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Directly Speaking

At the end of this month we will be celebrating Thanksgiving. Peninsula has much to be thankful for: our highly skilled and dedicated teachers, a program that allows us to be as innovative as possible, parents and grandparents who are not only supportive but are ready to jump in and help, a Board of Directors who provides us vision and leadership, and most important, we are thankful to have the privilege of working with your children.
 
For over 41 years, Peninsula has provided one of the most comprehensive early childhood education programs in the city. I feel that the most important aspect of our program is that we do not stand pat, but are continually striving to improve. 
 
While it’s nice to look back and see what we have done, I feel that it is more exciting to look forward as we continue to maintain and improve the total experience your child receives at Peninsula. The accomplishments of our school are not through the work of one person, but the efforts of many. What I have found is that Peninsula is a community where our families, Board and staff all work together to make the center the best it can be.

For the last year our Board and staff with the help of the Social Ventures Partners of Portland have been developing a three year strategic plan.  This will be the blue print for our growth and development as a center for the next few years.  We hope to have it completed by the end of this year and begin its implementation in 2013.  Once it is finalized I will be happy to share it with you.
 
Lastly I want to remind all of you about our new Parents Night Out / Kids Night In program that takes place the first Friday of each month from 6:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.  The program provides arts and crafts, playtime, story time, and dinner. Please see or email Tracy or Amber for details. I hope that many of you had a wonderful time at our annual Harvest Festival. It was fun to see the costumes that some of our students and family members wore. I want to thank the Junior League of Portland and participating staff members Kym, Trish, Amber and Terry.
 
On behalf of our staff and Board I want to wish all of you a HAPPY and SAFE Thanksgiving. 


Notes from Amber and Tracey, Co-Directors of Education

As Thanksgiving approaches, we are reminded of how much we appreciate our many volunteers here at Peninsula.  Peninsula Children’s Center is a large organization that relies on the work of many devoted teachers, administrators, board members and volunteers to keep things running smoothly.  Have you noticed the exciting changes on the playground and around the front of the building this past week? A sensory garden was planted in the main playground, a general clean up occurred on the grounds, and flowers were planted out front in the area displaying the children’s homemade pavers. Pea gravel was placed on the playground and mulch was spread about the landscaping. In addition new bibs were sewn for the infant/toddler classrooms. We are grateful to the large team of volunteers from the Junior League of Portland who gave their time, talent, funds and hard work to create these exciting improvements.

The efforts of the Junior League during their JLP CAREs Day are a great example of the positive difference volunteers make for the children and families here at Peninsula. When you look around the grounds and building examples of volunteer efforts abound: volunteers built the loft in Preschool 2 and the play structure in the wobbler room. In addition to these large, permanent structures volunteers also contribute by helping with office tasks, sewing for classrooms, sharing skills (like music or dance) with the children, or spending time with our children and teachers in the classrooms.
 
We also have a dedicated team of Foster Grandparents who help out in our classrooms.  The help that these outstanding individuals provide to our teachers and children is invaluable.
 
Peninsula Children’s Center is lucky to have teachers who are educated and talented in the field of early learning.  They are committed to the work they do with children, but can always use extra help on things around their classrooms, and other areas of the center. If you would like to contribute to Peninsula in any way, such as volunteering or donating, please speak with one of our administrative staff.  We are always available to discuss options with you. 
 
Another example of volunteerism at Peninsula is our Holiday Giving Program that enables us to provide Christmas baskets of food and gifts to some of our families. This program is being coordinated by two members of our Board of Directors this year. If you would like to participate or contribute to our Holiday Giving Program please email Bonnie or Marilyn. (Donations are tax deductible!) This is a highlight of our year that we really enjoy. 

We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Sabin Site Notes

For the month of November, we will be doing activities based on some holidays and events celebrated in this month such as Veterans’ Day, Islamic New Year, Election Day and Thanksgiving. I try to provide basic information about these events and then offer activities associated with them that are always optional. The purpose is to educate students about global events. Please let me know if you would like me to add any holidays or events to my list during any month. I mostly use the internet to get information about holidays and events about which I am not familiar.

We are also working on a project that we hope to contribute to Sabin’s Global Experience Night in April. We are making posters of all the continents and students are drawing, cutting out of magazines and writing things that they know and that we learn about the continents. I am encouraging all students to participate in this optional activity. Currently we are working on North America.

Abby Scott
Sabin Site Director

Boise-Elliot Site Notes

Greetings from Boise-Eliot! In the month of November we will be focusing on giving back to the community. Ms. Shay and I would like to thank all the parents for their support and giving us the opportunity to be a part of your child’s journey. The children are currently working on a play to be performed in the month of December in the evening. The play is based on a story called The Napping House by Audrey Wood. In the month of November there are a few closures: November 9 and November 12. We will be offering full day care the week of Thanksgiving only on Monday, November 19 and Tuesday, November 20. We will be closed November 21 - November 23 for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Francine Alexandar
Boise-Eliot Site Director

Holiday Giving Program

Peninsula's Annual Holiday Giving Program gathers support in the form of donations from our local community in order to provide Christmas baskets of food and gifts to some of our families with the greatest financial challenges. This year our Holiday Giving Program is being coordinated by two members of our Board of Directors. If you would like to participate or contribute to our Holiday Giving Program please contact Bonnie or Marilyn. (Donations are tax deductible!)  This is a highlight of our year that we really enjoy. 


Family Involvement Committee

Peninsula families, please join us for our family involvement committee meeting on Tuesday, November 13 from 5:00 - 6:00 p.m.! Co-Directors of Education Tracy Gower and Amber Averitt will lead this meeting. Please email tracy@penchild.org or amber@penchild.org to find out more about this meeting and Family Involvement at Peninsula.


Family - Teacher Conferences

Family - Teacher conferences will be held November 5 - 8. Our teachers are excited to spend time with you and talk about your child's development. Please sign up directly with your classroom teacher for a conference.

Calendar of events

Friday, Nov. 2
6:00 - 9:30 p.m.
Parents Night Out / Kids Night In! Please sign up today with Tracy.
Monday - Thursday, Nov. 5 - 8 Family - Teacher Conferences at the Maryland Site.
Friday, Nov. 9 ALL SITES CLOSED for staff training.
Monday, Nov. 12 School-Age Sites CLOSED for Veteran's Day.
Tuesday, Nov. 13
5:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Family Involvement Meeting.
Wednesday, Nov. 21 School-Age Sites CLOSED for Thanksgiving Holiday.
Thursday & Friday, Nov. 22 & 23 ALL SITES CLOSED for Thanksgiving Holiday.