Preparing for a New School Year

Every family wants to help their children start the new school year off on the right foot. And we all do as much as we can to make that happen. But are there specific things that we often overlook? We’re talking to four teachers from our region to ask what they think are the most important things for parents and families to do to make sure their kids are ready for a new school year.


Shelia Pleasants, United Way’s Director of Resource Development, worked in early childhood education for more than 20 years, including 14 years as Executive Director of a Richmond-area early childhood center. We asked her to share her thoughts on the importance of being prepared for a new school year as a preschool or kindergarten student. Read more.

Elementary School Students

We talked to Shelby Bartilotti, an Exceptional Education Teacher at Bellwood Elementary School in North Chesterfield, to learn about ways parents and families can help their elementary-age student prepare for a successful start to the school year. Read more.

Middle School Students

Middle school can be a tough time for both students and parents. We have some tips on what you can do to make middle school a success. Learn more.

High School Students

Don Wilms is a National Board Certified teacher, Virginia Award for Teaching Excellence recipient and a former READ Center Board member. Don understands the big picture of education and shared his advice on what kids can do over the summer to be ready for school. Read more.