United Way distributes back to school kits for incoming kindergartners

PETERSBURG, Va. ---The United Way hopes a helping hand will give a leg up to hundreds of incoming kindergartners for the Fall semester.

Volunteers distributed more than 1,300 Kindergarten preparedness kits for students in 24 areas across Central Virginia Tuesday.

The packages contain basic necessities such as paper, pencils, and books collected by volunteers who gather the supplies by holding drives in their communities.

"It gives the kids the tangible tools to practice those early literacy skills in the summer because you don't just, poof, be ready for kindergarten in September. It really takes time to develop those skills." said Emily Watkins, the Director of Strategic Engagement with the United Way of Greater Richmond in Petersburg.

The United Way says the kits also provide other valuable information to adults as well.

"The kits, they are incentives for parents to come to kindergarten registration and that really helps the schools prepare because they'll now how many children to expect in September," she said. "So you have a child the necessary supplies multiplied by a better informed parent multiplied by a better prepared school."

Registration is set to start in several school districts in Central Virginia including Richmond which opens Thursday, April 20.

If your child will be 5-years-old by September 30th he or she needs to be registered.

Parents will need certain documents including their child's certified birth certificate.

You can find out registration times by checking online with the school system or dialing 211.