Frequently Asked Questions about READY! For Kindergarten

Q.  How many READY! workshops should a parent take before his or her child enters kindergarten?

A. The more, the better! You can attend as many as 15 workshops (offered in Sandpoint each Fall, Winter and Spring) if you begin the READY! program when your child is from birth to one year old.READY! for Kindergarten workshops focus on developing targeted skills in three different areas of child development from birth to the age of five:

  • Fall, Language & Literacy;
  • Winter, Math & Reasoning;
  • Spring, Social-Emotional Development.

Q.  How are READY! workshops designed?

A.  READY! workshops are designed to build upon each other; to “ramp up” each year as the child grows older.Workshops are divided into five age groups: 0 – 1 year; 1 – 2 years; 2 – 3 years; 3 – 4 years; 4 – 5 years. Ideally, parents should attend all 15 READY! sessions, beginning when the child is an infant and ending the spring before the child starts kindergarten. The more workshops parents attend for their child, the more of READY! for Kindergarten’s unique, research-based curriculum and tools they will receive.

Each of the  15 workshops (from birth to age five)  is unique.  At every one, parents will learn how to use and take home new, challenging and high-quality toys, games, music and activities based on their child’s developing abilities.

Q.  Is there any data on the READY! for Kindergarten program?

A. Studies show that a high percentage of children whose parents attend multiple READY! workshops attain testing scores at or above grade level on entering kindergarten. Why are those testing scores significant?  Higher test scores are a good indicator that a child is eager and ready to be a successful learner. (For reports on research findings, go to the national READY! for Kindergarten website, www.readyforkindergarten.org).

Q. What if I start attending workshops the year before my child starts kindergarten?  Is this still helpful to my child?

A. Although it’s most beneficial to start READY! the year your child is born, even if you start attending the year before kindergarten you and your child will benefit greatly from the curriculum and “tool kits.”


Q.  What kinds of free toys, games, books and activities do parents receive at the READY! workshops?

A. The Panhandle Alliance for Education in Sandpoint buys the parent “tool kits” from the national READY! for Kindergarten headquarters in Kennewick, Washington. These kits are chosen by child development experts, teachers and parents to include high-quality, research-based and carefully chosen toys, games, music, books and activities which are appropriate for each workshop age group.

All “tools” are specifically designed to support the focus of each session: Fall, Language and Literacy; Winter, Math and Reasoning; and Spring, Social-Emotional Development.

READY! facilitators are trained to help parents learn how to use the materials with their children at home – because parents are a child’s first and best loved teachers. The READY! program emphasizes the value of daily enjoyable, educational play between parents and children, called “playing with a purpose.”

Q.  What if I can’t attend a workshop for which I’ve registered (because of illness or another reason); can I still get the toys, games and activities for that workshop?

A.  We cannot give you the “tool kit” if you do not actually attend the workshop for which you’ve registered.  This is both because of the high cost to the Panhandle Alliance for Education of the toys, games, books and activities parents receive at the READY! workshops and because we want parents to learn how to use the “tool kits” through the curriculum that is presented by our facilitators.

Q.  Why are the READY! workshops in Sandpoint free?

The READY! workshops and parent tool kits are free for parents/grandparents/caregivers who Sandpoint’s READY! workshops because the Panhandle Alliance funds the program.


Q.  Who teaches the READY! workshops?

A. The Sandpoint READY!  facilitators are credentialed teachers who are either currently teaching in the Lake Pend Oreille School District or are retired from teaching. Additionally, all READY! facilitators receive training in how to present the curriculum.


Q.  Who is eligible to attend the READY! for Kindergarten workshops in Sandpoint?

A. Parents, grandparents,primary caregivers and legal guardians of children from birth to age five (before the child starts kindergarten) are eligible to attend READY! workshops.


Q.  Does the Lake Pend Oreille School District endorse the READY! for Kindergarten program?

A.  Yes, the Lake Pend Oreille School District encourages attendance at READY! for Kindergarten because data supports the fact that children entering kindergarten are more likely to be successful learners when their parents/grandparents have attended READY! workshops.


Q.  Why do new READY! attendees have to attend an orientation before their first workshop?

A. All parents who are new to the READY! program attend a brief, one-time-only orientation at 9:30 a.m. on the morning of their first session.  In this important introduction to READY!, parents get an overview of the program and learn about its benefits. They receive a READY! parent binder containing information on READY!, with age-appropriate rhymes and songs and the developmental targets for all the READY! age groups. Also in the binder is a Game Board, for which parents will receive game pieces when they attend workshops. A parent is automatically signed up for both the orientation and the appropriate workshop the first time she/he registers for READY!.


Q.  How do parents know which workshop to attend?

A. Workshops are for parents/grandparents/caregivers of children in the following age groups: 0 – 1 year, 1 – 2 years, 2 – 3 years, 3 – 4 years, 4 – 5 years. After registering, parents will be placed by the program director in the appropriate age-grouped parent workshop based on the child’s birth date and kindergarten-start year.  When you receive your confirmation of registration, the workshop you’ll attend will be noted on the top of the confirmation.


Q.  Where and when are READY! Sandpoint classes held?

A. Fall, Winter and Spring READY! sessions are held at Farmin-Stidwell Elementary School in Sandpoint on a Saturday morning (three Saturday mornings each school year). The workshops are 90 minutes long (10 – 11:30 a.m.).


Q.  Is free childcare offered during the workshops?

A. Yes, READY! provides free childcare for children ages 13 months to 11 years. Infants 12 months and under may attend the workshop with the parent; we do not provide childcare for babies under 12 months. Childcare is provided by dedicated adult community members and high school student volunteers and is overseen by a professional childcare coordinator as well as the program director. Parents should sign their children up for childcare when registering for a workshop; please do not bring children who haven’t been pre-registered for childcare as sometimes a childcare room is full.  Also, please do not bring sick children (those with a fever or who are newly ill).


Q.  How many adults from a family may attend a READY! workshop?

A.  An eligible adult may bring along one extra adult, such as a spouse, parent, friend, or other caregiver involved in the child’s life. However, only one set of learning materials will be provided per child.


Q.  Where can I learn more about READY! for Kindergarten?

A.  The website for the national headquarters of READY! for Kindergarten (in Kennewick, Washington) is www.readyforkindergarten.org.  You may also call the Panhandle Alliance for Education office in Sandpoint, 208-263-7040