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Parents working to prepare their children for their first day of school don’t always know the best way to help them learn the alphabet or to count to 20.

When a student starts kindergarten, teachers need them to be able to recognize letters, print their name and count to at least 20. But parents don’t always know the best way to teach a preschooler these skills, Johnson County Learning Centers director Dawn Underwood said.

A parent who has never had a child entering school might not know what the state’s kindergarten standards are and that the child needs to be able to read before moving on to first grade. This school year, fewer than half the students who began kindergarten at Franklin schools were ready for lessons on reading and counting, largely because not all parents know what to do to prepare students before they start school, Underwood said.

“More is expected of our kids than ever before,” she said.

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