Daily News

Forest Park Zoo Hosts Free Event for Springfield Kindergartners

SPRINGFIELD — The Zoo in Forest Park will host its Kindergarten Kickoff, an event for incoming Springfield kindergartners, on Saturday, Aug. 12 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The free event, presented by Teddy Bear Pools & Spas, will not only include free entrance to the zoo for Springfield kindergartners and one caregiver, but it also offers a chance for children to practice skills needed to succeed in their first year of elementary school.

Community partners such as the Springfield Public Library and the Connecticut Science Center will be in attendance to help the children practice essential skills, such as writing their name, cutting a shape, and identifying colors. At the start of the event, all children will receive a free backpack. After completing each skill, they will collect a school item to fill their new bag. At the end of the event, children will leave with a backpack full of school supplies and the confidence to head into the new year.

Pre-registration for Kindergarten Kickoff is required to attend, and spots are extremely limited. Attendees must show proof of Springfield residency upon check-in with either a valid ID or a welcome letter from their child’s school. Admission for additional guests can be purchased at a discounted rate. Registration is available at www.forestparkzoo.org/kko23.

“This event encourages students to explore skills they will perfect in the upcoming school year while hopefully washing away the worry of starting kindergarten,” said Caroline Cay Adams, director of Education at the Zoo in Forest Park. “We are so grateful to our amazing community partners for their dedication to this event and cannot wait to meet these young scholars on Aug. 12.”