Primary Project

Primary Project

Primary Project for Kindergarten and Second Grade Students


Primary Project is a program to help kindergarten and first grade students enjoy school and learning. Adjusting to the school environment, routines and classroom tasks can take time.  Primary Project uses expressive play to help young students improve learning skills and prevent social, emotional and/or school adjustment concerns.  How does it work?


Children experience many common concerns that may impact how they act within the classroom and/or at home...such as:


"I don't want to go to school, I'll miss you."  "I wish I didn't have a new baby brother."  "I am so sad that gramma isn't here anymore."  "No one wants to play with me at recess."  "Why don't I get stars on my paper too?"  "I'm too scared to ask the teacher for help".  "Why did daddy/mommy have to move out?"




How it works: Each Fall, every first grader teacher completes a brief survey to identify students who may benefit from Primary Project.  The teacher, school psychologist, school counselor and parents of potential students discuss whether Primary Project would be a good program for the child.  Only, with parent consent, a child begins the program and is assigned to a trained child associate/paraprofessional who meets individually with him or her for 30 minutes in a welcoming playroom filled with expressive toys, room 221.  Students visit the playroom for 12-14 weeks before they "graduate".  In some circumstances students may visit longer.  Each Spring, every kindergarten teacher completes a survey to identify students who may benefit from Primary Project, and the selection process begins again.  The survey used looks at: task orientation, behavior control, peer social skills, and assertiveness.


In the playroom, the child sets the pace and chooses activities.  The child is guided towards learning problem solving, focusing on tasks, following/accepting rules and practicing social skills.  Each child has their own unique goals and the child associate welcomes your child with unconditional acceptance and caring.  When students are given the opportunity to express themselves in a very supportive environment they often gain new confidence and then use their new skills back into the classroom and other settings.  Primary Project supports each individual's child's emotional growth. The playroom is filled with puppets, leggos, castles, kitchen sets, sand trays, toy animals, toy tools, etc. to promote learning and expression.  


Primary Project is funded by the Children's Institute and by our school district.  

The Primary Project model was established in 1957 and currently serves young children in more than 2,000 schools across the country.  Primary Project is a proven researched based early prevention program


Please contact the school counselor if you have any questions regarding the Primary Project program.