JCPS teachers go door-to-door to help kids get ready for school - WDRB 41 Louisville News

JCPS teachers go door-to-door to help kids get ready for school

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- JCPS students will head back to school in less than a week, and teachers at one school are literally hitting the streets to help kids get off to a good start.

You've heard of going the extra mile and at Atkinson elementary, teachers are applying that to education.

They are going door to door, visiting the families of the students who will be in their classrooms starting next week.

The idea is to add a fourth "R" to education -- reading, (w)riting, (a)rithmetic - and relationship.

"The focus is so much on the standards. However, before you can even teach a child, you have to build a relationship with that child," said 5th grade teacher April Pry.

It's not only the child, but also the parents.

"We know that some families have not had the most positive experiences with schools in the past, maybe even in their childhood. So we want to build trust. We want to build community. We want to build a relationship so that we are true partners with our kids families," said Family Resource Coordinator Lisa Hirsch.

Vinda Kutzner's daughter is going to 5th grade at Atkinson next year and she's thrilled that teachers made the effort to meet her where she lives.

"They care about the kids, and that shows when they're willing to come all the way to your house," she said.

Other JCPS schools also do home visits, but Atkinson is taking door-to-door to a whole new level.

Not only are more teachers participating, but other staffers, such as family resource counselors, are also go along.

"Our teachers this year decided to do home visits as a team, so that the parents get to know everyone who is going to touch their child's live over the next 9 months," said Atkinson principal Stephanie Nutter.

The teachers are doing this on their own time; walking the extra mile outside the classroom to help students succeed inside the classroom.

"Getting to know these families is really important to us, so it's totally worth the time it takes," said Pry.

"That communication just enhances their child's school experience," added Hirsch.

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