Story by Kathleen Wilson
If you have a child who entered Kindergarten at Golden Hill Elementary School in the last four years, most likely your child was one of over 200 “soon-to-be” Kindergarten students who received a visit at home from Golden Hill’s Principal, Debbie Lisack.
It’s not in the job description, but Principal Lisack maps out the names and addresses of all the students who are registered to start Kindergarten at Golden Hill and, for the fourth consecutive year now, spent the month of August ringing doorbells and presenting pre-school children with a copy of Kindergarten Rocks by Katie Davis.
The book tells the story of a young boy who knows everything about kindergarten because his big sister told him all about it. He’s not scared, but his stuffed dog, Rufus, is scared. Actually, he’s terrified, but he soon finds out that Kindergarten rocks…and so does reading!
Principal Lisack is passionate about reading and wants children to develop a passion for reading too. Students, parents, and family members not only thank Principal Lisack, but have said, “I’ve never heard of this being done before! It means a lot that you visited us!”
Another parent exclaimed, “It helps so much that my child sees you before school starts,” The children are wide-eyed with awe and grinning at the same time, almost in disbelief, that the Principal of their “soon-to-be” school is at their house.
“Relationships matter as well as connections,” said Principal Lisack.
On a recent August outing, Lisack’s daughter, Jaime, who is now beginning her Doctorate in Bioscience, accompanied her mother on some of the home visits and at one house was greeted by her ninth grade Social Studies teacher.
The Social Studies teacher now has a daughter who was preparing to enter Kindergarten at Golden Hill. They reminisced about how much fun her class had been and how important that had been to Jaime’s school life.
Debbie told the “small world” story remarking, “It was an amazing experience for all of us!”
When that first day of school rolls around, Rufus, the stuffed dog, is far less frightened, especially when he sees the familiar, welcoming, and smiling face of Principal Lisack. And, the Principal was smiling too, because she knew that a very important seed was planted; the one that develops that special and life-changing passion for reading.