Start Strong

Virginia Beach City Public Schools and the City of Virginia Beach offer a variety of resources and services to help Virginia Beach children start strong and enter kindergarten ready to learn.

 

  • Virginia Beach GrowSmart - This early childhood education initiative, created by the City of Virginia Beach, targets early childhood learning by providing information and resources for Virginia Beach parents, caregivers, and teachers of young children, ages 0 – 8. Learn More
  • Early Intervention/Infant Program - This program, operated as part of the City’s Department of Human Services, serves children from birth to age three who have developmental delays, atypical behavior, and/or a disabling condition that is likely to result in a delay. The program also offers center-based classes and community-based group activities for children. Learn More
  • VBCPS Preschool Assessment Center - This center, offered as a resource through Virginia Beach City Public Schools, provides screening, testing and program planning for children between two and five years of age who are suspected of having a disability. When identified as having a disability, the children are provided services based upon the requirements outlined in their individualized education program (IEP). Learn More
  • VBCPS Preschool Program The school division offers a full-day preschool program for at-risk pre-kindergarten students Through implementation of a developmentally appropriate, hands-on curriculum, students are engaged in learning literacy and numeracy that reinforces academic and social development with a focus on phonemic awareness, language enrichment, letters/sounds, decoding and beginning reading and writing. The program develops students’ communication, collaboration and problem-solving skills and integrates technology to support learning. Learn More

Tips for Promoting Literacy at Home

  • Read with Your Child - Schedule a daily time in your child’s routine for him to look at and explore different texts. Provide daily opportunities to read books with your child, modeling appropriate book handling skills as well as following up with conversations about what is being read. Make available a variety of child-appropriate books for your child to explore and create a comfortable place within your home where your child can go to engage in this foundational literacy behavior.
  • Encourage Oral Language Development - The skills of speaking and listening are predecessors for reading and writing. Providing opportunities for your child to share his thoughts and feelings ask and answer questions, and use polite conversation rules will enhance his oral language development. For example, model the use of complete sentences and describing words. At home, create a “talk jar.” Ask your child to suggest different topics of interest and create questions related to them to place in the jar. Each day, your child can pull out a question to answer and discuss. Dinnertime is a great time for this activity.
  • Provide Fine Motor and Writing Opportunities - Young children are beginning to strengthen their fine motor control (finger grasp) and providing opportunities for your child to hold and manipulate writing items will help them to strengthen these important muscles. Use a variety of writing tools to explore and encourage your child to make scribbles and marks. Hang paper on a vertical surface (wall) for arm and hand control. Allow your child to experiment with both hands as she determines hand dominance.

Tips for Supporting Math at Home

  • Practice Sorting - Sorting objects based on size, shape, color, and texture helps young children distinguish between attributes and categorize accordingly. Make sorting an interactive game by creating labeled boxes for toys and asking your child to sort toys according to their attribute each day as they clean up. Encourage your child to explain how he sorted his toys each day (by color, size, kind of toy, etc.).
  • Provide Counting Opportunities - Children acquire the ability to count through practice and modeling. Provide meaningful opportunities for your child to count aloud and combine this skill with movement and motor activities. For example, count with your child as you go up and down steps; count and hop to the car; count as your child puts his toys away. Providing opportunities for your child to count sets of items will also support him in using concrete items in counting and telling “how many.”
  • Encourage the Use of Blocks and Building - Building with blocks supports young children in important skills such as fine motor, hand-eye coordination, spatial awareness and problem solving. Provide your child with a variety of different blocks (wooden, foam, Legos) and encourage her to play by stacking, building, and constructing.
  • Encourage the Use of Blocks and Building - Help your child recognize the differences and similarities in objects by modeling common and simple comparison words, such as bigger, smaller, longer, shorter, and taller. As your child becomes more aware of the differences in objects in her environment, encourage her to find objects that represent these words like, a smaller spoon, or a bigger pillow.