University of Pittsburgh
August 24, 2015

Festive Kindergarten Kickoff Planned for Sept. 3 at 19 Pittsburgh Schools

Pitt-developed program successful at boosting kindergarten enrollment

Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH—Freddy the Frog—the green frog mascot representing a kindergarten-readiness program developed by the University of Pittsburgh—will join parents, school staff, and volunteers in welcoming new kindergarten students on Sept. 3 at a number of locations throughout the Pittsburgh Public School District.

The mascot is one of the friendly faces behind Ready Freddy Pathways to Kindergarten Success, a comprehensive set of kindergarten-transition activities that prepares families and young children for this important first step in a child's education.

Before Pitt's Office of Child Development initiated Ready Freddy in 2008, on-time kindergarten enrollment citywide was low, with some facilities having as few as 12 students. Some parents were unable to navigate the system, were overwhelmed with paperwork, or were late registering their child. The Ready Freddy staff canvassed homes door to door, seeking out these youngsters and offering help to the families.

Summer Kindergarten Clubs were formed, parents were given Ready Freddy activity calendars and quality children's books, and families were able to tour a kindergarten classroom in advance and meet the staff. Now, the entire Pittsburgh Public School District has embraced the push for early enrollment and a smooth transition from home to classroom. 

Aisha White, director of Pathways to Kindergarten Success, says the struggle in early kindergarten affects nearly half of all young students nationwide. 

"The emphasis on academic skills and the need to interact with a wide range of children are the most difficult changes for children to manage," said White. She adds that poor attendance in kindergarten has been linked to low achievement in reading, math, and general knowledge at the end of first grade. 

These are the scenarios Pitt's Ready Freddy program seeks to change.

The kickoff celebrations occur at the following Pittsburgh Public Schools. The kindergarten-class start time is listed.

CLASS START TIME -- 8:05 a.m. 

Pittsburgh Whittier K-5
150 Meridan St., Mt. Washington

CLASS START TIME -- 8:10 a.m.

Pittsburgh Manchester PreK-8
1612 Manhattan St., North Side

Pittsburgh King PreK-8
50 Montgomery Pl., North Side

Pittsburgh Roosevelt PreK-5
200 The Boulevard, Carrick

Pittsburgh Spring Hill K-5
1351 Damas St., Spring Hill

Pittsburgh Langley K-8
2940 Sheraden Blvd., West End

Pittsburgh Miller PreK-5
2055 Bedford Ave., Hill District 

Pittsburgh Woolslair PreK-5
501 40th St., Bloomfield and Lawrenceville

Pittsburgh Grandview PreK-5
845 McLain St., Allentown

Pittsburgh Beechwood PreK-5
810 Rockland Ave., Beechview 

Pittsburgh Fulton PreK-5
5799 Hampton St., Highland Park

Pittsburgh Concord K-5
2350 Brownsville Rd., Carrick

CLASS START TIME -- 9:10 a.m. 

Pittsburgh West Liberty K-5
785 Dunster St., Brookline

Pittsburgh Arlington PreK-8
2429 Charcot St., Arlington

Pittsburgh Faison K-5
7430 Tioga St., Homewood

Pittsburgh Weil PreK-5
2250 Centre Ave., Hill District

Pittsburgh Arsenal PreK-5
215 39th St., Lawrenceville

Pittsburgh Minadeo PreK-5
6502 Lilac St., Squirrel Hill

Pittsburgh Allegheny K-5
810 Arch St., North Side