Familes can get dinner along with ideas on preparing their pre-kindergartners for school

TIGARD - Calling all incoming kindergartners in the Tigard-Tualatin School District: Plan to bring your parents to a giant kindergarten fair Wednesday, April 18, from 5 to 7 p.m. at C.F. Tigard Elementary.

The 'Kindergartners, Here We Come' event will include dinner for the whole family, prizes and booths set up around the gym full of information, ideas and activities, including 'Mad Science.'

'We will offer activities and ideas for things parents can do with their kids to get them ready for kindergarten,' said Colleen Thompson, a C.F. Tigard kindergarten teacher who is organizing the event. 'This is especially for parents whose kids haven't gone to preschool. And everything will be in English and Spanish.

'All the schools in Tigard and Tualatin have been alerted to promote this, and we've been working on it for eight to nine months. Now we're just trying to get the word out. It's a great idea, we hope. And this is for the whole district, not just Tigard.'

The event is geared for people with kids 4 or 5 years old 'because the more prepared they are, the better they will do in school,' Thompson said. 'We want families to feel comfortable, and we'll have different agencies there to help.'

At C.F. Tigard, there is a waiting list to get into the Head Start program, which means not every student who could benefit is getting into the program, according to Thompson.

'My class and I made a video called, 'Turn Off Your TV,' that will be shown,' she said. 'We brainstormed things to do instead of watching TV.'

The idea for the event actually started last spring, when Thompson went to a kindergarten summit for Washington County sponsored by Verizon, United Way, the Commission on Children and Families, and other organizations.

'The idea was to provide a better transition for families with kids going into school so they would be better prepared,' Thompson said. 'We broke up into groups by school districts and planned our own events.

'I really think this will be a great event,' Thompson said. 'We just want families to be there.'

For more information, contact Thompson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 503-461-4363.

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