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Kindergarten Success Institutes

What are Kindergarten Success Instistutes (KSI)

UWSBC offers KSI classes at local south Santa Barbara County Title 1 schools every summer. The program operates 3-4 weeks before the start of kindergarten. Students learn school-related behaviors that are essential to their success in kindergarten and beyond.

Why KSI?

Kindergarten Success Institutes offer a good start in life by developing children's intellectual and social capacities. KSI's help children socialize with adults and other children and develop important language, physical, and cognitive skills. There is growing recognition that children who attend these programs are likely to be more successful both in school and later in life.

Children who have not attended Pre-kindergarten often do not know basic numbers, shapes, and colors, or how to spell their names, use scissors, sit still in a circle, share, or cope with frustration. Currently, approximately half of Santa Barbara Unified School District's incoming kindergartners are under-prepared for the school experience that awaits them. For many of these children, catching up to their middle/upper-income peers can be extremely difficult.

Who are the kids?

  • The program targets low-income children and families who lack access to or awareness of early childhood educational opportunities.
  • Children are 4 years old (pre-school aged).
  • 90% of the children are Latino and just learning the English language.

What are We Doing?

  • In 2013, UWSBC prepared 124 children and their families for kindergarten.
  • With the help of our partners and volunteers, we provided all families with Home Play Learning Kits designed to help parents get involved in their child's learning.
  • Each Home Play Learning Kit contains a bilingual letter with tips for parents on how to use the kit to support their children's learning. The kits also include story books, measuring tapes, scissors, sorting and guessing games, and much more.

What are our goals?

  • Familiarize children with classroom activites and the school setting
  • Help them to overcome their fear of being away from home.
  • Build important skills needed for kindergarten.
  • Develop early literacy skills.
  • Improve English skills.
  • Effectively engage parents and families in their child's education.
  • Connect families with community resources

Program Achievements

According to Kindergarten Student Entrance Profile results, the children who participated improved significantly in all of the four main areas of targeted impact: Social Emotional, Approach to Learning, Language Skills, and Motor Skills.

On average, KSI participants show a 50% improvement by the end of the program!