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Letter: Kindergarten Boot Camp gets class of 2026 off on right foot

To the Editor:

As all adults know, life can be full of change, and that change can often be stressful. Kindergarten is an exciting time, but a time of great change for a 5-year-old. What could be scarier than leaving the routines you’ve had for five years and entering the big halls of new building without mom and dad by your side?

For my daughter, looking ahead to Sunnyside in September has been both exciting and intimidating. I can’t lie -- for me and my husband, as we send our first child off to school, we were feeling those same feelings!

Thanks to a wonderful Kindergarten Boot Camp held last week, we are all extra-excited for the start of the school year.

As I reflected on the week, I realized that so many in our community do not even know that this event happens every summer and I wanted to take a minute to share just one example of our community working together for the benefit of our students.

Red Wing’s Kindergarten Boot Camp is a readiness program that assists children and families in making a smooth transition. All incoming kindergarten families were encouraged to apply at spring registration and the program is completely free for those lucky enough to attend.

Children attend Sunnyside from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for four days straight. They participate in a kindergarten-like setting including lunch, specialty classes and, for some, even the busing experience.

There are very few “unknowns” for my daughter as she starts her first day in a few weeks and she will arrive at Sunnyside full of confidence.

I was extremely impressed with this program. Not only did it focus on preparing the students, it reached out to parents as well. A wonderful session gave us useful information on the school and kindergarten classes, a tour of the school and run-through of daily procedures, and we met several staff members.

Now we can send our daughter off on day one without such anxiety.

A huge thank you to the organizations that made Red Wing’s awesome

Kindergarten Boot Camp happen: Goodhue County Education District, Goodhue County Family Services Collaborative, Red Wing School District, Red Wing Public School Foundation/Jones Family Foundation and United Way of Goodhue, Wabasha and Pierce Counties.

It’s just remarkable to see and experience the community come together to do what’s best for our students. I know the foundation has been laid for a wonderful year for the class of 2026!

Kristin and Travis Bray

Red Wing