SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Creative Kids Academy (CKA) of South Plainfield is dedicated to making the first day of school, and every day thereafter, a positive and rewarding one for both children and parents alike.

“We provide a home-like atmosphere so our creative kids can feel safe and confident,” Dan Rinaldi, owner of the Clinton Avenue school, said. “Our goal is to nurture students academically and socially while also serving as a second home to those who attend.”

While some young children may walk through the doors without so much as a backwards glance, others may find themselves hesitant and anxious, especially when it’s time for their parents to leave. This may also be the case for those children who have been truly excited about coming in the weeks and days leading up to the first day.

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“Each child is different and, as a result, each child will handle change and new endeavors differently,” said Rinaldi, noting that while there is no way to know ahead of time exactly how a child will react on the first day, engaging in a healthy dialogue about school with your child can help make the transition smoother.

“Use phrases such as ‘CKA is your school,’ and tell them about all cool things they are going to learn and do and the new friends they are going to make,” said Rinaldi, noting that, for young children, ‘a sense of ownership and confidence is key to a successful new beginning. “Drive by the school and say hello to their school, again, reinforcing that it’s their new place to learn and explore.”

According to Rinaldi, children aren’t the only ones who may experience mixed emotions the first day. Although parents know their child is being left in capable hands to learn new things, have fun, and make friends, many parents may experience sadness and or guilt about leaving their child, even if it’s just a few hours at time.

“September is filled with a mix of emotions and certainly letting go of your child for any amount of time can be extremely difficult,” he said. “As you have had a healthy dialogue with your child, don’t forget about you.”

Rinaldi advises parents to continue their normal morning routine and to be ahead of the game by getting things ready the evening before. “At drop off, give kisses and a hug, then rip the bandage off – leave quickly before you or your child starts to cry and go about your day. “Within no time, you’ll be back to pick up and ready to do it all over again,” he said, adding that parents are welcome to call or email the school to inquire about how a child is doing. “We will get back to you ASAP to inform you of how your child is doing."

With small class sizes and low student-teacher ratios, CKA boasts an intimate atmosphere where children receive patient, dedicated and individualized attention. A former teacher, Rinaldi said CKA is constantly strengthening its curricula to meet the needs of all learners and to keep up with all the changes in education.

“We pride ourselves in staying up-to-date with what’s going on in the K-5 schools in our area so that our students are better prepared,” said Rinaldi.

CKA’s uses the Land of the Letter People, a standards –based curriculum that prepares children for early literacy and a love for reading.  The main program for letter recognition and dexterity –Handwriting Without Tears offers an exciting and fun approach to writing and recognizing new words and their sounds. At CKA, the "Letter of the Week" is present in a variety of activities, including reading or cooking, with ‘Word Walls’ also used to reinforce the week’s letter.

“We are preparing our students for the 21st Century style of learning, while also making it fun and rewarding” said Rinaldi

Additionally, at CKA, all educational services are balanced out with fun activities such as themed weeks, special ‘crazy hair’ or ‘crazy sock’ days, parties, a winter concert, trips and Swift Farm Petting Zoos as well as weekly visits from the Fun Bus and the Travelin' Tumblers.

“We are dedicated to helping children develop the academic and the social skills they will need for years to come. We offer a well-balanced atmosphere and are dedicated to helping children feel safe and proud of who they are,” said Rinaldi. “At CKA, we are constructing the foundation for education and socialization while providing an environment where kids can still be kids.”

For the 2017-2018 academic year, which begins Wednesday, Sept. 6, CKA will offer a pre-kindergarten program and as well as classes for 3 & 4 year olds and 2 & 3 year olds all featuring low student-teacher rations. CKA, which is located at 1615 Clinton Avenue, also offers part-time or full-time programs as well as early and extended care options.

For more information, call 908-753-4477 or visit www.creativekidsacademy.org.

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