KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Some of East Tennessee’s youngest students are getting a sneak peek at a day in the life of a Pre-K or Kindergartener. 

“We are covering just the basics of going back to school. How to make friends, basic scissor skills, glue skills, pencils, exploring classroom manipulatives all in the space of Muse Knoxville,” said Colleen Shipley, Muse Knoxville’s Outreach Programs Coordinator. 

This year Muse Knoxville launched Ready, Set, School! It’s a two-week school readiness camp designed to acclimate children, ages 4 to 6, to their full-time school settings. 

“We have a great relationship with the teachers in Knox County and the surrounding districts. So, we got their input on what they think kindergarteners and preschoolers need to know before going back to school and a lot of them are saying we need to learn how to rotate through centers, using basic classroom supplies, getting introduced to circle time. So, we made sure that was a part of our camp time,” said Shipley. 

The camp provides a place for the students to go on their staggered off days where they can meet new friends and engage in hands-on learning experiences. 

Campers learn to build social and academic skills.

“We’re exploring numbers, letters, shapes, colors, so each center has a little classroom manipulative that they might be introduced to like teddy bear counters, Unifix Cubes. They are matching, sorting, naming, identifying and then we just rotate through. Everybody is getting used to taking turns and responding to the sound of a bell to know it’s time to trade,” said Shipley. 

Going to school for the first time can be a little scary but Muse Knoxville is showing kids all of the fun ways to learn, explore and discover. 

“They have a leg up because they’ve already been introduced to centers, how to hold scissors properly, how to make friends, how to sit together in a community. They’ve been exposed to it so when it’s time to actually start kindergarten it’s not as scary and it’s not as new,” said Shipley. 

Muse Knoxville said the new camp has received positive feedback and they hope to bring it back in the years to come.