double paperwork, and I can finally see the end,” said Cox. “The kids are playing and having a good time while I fill out the papers.”