The Panhandle Alliance for Education (PAFE) has named Kathleen Mulroy as the new program director for READY! for Kindergarten. READY! for Kindergarten is a highly successful, research-based program which provides free classes and educational toys for parents of children from birth to five years old. Held in the fall, winter and spring at Farmin-Stidwell Elementary School, the 90-minute Saturday morning classes for parents, grandparents and other caregivers help adults prepare their infants, toddlers and preschoolers for success in school.
Marcia Wilson, Executive Director for PAFE, says Kathleen’s background makes her well-suited for the READY! job. For the past seven years, Kathleen has been a Title 1 and reading intervention instructor for Lake Pend Oreille School District elementary schools. She is also a freelance writer and copy editor. Before moving to the Sandpoint area with her husband and son, Kathleen was an editor at a San Francisco publishing company, helped coordinate Napa Valley winery special events, and substitute-taught in elementary schools. After receiving her California Adult Education Teaching Credential, she taught English as a Second Language and Community Education classes for several years.
As the mother of two children and as a reading instructor, Kathleen has seen how important it is for children to start school with the skills that will make them confident, successful learners. She says, “Parents – who are the first, most important, and most loved teacher a child will have – can help their child begin kindergarten ahead, and stay ahead throughout school and beyond, by reading out loud to them just 20 minutes a day and by playing “with a purpose” on a regular basis. READY! for Kindergarten classes help parents achieve this goal by offering enjoyable, family-friendly classes which give information on how a child learns at each age level. The program also provides fun and easy-to-use tools and activities, including free toys, books and music CD’s.” She adds, “I wish READY! classes had been available when I was a new parent; they would have been so helpful!”
The Panhandle Alliance for Education is a nonprofit organization composed of local citizens, businesses, and educators. Their mission is to promote excellence in education and broad-based community support for the Lake Pend Oreille School District. Donations are distributed as a working pool of money used to fund local teacher grants, a district-wide reading program, college/career guidance opportunities for high school students, and READY! For Kindergarten, an early childhood literacy program for families. PAFE is building a permanent endowment, which is managed by the Idaho Community Foundation and the Inland Northwest Community Foundation. Local citizens are encouraged to help by making donations.