Directly Speaking

I hope all of you had a wonderful summer. I can’t believe that it’s almost over, and the days are starting to get shorter once again. I want to make sure that you don’t forget to come to Peninsula’s 41st Birthday Party on Sunday September 16th from 1-3 pm. Make sure to bring your family and friends to this free party at the Maryland Campus (4720 N Maryland Ave).
Fun activities for the children will include a Dino Bounce, face painting, a balloon artist, and children’s music provided by Mr. Ben. Last but not least no Birthday party is complete without plenty of cake and ice-cream, beverages and fruit. If you have time and want to help at the party please let me know (

We are excited to announce that our new part day preschool program began today! The program is for children ages 3 – 5 who are potty-trained. Our 3-day class meets on Monday/Wednesday/Friday 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., tuition is $250 per month. Our 2-day class meets on Tuesday/Thursday 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., tuition is $185 per month. Children may also attend all 5 days of the week for $400 per month. Before care will be available from 7:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. and after care will be available from 11:30 – 2:00. These services will be available Monday through Friday for $5.90 per hour. Please call or email Tracy today (, 503-280-0534, ext. 36) to schedule a tour or for more information.

Today we also started a new Pre-Kindergarten after school program at our Maryland Campus for children who attend Pre-Kindergarten at Beech, Boise-Elliot, Rosa Parks, César Chavez, Ockley Green and Chief Joseph Elementary Schools. The program hours are 2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. The cost is $400 per month (5 days), $250 per month (3 days) and $185 per month (2 days). Partial scholarships are available. We will also be able to provide bus service for this program. As with our new part day preschool program, contact Tracy for more information and/or a tour.

Notes from Amber and Tracey, Co-Directors of Education

We are very excited to offer the part-day preschool program here at Peninsula!

When you walk into our preschool rooms you will see children engaged in a variety of activities. The room will be buzzing with activity, and you will hear the sound of children having fun. You will see the teachers engaged with children; their presence is comforting as they support the children in their daily routines. If you come in at meal time you will see the children dining family style, just as they would at home. Children serve themselves and decide what they would like to eat. They visit over mealtime with their peers as well as their teachers, and it is very relaxed.

Eric Erickson identified the preschool years as the time when children need to develop initiative. In order to support this developmental task, our preschoolers spend much of their day in self-chosen small group activities. They may choose to engage in dramatic play, sensory play, block play, using manipulatives, and open ended art exploration. Mixed in throughout the day are opportunities for large group activities such as story and music time, and having group discussions. The children also have ample opportunity for large motor activities both inside and outside.

Our center supports a play based curriculum. Our teachers thoughtfully prepare curriculum each day that is intentional and project based. This means that we build on learning over time, and focus on studies that are interesting and engaging for children. This approach helps children become critical thinkers and problem solvers. Children are able to learn literacy and math skills they need to be successful, but in a way that is personally meaningful to them. To see an example of project based learning you can go to

When your child begins preschool it is important to bring a change of clothes and a blanket for rest time. Toys and personal items should be left at home to prevent them from getting lost.

Parent volunteers are highly encouraged! Please see your child’s teacher if you are interested in volunteering.

We look forward to a great school year!

Sabin Site Notes

My name is Lena Fox, and I am the Site Director of the Sabin program. Jordan Baran is our Head Teacher. Together we are very excited to meet the new parents and children as well as welcome back and catch up with the families that are returning.

Our schedule is the same as last school year; we open at 6:30 a.m. and provide breakfast and activities before walking the children to school at 8:30 a.m. In the afternoons, we meet the children at 3:00 p.m. and provide homework help as well as daily themed activities until our closing time at 6:00 p.m.

A few reminders, per licensing regulations please walk your children into the program and sign them in. At pick up please remember to check your child’s mailbox for important communication, and then sign your child out for the day.

Our program will start off this year with a Back to School/Learning to Work Together theme. During this time, we will review the rules of the center as well as provide an opportunity for the children to create rules that will benefit the group. As we build our community of learners we appreciate your feedback.

We hope to see everyone at the parent information night on Thursday September 13, 2012, from 6:15 p.m. - 7:15 p.m.

Boise-Elliot Site Notes

My name is Francine Alexander (Ms. Francine), and I'm your Site Director. Our teacher is Shavon Phillips (Teacher Shay).

We support children in their social emotional, physical, and academic growth development through a variety of activities. We offer breakfast in the morning and a snack in the afternoon in a safe and healthy classroom environment. Our daily activities include homework, computers, arts/crafts, reading, and outside time. Friday we enjoy movies together.

Our program serves six different schools we transport to five outer schools. Bus 1 leaves at 7:40 a.m. Bus 2 leaves at 8:10 a.m. Boise Eliot releases at 8:35 bell time. In the afternoons students from Chief Joseph and Ockley Green return to Boise-Elliot via Portland Public Schools First Student bus. I pick up students from Cesar Chavez, Rosa Parks and Beach Elementary Schools using the Peninsula bus.

Our School Day Hours are 6:30 a.m. - 8:45 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. We offer full-day care on most school closure days as well as spring and winter breaks. On these days children need to arrive no later than 9:00 a.m. and bring a sack lunch.

Please keep toys and electronic items at home, unless it is for sharing at school (in which case it needs to remain in your child's backpack during our program hours). For your convenience you may make your payment at the Boise Eliot location.

If you have any questions please contact me at 503-282-0042. I look forward to working with you this coming school year!

