The Kindergarten Project

Photo courtesy of Inspiring Minds

It happens all too often in urban schools: a child enters Kindergarten without school-ready skills, and is already behind and struggling compared to his or her peers. Without additional support, this child could continue to struggle from year to year, failing to reach his or her potential.

That's why neighborhood nonprofit Inspiring Minds created The Kindergarten Project, a year long intensive program conducted in Providence kindergarten classrooms that gives kids the extra individual attention they need to catch up during their very first year of school. If allowed to catch up, chances of long-term success for these children improves dramatically.

This is where the west side community can help. Inspiring Minds is looking for community volunteers to help kindergartners 2 hours per week. No prior teaching or tutoring experience is needed. Inspiring Minds supports you very step of the way through its volunteer training program, and classroom teachers provide the teaching materials.

Piloted at Asa Messer Elementary School last spring, The Kindergarten Project places 100 Rhode Island College students who aspire to teach along with community volunteers in kindergarten classrooms where they give each child one-on-one time using teacher-led curriculum and activities. This extra help is given four out of five school days per week and continues throughout the 2016-17 school year.

The goal is to roll out The Kindergarten Project in all of Providence's elementary schools after this first year. Currently the program is taking place at Asa Messer, Charles Fortes, Feinstein at Broad Street, and Frank Spaziano Elementary Schools. Inspiring Minds is thrilled and, yes, inspired by the collaboration between Providence Public School District, Rhode Island College faculty, and Providence Schools teachers and staff that has made this project possible.

As a west sider, you already understand the importance of SWELL (Shop, Work, Eat, Live and Learn locally). Giving local can have a huge impact, as well. Please consider donating a few hours a week to this important project that makes a difference in the success and lives of children.

If interested in helping with The Kindergarten Project, please email or call Inspiring Minds at 401-274-3240 or, or stop by their offices at 763 Westminster Street, Providence.