Kindergarten Countdown Continues To Grow (VIDEO)

By Ian Hoover- 21Alive

July 9, 2014 Updated Jul 9, 2014 at 2:34 PM EST

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) -- Kindergarten Countdown began today with over 100 more children participating this year, than in last year's program.

Kindergarten Countdown is a four week program where the United Way, Community Transportation Network, East Allen County Schools, and Fort Wayne Community Schools work together to introduce incoming kindergartners to their classrooms and teachers.

Todd Stephenson of the United Way of Allen County feels the program is great for incoming kindergartners to get used to the classroom.

"What we want is for these young people to be comfortable with the kindergarten experience on the first day of kindergarten so that they've adjusted to the routine," explained Stephenson. "They've adjusted to the structure and really they fit in and in many cases become leaders in their kindergarten classes."

Stephenson says last year 52% of students couldn't spell their name at the beginning of the four weeks...by the end that number was 96%.

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