BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Western Kentucky University's Suzanne Vitale Clinical Education Complex is hosting its Camp Big Readiness for rising kindergartners to prep for the fall school year. 

What You Need To Know

  • WKU's Camp Big Readiness lets kindergarteners prep for the upcoming school year

  • The camp is limited to 24 spots working on academic and social skills due to the pandemic

  • This is the first year of the camp

  • The curriculum was based off of the Early learning childhood profile

Kids of all backgrounds attended the camp – some with learning deficits and others without. Parents like Mindy Johnson said her daughter Amelia has made massive strides. 

“I can tell that her confidence has boosted over the several weeks of this program," Johnson said. "She talks about kindergarten and what they are going to be doing. She even said, 'Mommy we don't play at school, we get ready for kindergarten.'"

The sessions work with students in areas like math, reading and social skills. All areas that camp director Beth Schaeffer said took a hit for kids during the pandemic. 

"We looked at data across the state and the deficits were language and literacy and social skills, so we build our program around that," Schaeffer said. "Cognition with numbers is important but we really looked at the state data." 

That data comes from the early childhood profile of Kentucky which you can find here

This is the inaugural year of the camp, and Schaeffer is gearing up to continue it in subsequent years thanks to strong reviews from parents. 

Parents like Miles Ormon, who plans to tell his friends about the camp. 

"My co-worker has a little boy [so] I will be letting him know we did it," Ormon said. "My son Levi has a little brother and he will be coming here too."

Schaeffer said the camp is looking forward to seeing how the inaugural class does with better access for years to come. 

“We are interested to see how they do on their kindergarten readiness screener," said Schaeffer. "We have done our best to expose them to everything they will be learning this year."