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Young Students Attend KinderCamp, Prep for First Days at Detroit Merit

Eager young faces filed into Detroit Merit Charter Academy last week to get a feel for the beginning of their school journey. They were met by a staff eager to answer questions, explain activities, and dole out snacks to help with their comfort level.
 

Lower Elementary Dean Sally Socia led the KinderCamp program this year with a focus on creating a welcoming environment for the youngest students.
 
“Everyone was excited, including the parents and teachers,” Socia said. “There were some students who were a little nervous at first, but once they found their seat with their new friends they warmed right up.”
 

The students got a good idea of what a full day of kindergarten would be. Favorite activities throughout the day included coloring, recess, and singing the song “Down by the Bay.” Students also read the story “The House that Jack Built,” then created their own house as a color, cut, and paste activity. They were introduced to school routines like standing and walking in line and sitting on the carpet.
 
“We wanted it to be similar to a regular day for both the students and the parents,” Socia said. “We like to think that KinderCamp helps get out some of those first day jitters.”
 

Socia noted it was wonderful to have children back in the building, but the end of the day creates a special experience for all involved.
 
“One of my favorite parts of the day is seeing the students reunite with their families, excitedly showing off their papers and telling them what they did,” she said. “It was great to have all of the new kindergarteners in the building for the first time.”
 
 
Detroit Merit Charter Academy is a tuition-free, public charter school in Detroit, Mich., serving students in kindergarten through eighth grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes over 95 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit nhaschools.com.