Crocuses or Crow Kisses?

A staff member told me it was almost time for the crow kisses, and she was excited. I wasn’t sure what she meant, but it made me happy to think of little crows bouncing around, showing love to their families. Another staff member came into the building a few days later saying the crocuses were starting to bloom. It was then I realized my mistake and that I never knew the name of the beautiful purple flowering plant that signals spring is coming to so many people.

For Children & Family Resource Center, Smart Start Partnership for Children, Henderson County Public Schools, and early childhood education teachers everywhere, spring also means kindergarten readiness. It is a time to canvass the town and make sure all eligible 4 and 5-year-olds are registering for kindergarten and learning what it means to be in elementary school. Parents start to stress about that first day and which school is the right school for their kiddo. Early childhood education teachers worry if they’ve nurtured little minds enough to grow and develop even more in the big elementary school.

Did you know that nearly 900 children are registering for kindergarten in Henderson County each year? Our county has 13 public elementary schools and several private and charter options.

Being prepared for kindergarten goes beyond the alphabet and number recognition, and how to hold scissors. These are all great skills, but they also need to know how to take care of their basic hygiene like going to the bathroom and washing their hands. They need to be able to ask for help if they need it and share how they are feeling. They also need to sit down when it is time to listen, focus on a task when needed, and find ways to solve problems on their own. These are big skills for a five-year-old! To top it all off, these children must do all this with a brain that is not fully formed, and without any naps! Let’s be honest, we can all probably think of a few adults in our lives who still struggle with some of these skills. Today’s kindergarten is nothing like kindergarten twenty or thirty years ago.

We are lucky to live in a community that has the READY! Kindergarten Transition Team made up of all the key players involved in getting these children ready and closing the gap between our child development centers and the school system. This team led by Smart Start Partnership and Henderson County Public Schools has put together many resources for caregivers. Visit: for direct links to tools and guides for caregivers. You can also register for HCPS kindergarten online: If you have a rising kindergartener in your home, please plan to visit one of the 13 rallies happening in March. Each rally will provide an opportunity to meet the teachers and learn about community resources, and each child will receive a goodie bag with items designed to support kindergarten readiness at home.

Children & Family Resource Center has a variety of programming all intended to support children and families preparing for kindergarten, from developmental screenings to home visiting programs and support groups, our focus is on the littlest minds and how we can best prepare them for this great big wild world. Visit our website ( or call the office (828-698-0674) for more details.

All children need the love and support of at least one caring adult in their lives, and in the earliest years, this is even more true. Kindergarten is a time of big transition for children and caregivers for so many different reasons. If you know someone with a kindergartener, check in on them, it is surprisingly emotional. If you have a young child in your care and are concerned about kindergarten, call us. Letters and numbers are important, but the best way to ensure children are ready is to provide them with safety, love, and a nurturing environment.

This spring, while you look for the blooming crocuses, remember to play, sing (even if it sounds terrible), laugh (at your singing), and read with your child. I plan to keep searching for the crow kisses too so I can celebrate that sweet tenderness because, at the core of it all, we could all use a reminder that each of us needs compassion and support.

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