LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) -- Heading back to school can create excitement and anxiety for any student, but especially for a kindergartener. It's a big step with a lot of change for the student and parents.
GMK's Jonathan Wahl is on your side with some last minute steps you can take to make sure your student is ready for a safe start to the school year.
Candyland is Jenna Hall’s favorite game. She plays it with two of her best friends, her sister, and a lifelong buddy, a light purple teddy bear. The two are inseparable.
“I sleep with her too, snuggle up with [her],” Hall said.
But now the 5-year-old is getting ready to make new friends, she says it’s what's she's most excited about for school.
“It’s a, kindergarten countdown, each day you’ll take one of the rings off,” Hall pointing towards a chain of paper rings on the wall, said. But as each ring is torn, she also gets closer to what she's most nervous about.
“Meeting new friends,” explained Hall. It's an emotional roller coaster.
“She is excited, but she’ll be nervous the day of. That’s usually how she works,” said Jenna’s mother, Christina Hall. She said they’ve been preparing for the big day.
“How to say, spell, write her name, we’ve worked on her address. Every now and then I’ll just, ‘hey, what’s your address?,’” explained the mother.
Safety experts said that's the right thing to do. Have children memorize their phone number, address, name and even their parents’ names. You should also practice with your kids so they're not caught off guard.
“Say, I’m your teacher, or I’m your bus driver and I say, ‘where do you live?’ or ‘what’s your address?,’ make them practice that with an adult, because sometimes, you know, kids have not talked to adults, really. Except their parent’s closest friends,” explained Sharon Rengers with the Kosair Children’s Hospital.
She said it’s important to talk to your children about strangers and what to expect.
“If they don’t know them, it’s OK to be friendly and say ‘hi,’ but they don’t need to talk, you know, ongoing conversation with people they don’t know yet,” Rengers said.
For the first few days of school Rengers said you should put your child's name and bus number on their clothes, in case they get confused. She also said, watch them closely at the bus stop, it's close to the road and several children in the area have been hit while waiting at a bus
“It’s a really exciting time for the kids, and it’s also very scary too,” Rengers said.
This isn't the last you'll hear of Jenna Hall. WHAS will check back in with her throughout the school year and show you her progress as she learns and grows, as part of a special back to school series.