Treasure Hunt helps pave way for young students

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- James Ellis Elementary School's staff welcomed 85 new kindergarten students during their kindergarten orientation day on Monday.
Parents who wished to enroll their children in James Ellis' kindergarten had the opportunity to drop by the school at two different morning sessions and take part in a Treasure Hunt.
The event was organized to take the young students and their families to different areas of the school, that way introducing them to their new environment as well as their teachers and staff.
Susann Jewell has been a kindergarten teacher for eight years, but is new to James Ellis this year.
Jewell said it's nice to meet the children and their families before school starts.
From her experience as a kindergarten teacher, Jewell said the large majority of the children are excited about starting school and meeting new friends.
Diana Milner came to James Ellis with her daughter, Savahnah, on Monday.
Having done the Treasure Hunt and met Savahnah's new teacher, Milner thinks it helps the young students to have an orientation day with their parents.
Kim Avance, who took her son, Joe, to James Ellis on Monday, also thinks orientation day is good.
Sitting outside on a bench with Milner watching their children play on the playground, Avance said she thinks orientation day helps the students familiarize themselves with the school and the kindergarten teachers.
Julie Tracey has been a secretary at James Ellis for 21 years.
Each year she looks forward to meeting new students and their families.
It also gives her the chance to meet the new students and their families one-on-one.
Tracey said orientation day is also a good opportunity for her to let parents know that she is there to help if help is needed.
For the young students one day away from starting Kindergarten, the playground seemed to be the highlight of the day.
Ben VanLue, 6, enjoyed playing with his new friends at the playground.
But, although the school's playground slides and monkey bars were fun, VanLue was excited about one more thing while at James Ellis yesterday.

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