Kinder Academy sees success in first semester

Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Kinder Academy students Hayle Sizemore, left, and friend Kaitlin Gahagan, pose for a picture for their mothers who attended their Thanksgiving-themed party. Both parents say they would recommend the new program, which started this fall, and aims to give youngsters just entering the school system an advantage in academics and social skills, before starting the more rigorous demands of kindergarten. Both say they have seen positive changes in their child academically and socially since starting the program. Julia Kilmer/

Parents see positive changes in their children

Near the end of the first semester of Cassville Primary School's new Kinder Academy program, parents are saying they are impressed with the changes they've seen in their children.

The research-based program aims to give children a head start and advantage in academics and in developing gross and fine motor skills, and social skills, before starting the more rigorous demands of kindergarten. 

Kinder Academy student Kaitlin Gahagan gives her mom, Misty Gahagan a big hug during a Thanksgiving party. Misty says since enrolling her daughter in the program, she’s seen big changes in her daughter’s behavior, and is impressed with everything she’s learned. The class is taught by Michelle Ramaeker. Julia Kilmer/

"I've been really impressed with the program and would recommend it hands down," said mom Andrea Sizemore, whose daughter Hayle, 5, is in the program. "Hayle was having a hard time with her speech, and getting more socialized. When I heard about the program, I called [the teacher] Mrs. Ramaeker. In just two weeks, she came out of her shell. And now, she can count to 100 and knows her ABCs.

"She has been so much better, and gets excited to get up and go to school. She has just bloomed. I'm so glad I did the program. It has eliminated a lot of my worries as a parent."

Aside from the obvious importance of hitting academic milestones and learning social skills like getting along with others, using manners, managing emotions and behaviors, abiding by rules are sometimes overlooked when young children enter the school system, but just as important.

Kinder Academy students and parents enjoyed a party Tuesday to celebrate Thanksgiving at Cassville primary. The classes’ business partner, Mercy Hospital Cassville, helped make the students’ holiday-themed hats. Julia Kilmer/

"The kids [in Kinder Academy] are learning important academic skills, but also those social skills they need, and having that extra time to develop gross and fine motor skills before they start the more strenuous academics of kindergarten," said Catherine Weaver, Cassville primary principal.

Parent Misty Gahagan can speak to the success of the program.

"I've seen an improvement in my daughter's behavior," said Gahagan, mother of, Kaitlin, 5, who is in the academy. "She started out in [regular] kindergarten, and was getting in trouble for talking. She learned at her own pace and was having a hard time with her counting and letters. She just wasn't liking school, but now [that she's been in the kinder academy], she doesn't want to miss it. I'm just really impressed with all she's learned since being in the academy."

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