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      Hundreds of families gear up for kindergarten at EdVenture

      COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Hundreds of five-year-olds in the Midlands got a fun and free opportunity to prepare for kindergarten Friday.

      The tenth annual Countdown to Kindergarten at EdVenture Children's Museum had plenty of kids and parents gearing up for the first day of school.

      The celebration provided parents with the opportunity to connect with representatives from school districts and other helpful resources, and kids got a fun introduction to some of the things they will be learning in school.

      An estimated 3,000 kids and parents showed up to the event, ready to ease their jitters about the first day of school.

      "You know parents are just as nervous as the kids are about things like boarding a school bus or carrying a lunch tray or what it's like to be in a real classroom," said Kristy Barnes with EdVenture. "So this event helps people get excited for that milestone, get prepared for it, and walk away feeling really excited about that first day of school."

      Rising kindergarteners got some practice including visiting a mock classroom, boarding a school bus, and carrying a lunch tray.

      "They're able to interact with teachers, use supplies, and see what that environment is like," said Barnes.

      EdVenture was one of six children's museums in the state who celebrated Countdown to Kindergarten. Kids in Greenville, Rock Hill, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head and Charleston got to kick off their first year of school in the same fashion.