Kindergarten transition conferences bring together early education community

This spring, United Way's Kindergarten Transition Conferences in Fayette and Westmoreland Couties brought together the early childhood education community for a day of professional development and best-practice sharing.

The conference hosted kindergarten teachers, pre-k educators and school district administrators from across the region, who participate in United Way's Kindergarten Transition Program as members of transition teams. Teams work with United Way to develop an annual plan of activities for incoming kindergarten students in their district. They also work to increase collaboration between school districts, pre-k centers and families.

Transition teams gather at the 2018 Westmoreland County conference.

A smooth transition from early learning to the K-12 education system has been linked to long-term academic and career success for students, and is the foundation for United Way's Kindergarten Transition Program. By working together, parents and professionals can bridge the gap between for young learners, and ensure students start school feeling calm, confident and ready to learn.

Local pre-k students attend a transition event.

Professional development guest speakers included Scholastic Educating, Lakeshore Learning, Trying Together (formerly PAEYC, the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children), the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning and the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit. The conference also provided transition teams with planning time to develop their upcoming calendar of activities and events.

The Fayette County Transition Conference was held Friday, May 11 and the Westmoreland County Transition Conference was held Tuesday, June 12.