Peninsula Launches Part-Day Preschool and Expands Full-Day Preschool Capacity!

Peninsula’s part-day preschool program got off to a fabulous start today! We are so pleased to welcome back Preschool Teacher Tricia Hirdes to lead this classroom. Tricia has an Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education and has worked for Peninsula (except for time off after having her first baby) since September 2007. In Tricia's classroom today our children enjoyed indoor and outdoor play and meeting all of their new friends. We look forward to welcoming our Tuesday and Thursday students tomorrow.

It's not too late to sign up for the part-day program! We have the following a.m. openings: 2 M/W/F or Monday - Friday and 6 T/Th. We're also starting a waitlist for our p.m. program. Please call or email Tracy today for more information (503-280-0534, ext. 36 or!

Equally exciting is the full-day preschool expansion made possibly through a grant from United Way of the Columbia-Willamette. Their general capital grant provided the necessary funds to retrofit a ground-level space next-door to our existing main campus. Our community partners at St. Irene are leasing this space to Peninsula, and due to the larger square foot area of this space we can now enroll up to 20 ful-time preschool students with Teacher Chris. The new space is fully functional and meets licensing requirements from the Oregon Child Care Division. We are so pleased that this joint venture has come to fruition, and we look forward to serving even more preschoolers and their families throughout this year.

Preschool Activity with Junior League of Portland - Decorate Pavers for our New Sensory Garden

In preparation for the installation of our sensory garden in the preschool playground (as well as general grounds beautification) with our partners at the Junior League of Portland for JLP CAREs on October 20 from 9 am - 1 pm, we'll be decorating pavers on Tuesday, September 25 and Wednesday, September 26 from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. This free, fun activity takes place at Peninsula's main campus (4720 North Maryland Avenue) on the covered deck of the preschool playgournd. Staffed by JLP volunteers and with materials donated through the JLP CAREs program, this activity is open to all children enrolled in Peninsula's Preschool Programs (full and part-day) - and their parents! Please note that in order to make sure our teaching staff can give attention to their full afternoon classes, we are asking parents to be present with their child(ren) for this activity in order to participate. These pavers will be installed in the preschool playground and become a permanent display of childrens' artwork as part of the JLP CAREs program at Peninsula on October 20. We are very excited to work together with volunteers from JLP to make this event, and our preschool playground sensory garden, a success! Please plan to attend one or both days of this activity with your child(ren)!

Peninsula Partners up with Junior League of Portland for JLP CAREs

Since its founding in 1910, the Junior League of Portland has served the needs of the community while educating and developing civic leaders in the Portland area — over one hundred years dedicated to irreplaceable community programs and committed voluntarism.

In 2011 the Junior League of Portland established the JLP CAREs (Community Action & Revitalization Event) program to provide another level of support to our community’s children and families in need above and beyond the volunteerism and donations League members contribute to our annual community partners. At this annual open-to-the-public community service and fundraising event, JLP members, family, friends and supporters unite to complete multiple half-day service projects that enhance the services and facilities of essential Portland community organizations selected from a pool of applicants. For JLP CAREs 2012, six community partners were chosen, including Peninsula Children's Center.

Through the JLP CAREs program, Peninsula Children's Center and our children and families will not only receive the benefit of volunteers’ efforts, but the Junior League of Portland will be donating much-needed supplies and items for the families and children we serve. JLP CAREs volunteers will:
  1. Build a sensory garden (including decorated childrens' pavers!) that enhances sensory development of preschoolers serviced by Peninsula.  Sensory development is foundational for all forms of learning.
  2. provide children at Peninsula with a connection to plants and the natural world by creating two wheeled sensory carts, each holding a clear container in which plants can be grown. Children will be able to observe the plants’ growth cycles from seed to plant and their root systems as they grow. The wheeled carts will allow the teachers to easily move the containers between the classrooms.  This project will require some advanced preparations.  If you have building skills for something like this, we could use your help!  Please email us at
  3. Assist with the beautification of the 1,000 square foot parking lot area of Peninsula's main facility and plant the area with blooming flowers, shrubs and groundcover.
All told, JLP CAREs 2012 volunteers and supporters will have a direct and lasting positive impact on the lives of approximately 7,500 Portland area children. Please join us and the Junior League of Portland’s members and supporters at Peninsula Children's Center on October 20 from 9 am – 1 pm. You can register to volunteer and get more program information by visiting

Thank you for supporting the Junior League of Portland and Peninsula Children's Center.

Calendar of events

Tuesday, September 11
5:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Family Involvement Meeting - Peninsula families, please join us for our family involvement committee meeting! Co-Directors of Education Tracy Gower and Amber Averitt will lead this meeting. Please email or to find out more about this meeting and Family Involvement at Peninsula.
Sunday, September 16
1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Peninsula's 41st Birthday Party! Please bring your family and friends to celebrate our birthay with activities and refreshments!
Tuesday and Wednesday, September 25 & 26
4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Preschool Paver Party - please bring your child to this fun, free event sponsored and hosted by the Junior League of Portland. Decorated pavers will become a permanent display of childrens' artwork in the sensory garden which will be installed on October 20!
Friday, October 5
6:00 - 9:30 p.m.
Parents' Night Out / Kids' Night In. Register with Tracy for your child(ren) to enjoy a fun evening at Peninsula including a yummy dinner. $25. Open to current students and friends and relatives of current students. Children ages 2 - 8 are welcome to attend. Children do not need to be potty trained.