Directly Speaking, Ken
I can’t believe August is already upon us and we’re in the last full month of summer. Last month we participated in the Mississippi Street Fair and the NE Portland Parkways. Both events had beautiful weather where we talked to hundreds of people about our program.
Our last outreach event for the summer will be the Alberta Street Fair on Saturday, August 9. As a thank you, if you volunteer for a 2 hour shift we'll give you a voucher good for one child’s tuition at a Parent’s Night Out. Limited vouchers are available so see me if you are interested. It’s fun and we can use YOUR help!
I want to give BIG kudos to our Development Director Jeri. Jeri was notified the other day that a grant we submitted to the Spirit Mountain Community Fund was approved for $25,000. This grant will provide funds as we pursue the state’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) certification. Part of the money we receive will be used to increase the training we provide for our teachers. This certification will raise even higher the quality of programming we offer your children.
This September, Peninsula opens a new chapter of providing quality child care to school age children. We will be partnering with King Elementary in providing before and aftercare. This means we will now be providing before and after care at three Portland Public Schools: King, Sabin and Boise-Eliot/Humboldt from 6:30 a.m. to the beginning of school, and when school gets out till 6:00 p.m. All these programs are offered on site at the schools. For more information, don’t hesitate to contact Michele, Abby or me.
It is with sadness that I report that Teacher Melody will say goodbye to us at the end of August. She has been an anchor to our school since 2001 and has positively touched many children and their families. Melody will embark on new adventures, one of which is her September wedding. She has held out a carrot and said she might come back and substitute sometime in the future. I hope you join me in giving her big hug and thanks for all she has done for the school and wish her nothing but the best for the future.
Last, don’t forget about Peninsula’s 44th Birthday Party on September 14. I talked with Mr. Ben the other day, and he assured me he will be there to entertain all of us! The Junior League of Portland has again graciously volunteered to help run the event, and we’re grateful for their support. This will be a fun event for the whole family. See you there!
Notes from Michele, Director of Education
Oh the joys of summer, outdoor play and sunshine! Here at Peninsula we are taking advantage of these moments and the more relaxed pace. Big transitions and new adventures are ahead for those children who are Kindergarten bound. In talking with other early childhood educators I’m always reminded that Kindergarten readiness is about much more than letters and numbers—and it begins at birth.
As a previous Kindergarten teacher, I saw children benefit from strong relationships with teachers and peers, working within a small group, asking for help when needed, regulating their emotions and expressing them in appropriate ways, problem solving and persistence. Here at Peninsula I was these being supported from infancy through preschool every day.
One trait that often doesn't come naturally that we as adults can support is persistence. From the infant who is beginning to crawl or eat finger food, the wobbler who is navigating stairs, the toddler or junior who is toilet training or experimenting with cause and effect, or the preschooler who is drawing, or trying to get a friend to play a game, we are surrounded by these daily moments. All of these situations need multiple attempts! As adults, our encouragement, patience, persistence and specific acknowledgment of both the attempts as well as success help build persistence in young children. For more information, ways to build persistence can be found at:
12 Tips to Raise a Persistent Child
I hope each of you is enjoying the summer with your families!
From Alicia, Curriculum & Licensing Coordinator
Outdoor play is especially important to us at Peninsula. When our children are outdoors, they are risk taking, learning how to move their bodies, exercising, exploring and gaining an understanding and respect for the natural world. They feel free to yell, run, and test the limits of what their growing bodies can do. Nature provides a certain magic to children; there is wonder everywhere.
On our playground, a child might observe how a spider spins its web, find a place to tell secrets to a new friend, find an interesting way to climb our play structure, or taste the fresh raspberries growing in our garden. When we are outdoors, all our senses are engaged.
Neighborhood walks are also important to us. When strolling with the children around our blocks, we gain a connection to our immediate community. Neighbors come out to greet us, we watch baby birds in a nest turn to full-grown robins, we notice the sunflowers getting higher every day, and the mailman stops to chat with us about his job. The teachable moments we can discover when we are outside are endless, and summer is the perfect time to have them.
There’s a reason why many of our favorite childhood memories take place in nature. I wish you the happiest of memories this summer if you and your family get the opportunity to explore the outdoors.