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March 5, 2013

DANVILLE and PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY - Early kindergarten registration begins at Danville Public Schools and Pittsylvania County Schools on Friday, March 15, 2013. Registration begins at 9 am at most schools.

"When a parent registers a child early for kindergarten, it is a sign that they are thinking about the exciting and sometimes challenging transition to elementary school. There is so much that parents and caregivers can do between March and August to prepare a child for success in kindergarten," said Ann Vandervliet Stratton, executive director, Smart Beginnings Danville Pittsylvania.

Here is what parents and caregivers need to know:

  •  A child must be five by September 30, 2013, to register for kindergarten.
  • Elementary schools are special places and the teachers are excited to welcome you.
  • Children who register on Friday, March 15, at a Pittsylvania County or City of Danville public school will receive a bag of school readiness materials and a healthy snack from Smart Beginnings.
  • If you don't register on March 15, it's not too late. It may be helpful to call and make an appointment to register.

Parents need to bring:

  • A valid VA driver's license or other state issued photo ID.
  • The child's official birth certificate. It takes 6-8 weeks to order one. For more information call (804) 662-6200 or visit www.virginiabirthcertificate.com. The cost is $12. 
  • Proof of residency (examples: a phone bill, utility bill or lease agreement).
  • Current immunization record (shots must be up to date). Make an appointment with your doctor or call the Health Department in Danville at 799-5190 or in Chatham at 432-7232.
  • If you are not sure what school your child will attend, call Pittsylvania County Schools at 432-2761 or Danville Public Schools at 799-6400. 

"When children register early for school, it also helps school administrators to plan for the next year and to be prepared to meet the individual needs of your child," adds Stratton. "And, if the family has enough time to start talking about and preparing a child for a smooth transition to ‘big school' it is less stressful," she explains. 

Tips for parents:

  • Schedule a visit or tour of your child's elementary school.
  • Practice waking up and going to bed at the same time every day.
  • Read a book together every day. 
  • If your child has not been around other children, go to a playground and let him or her spend time with other kids.
  • Go to your doctor for routine wellness check.
  • If you suspect that your child is somehow "different" than other children in the way he or she speaks or acts, tell your doctor about it right away. Many developmental delays, if treated early, can be corrected.
  • Even if you experienced difficulty in school, try to focus on positive aspects (an opportunity to make new friends, have fun and learn about the world).