Clarendon and Lee county schools participating in S.C. First Steps annual Countdown to Kindergarten campaign


A 2023 survey of 2,727 parents and caregivers in South Carolina revealed that 75% of parents need help knowing how to prepare their child for kindergarten, according to a news release from South Carolina First Steps.

On Wednesday, May 29, South Carolina First Steps announced the kickoff of Countdown to Kindergarten, an annual initiative focused on preparing young children for success in school. Through partnerships with schools and community organizations across the state, Countdown to Kindergarten provides rising kindergartners and their families with resources and support for a smooth transition to the classroom.

"Every child deserves a positive start in school, and Countdown to Kindergarten is our commitment to making that happen," said Janice Kilburn, school transition coordinator at South Carolina First Steps. "By working together with educators and community partners, we are helping families across the state build the confidence and connections they need to support their child's academic success from the very beginning."

This year, South Carolina First Steps partnered with 94 school districts and community organizations in 33 counties including Clarendon County First Steps, Clarendon County School District, Lee County First Steps, Lee County School District and Tomorrow's Leaders (Lee).

Through a variety of activities and resources, Countdown to Kindergarten helps prepare students through a variety of activities and resources designed to engage children, families and communities. These efforts focus on encouraging early registration, fostering connections with schools, promoting school readiness and linking families with community resources.

Families are encouraged to visit for useful information to help prepare children for kindergarten. The website features helpful tips, resources, a school directory and a calendar showcasing local Countdown to Kindergarten events.

About South Carolina First Steps

South Carolina First Steps is both a state agency and a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and is the only statewide, dedicated early childhood agency focused on the healthy development and school readiness of children from birth through 5. South Carolina First Steps plays a crucial role in supporting young children across all 46 counties. In fiscal year 2023, the agency directly served 54,241 young children, which represents 37% of the young children in need in the state.