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Kindergarten Readiness Graduation

LEWISTON, Idaho – Twin County United Way’s annual Kindergarten Bootcamp had another outstanding summer and graduated 72 students from Lewiston, Clarkston, Asotin, and Lapwai schools.

Kindergarten Bootcamp is a five-week summer program held in the mornings to help children entering kindergarten to be ready for school, both academically and socially. The program helps students with letters, numbers and other areas of academics while also teaching classroom behavior.

The goal of the program is to prepare students for school and help those who may be behind on learning catch up before starting kindergarten. Several studies have shown students who fall behind their peers in learning have a greater chance of staying behind and not completing their education.

“Our students and staff truly enjoyed the opportunity,” said Dale Bonfield, Asotin-Anatone School District Superintendent.

This was the first year the program was offered in both Asotin and Lapwai and TCUW would like to continue to expand the program. Currently, Lewiston has three classrooms, including two at Centennial and one at Whitman elementary schools, while Clarkston has one at Grantham.

The program hires a certified teacher and an aide for each class to help the students succeed. In Lewiston, for example, 45 percent of the participants improved recognizing letters by 40 percent or more, while in Lapwai, 40 percent of the students improved their ability to recognize numbers 1-10 by at least 50 percent.

“This program was amazing for the students!” said Jenna Lathrop, an Asotin Elementary teacher in the program.

“I’ve enjoyed getting the chance to work with our incoming kinders,” Lapwai Elementary teacher Krystle Stamper said. “Every day was an opportunity to help them learn how to be well rounded kiddos who will become the leaders of their respective classes during the coming year. They have come leaps and bounds in their letters, numbers and classroom expectations. I look forward to seeing their continued work.”

At the completion of the program, a graduation ceremony was held for the students in front of family and friends. Close to 150 attended the graduation for the 32 students in Lewiston, while Lapwai and Asotin both reported 45 in attendance for their 15 graduates. Clarkston had 10 graduates and 45 attend the ceremony.

At each ceremony, P1FCU employees gave each graduate a backpack that contained school supplies, a T-shirt from ArtBeat, a graduation certificate and a coupon for a free pair of shoes from Famous Footwear sponsored by Don Montgomery, a financial advisor with Waddell & Reed in Clarkston. A special time was set up for the graduates to obtain their free shoes.

“You guys are wonderful!!” said Heather Ellis-Worley, a parent of a graduate. “ What an amazing program!”

This year’s program was funded, in part, by a grant from the Lewis Clark Valley Healthcare Foundation, TCUW’s annual golf tournament in June, and donors throughout the region.

Twin County United Way is a nonprofit organization that raises money to fight for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in Asotin and Nez Perce counties. It does so by raising funds to help address these problems and to provide support for partnering nonprofit agencies.

With its new strategic plan, TCUW is particularly focused on increasing the number of students reading at grade level by third grade (education), increasing housing stability in our area (financial stability) and reducing the suicide rate and increasing access to mental health (health),

For more information on TCUW or its Kindergarten Bootcamp, or to make a donation, visit