Alcona kindergartners take part in four-day camp

News Photo by Kaitlin Ryan Teacher Valorie Haneckow reads to students during Kindergarten Camp at Alcona Elementary School.

LINCOLN — Alcona Elementary School held a Kindergarten Camp this week to get new kindergartners ready for the beginning of the school year.

The four-day camp took place Monday through Thursday for three hours each day. Not all students took advantage of the camp, but those who did had a chance to familiarize themselves with the classroom and teachers before the start of the school year.

Principal Timothy Lee said the camp is meant to help new kindergartners get used to the building and its policy and procedures and to meet their teachers before the first day of school so they have a smoother transition into a school setting.

“The first couple of days of school are a little chaotic, anyways, so having that background helps them make a connection with the teacher and the building so it’s not a complete shock,” Lee said.

He also said the camp was a great way for teachers to get to know their students ahead of time, and be better prepared to teach them.

“It is a time where the teachers are able to interact and meet (students),” he said. “They can get ideas about skill sets and abilities for students so they can come up with their groupings and kind of how they’re going to structure and organize the class.”

The camp has been taking place for five years now, and the theme this summer was bee-related. The students worked on crafts and read stories relating to the bees and were taught messages such as “be kind” and “behave”.

During the school year, the classroom will have two teachers for kindergarten, Lorrie Mongeau and Ali Yokom. There will also be a Title I teacher, Valorie Haneckow, as well as Title I instructional aides throughout the day.

This year, the teachers will be approaching the classroom with a blended learning method. There will be two large classrooms to create some variety in the daily schedule, and the teachers will focus on their areas of expertise while working together to create the most productive learning environment. Yokom will focus on math and science and Mongeau will focus on language arts, and it will be a collaborative effort to keep kids engaged and learning.

Yokom said teaching the students to work together is an important part of a child’s education, and by working alongside Mongeau, they are providing the kids an example of how to work as a team.

“As teachers, we feel like we should be collaborating and working together, Lorrie and myself,” Yokom said. “That’s something we ask our students to do and how can expect them to do that if we aren’t willing to do it ourselves?”

Kaitlin Ryan can be reached at or by phone at 989-358-5693.