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DOUBLE TAB TO ZOOM ON PHONE OR TABLET 2 Introduction In the 1980s and early 1990s, as an early childhood teacher and parent educator in the Minneapolis public schools, I designed several transition-to-kindergarten projects, the most successful model being a workshop called “It’s Time to Think about Kindergarten.” During three evenings, the workshop includes the topics “Choosing a School,” tips for picking a school; “Your Child’s Experience in Kindergarten,” tips for understanding what children do and learn in kindergarten; and “Your Experience as the Parent of a Kindergartner,” options for family involve- ment. The sessions were offered to families with a child who would soon enter school. They could attend as many sessions as they wanted. An elementary school and the community education department cospon- sored the program, and it was free to parents, who came to learn about how to prepare their child and themselves for this new experience. One of the kindergarten teachers hosted the group in his classroom, which was always a big hit as parents could visualize their child learning in that setting. In the mid and late 1990s, as a district administrator, I maintained my focus on the transition to kindergarten by leading the School Readiness Collaborative. Part of my job was to work with community and district early childhood programs to ensure they implemented quality preschool services. I also worked with elementary schools to design transition-to- kindergarten activities. As an educational consultant since 2000, I have continued to think about the transition to kindergarten while designing curriculum, writing articles, conducting studies, facilitating focus groups, and training educa- tors at local and national conferences. It’s fair to say that the transition to kindergarten from the point of view of children, families, preschool programs, and elementary schools has been on my mind, personally and professionally, for a long time. I have learned a lot in the process and will share that with you in this book. < Malika is standing in front of me, her brown eyes spar- kling and her hands on her hips. “You know what? After I’m five, I am going to kindergarten!” COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL