LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The countdown to kindergarten is on, and Jefferson County Public Schools are getting hundreds of kids ready.

At the Unseld Early Childhood Center in Newburg, little ones are learning lessons before they go back into the classroom.

The sound of children counting and clapping echoed from Sharon Fragier-Glenn's classroom on Wednesday.

With numbers on an easel, Fragier-Glenn is helping guide her students to learn as much as they can. But the learning extends beyond academics.

"We're also making up for the social emotional piece that they didn't get during NTI," she said. "Being around peers, interacting, solving problems, being able to share ... that's a lot in just three weeks."

Hundreds of kids are enrolled in the district's Ready 4 K camp — more this year than ever before, coming off the last year of the pandemic.

"Fifty percent of them have not had a school experience, so we are giving them a little bit of a jump start to get ready for school," said Michelle Seadler, associate principal at Unseld. "A lot of them didn't even have any personal contact with kids their own age. Just sitting or walking or talking to another child was a big experience."

Sebastian De Torres has been learning his ABCs, and showed his mom, Karrie, some of his new skills.

"The last few days he's been like, 'I love my teacher. Let me write my teacher a note.' He's really getting into it now," said De Torres, who thinks the camp will give him a smoother start to the school year.

"I know it is a little different of a transition going into kindergarten, and I wanted him to be ready after we had the last half of a year at home," she said.

It's rewarding for teachers like Fragier-Glenn who can track students' growth within a few weeks.

"We go home tired at the end of the day, but it doesn't stop us from waking up bright and early and coming back here ready to go," she said.

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