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Directly Speaking

This month we have GREAT and EXCITING NEWS!  Our school has been awarded Oregon Program of Quality (OPQ) designation. It is the highest statewide honor that can be bestowed on any child care program.  Last year we were among only 25 programs statewide that were selected in a competitive process to participate in the first cohort of OPQ. 
 
This cohort helped us improve the care and education that we provide to your child. The OPQ application process required us to demonstrate how we meet research standards addressing collaborative family partnerships, child development and learning, highly qualified personnel, health and safety practices, developmental environments, and effective administration. Our designation as an OPQ program lets you know that your child is in a developmentally appropriate and supportive environment, and that he/she is receiving care and education of the highest quality.
 
Thank you so much for your support as we worked through this process. We could not have achieved the OPQ designation alone. Together, we made the difference!
 
Lastly I want to thank all of you who celebrated Peninsula’s 41st Birthday on Sunday, September 16th. The weather could not have been more perfect. We all had a wonderful time. I want to thank the Junior League of Portland, administrative staff, board members and some family members for volunteering their time in helping us set-up, clean-up and staff the activities. We also want to thank Mr. Ben for his music and Magic Burke for his balloon art. The party was so successful that we have decided to make this an annual event……So we hope to see you next year!


 


Notes from Amber and Tracey, Co-Directors of Education

October is recognized as Reading Awareness month, and we'd like to celebrate by informing you about early literacy - why it's important and what you can do at home to support this critical part of your child’s development.

Research has shown that a child's academic success at ages 9 and 10 is closely related to the amount of talk they hear from birth to age 3. Literacy development begins at birth by just hearing sounds in the environment. These early social language experiences help shape the architecture of a child's developing brain. So it’s important to talk to your child, a lot, from birth on! 

Parents and teachers can help ensure children’s future success by reading to them regularly and sharing social literacy experiences with them. Book sharing increases the amount and richness of language children hear, which in turn builds their vocabulary and the amount of spoken language they understand.

When a child, even as young as infancy, sits in his or her parent’s lap and looks at, talks about, or listens to a book being read, something magical happens. We know that in the brain, “neurons that fire together wire together.” This means that when parents and children share books together the child’s love for their parent becomes associated with a love of literature and reading they carry forth to the time when they begin learning to read and write themselves.
 
One way we promote early language and literacy development at Peninsula is through participating in Multnomah County Library’s Raising a Reader program. Each week you will find a red book bag in your child’s cubby. These books, provided by the library, are for you to take home and read together. The following week you will return them and get a different book bag. We hope every family will take advantage of this opportunity to build your child’s language, literacy and future success. Please ask your child’s teacher what day the red book bags in your class will come home and what day they need to be returned.

Of course, we also focus on early language and literacy throughout the day as part of our curriculum here at Peninsula. Our teachers and Foster Grandmothers do an excellent job of reading with your child here at school, and we are lucky to have Cricket, our Multnomah County Librarian, provide storytelling at Peninsula monthly. Mr. Ben's weekly music and movement sessions with the children also supports language development.

Sabin Site Notes

We have an amazing group of kids this year at Sabin! We have begun the exploring our new classroom environment with many new materials. As we explored apples, our “force activity” was quite popular! The family night at Sabin was a great success and we greatly appreciate your feedback. In the month of October our class will explore fall, harvest, and fire safety. We will have a crazy hair date with more information to come. The children are very excited to jump into fall and all its fun festivities.

Boise-Elliot Site Notes

We have made it through the first month of school! I would like to thank all the parents for attending our first parent meeting. October is the time of year when fall arrives and many different events are occurring such as Harvest Festivals. We will be focusing on fire safety for the month of October. The children may come home asking what the fire evacuation plan is for the house. It is important to discuss this plan with your child in case there is ever an emergency. Starting October 10 Peninsula’s Co-Director of Education Amber will begin teaching drama classes on Wednesday’s from 4:00-5:00. On October 12, 2012, Portland Public Schools will have no school. so we will be offering all day care. On that day please bring a lunch for your child and arrive by 9:00 a.m. as activities are planned out for the day. There will be a 2 hour late start on Wednesday October 17, 2012. We are looking to a great month with many fun-filled activities!

Parents Night Out / Kids Night In!

Our theme for October is Slumber Party! Your child is invited to join us on Friday, October 5, from 6:00 - 9:30 for a fun night of activities and a yummy dinner. Children are encouraged to wear their pajamas and bring along their favorite stuffed animal. Parents' Night Out / Kids' Night In is held at Peninsula's Maryland campus on the first Friday of each month. It is 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. The cost is $25 for the first child and $20 for each sibling. If you are interested please contact Tracy TODAY at (503-280-0534, ext. 36 or tracy@penchild.org).
 

Peninsula Partners with Junior Leauge 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:
  • Build a sensory garden that enhances sensory development of preschoolers serviced by Peninsula.  Sensory development is foundational for all forms of learning.
  • Install the pavers that were decorated by children, parents, and JLP volunteers on September 25 and 26.
  • Build and install a "lava pit" and balance beam in the preschool playground.
  • Sew bibs for children in our infant, wobbler and toddler classrooms.
  • 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.


Annual Harvest Party Reminder

It's that time of year again to join with children, parents and Junior League of Portland volunteers in harvest-themed activities. Pumpkin bowling is always a hit here at Peninsula, and we hope that you'll participate in this fun, free event on Thursday, October 25, from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. Your child is welcome to dress up or not. We'll provide activities and a light snack. We hope you can attend!

Calendar of events

Thurs., October 4
6:15 - 7:00 p.m.
Group Tour!
Fri., October 5
6:00 - 9:30 p.m.
Parents Night Out / Kids Night In
Sat., October 20
9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
JLP CAREs Event at Peninsula Children's Center
Thurs., October 25
4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Peninsula's Annual Harvest Festival. Join us for harvest-themed activities and a light snack. Your child is welcome to dress up or not.