• CCSD Kindergarten Dreamers

  • Don KennedyWhen I think about what kids need, it makes me think about each of you. It makes me wonder, what are your dreams

    I want each of you to know that your dreams are special. Your dreams are powerful, and if you make them come true, your dreams will lift our community. 

    It is my job to help make it possible for your dreams to come true! 

    When you think of your dreams, I want you to think not just about what you want to be, but I want you to dream about who you want to be. I have a few questions for you. 

    What are your dreams? 

    • What are your dreams for yourself by the end of kindergarten? 

    • What are your dreams for yourself when you are a teenager? 

    • What are your dreams for yourself when you are a grown-up? 

    Who are the most important people in your family or community that can help you make your dreams come true? How do they help you? 

    Will you share your dreams with me? You can write a letter, draw a picture, you can ask your teacher to help you send me an email, or you can post to this flipgrid platform.

    I look forward to hearing all about your dreams! 



  • The Reality

  • Don at JBEOur kindergartners are the Class of 2035. As of the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year back in August, we had 3,422 kindergarten students enrolled across the district. Thinking about Vision 2027 of all students reading on grade level by grade five, based on SC READY ELA 2022 scores, only 54.2% of our students are currently reading on or above grade level. That means if we continue on the same trajectory, only 1,855 of those 3,422 kindergarten students will be able to read at or above grade level by the time they are completing fifth grade in 2028. 

    We know undoubtedly that a student’s ability to read at grade level has a domino effect on their ability to grow and excel in other subject areas as reading is fundamental to all other areas of learning. Looking forward to this same group of students’ college and career readiness rate at graduation, using our Spring 2022 readiness level data, only 70.2% or 2,402 of our current kindergarteners will end up ready to enter the next phase of their life post preK-12. It goes without saying that it is integral for us to ensure that all 3,422 students are equipped with the necessary skills, knowledge, resources, and supports to enable them to not just adequately read, but to soar in their ability to have positive outcomes in all subject areas, better ensuring they are ready for college, career, and life beyond CCSD.

    I visited Ms. Pomposelli’s kindergarten class at James B. Edwards and heard her students share their dreams. I have also engaged staff in creating what we are calling Dream Circles. Over the coming weeks and months, we will host a series of community events inviting our students, families, business partners, and community members to come and share their dreams for the future of our children and our community. We are excited to bring our first circle to the D23 area (Hollywood, Ravenel, and Edisto Island) of the county. Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks.

    I have been so excited to hear from literally hundreds of our students about their dreams through video messages, emails, scanned drawings, and actual paper drawings that have been sent to me via email or in the courier from our schools. I am blown away by the ambitions of our Class of 2035 and am committed to helping all of our students reach their dreams with the help of our community and preK-12 ecosystem. Thank you to our outstanding, hardworking, and dedicated teachers and principals for their support of this initiative and for engaging their students and families about their hopes and wishes for the future.