Directly Speaking

One of the key elements that continues to make Peninsula so special is the support that we get from all of our students, families, and friends.  I welcome your comments and suggestions about our Center. Our exceptional staff provides the highest quality program that you have all grown to expect. I hope that those of you who had conferences with your child’s teacher found it helpful. What has impressed me about our teachers is that they are not satisfied to maintain the status quo but are always looking at innovative ways to improve their classes. We also continue to need your input on telling us about things that you think are successful, and about things that you feel that we can improve on. Please use the suggestion boxes at all three campuses and don’t hesitate to contact me at, or visit me in my office (upstairs at the Maryland campus). Our goal is to provide your children the best possible experience. The strength of our program lies not only in the staff, and our board, but in your children, and YOU our family members. 
Our Board of Directors under the strong leadership of Marilyn Couch continues to provide us guidance and vision for our Center. This past month our newly formed Family Committee met under the guidance of family board member Kelsey Snook and Family Advocate Natalie. Their next meeting is scheduled for this Friday, February 10, from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. at the Maryland campus. The meeting is open to all family members.
Our Sabin and Boise-Eliot programs are already making preparations for this year’s summer camps. Both schools have put together a full summer program that I’m sure will find fun and stimulating for your child. Information and registration forms will be available this month. Registration will be on a first come first serve basis.

Please remember that you can order gift cards for many businesses through the SCRIP program, and Peninsula will receive 1.5 - 17%. These make great gifts, too! The order forms are located in the lobby of the Maryland campus. Contact Peninsula Parent Holli if you have questions:

Lastly I want to welcome our new Finance Manager Terry Miley.  Terry’s work experience includes being the Director of Finance and Operations for the Death with Dignity National Center, the Fiscal Manager of William Temple House, and the Bookkeeper for the Metropolitan Alliance for Common Good.I also want to thank John Lucas our former Finance Manager for his contributions to the program and wish him well with his future endeavors.

Notes from Sue, Education Director

The other day I had the opportunity to sit in on a parent conference with a dad who was asking some very good questions about his child’s early literacy skills and how we support them here at Peninsula.  This dad was asking an important question because research shows that early literacy skills are a predictor of later school success.
Here at Peninsula early language and literacy skills are something we take seriously and include in our curriculum, beginning at birth, which is where literacy starts. However, because it is woven into your child’s daily activities in the child-centered, play-based way research shows best supports early learning, it may not always be obvious to parents what we are doing.
There are 8 basic language and literacy objectives we focus on for every child:
·        Listening to and understanding increasingly complex language
·        Using language to express thoughts and needs
·        Using appropriate conversational and other communication skills
·        Demonstrating phonological awareness (the ability to discern the sounds and patterns of spoken language)
·        Demonstrating knowledge of print and its uses
·        Comprehending and responding to books and other texts
·        Demonstrating knowledge of the alphabet
·        Demonstrating emergent writing skills
Each of these objectives has a number of smaller parts as well as a developmental progression children go through as they grow and develop over time. As an example, phonological awareness includes:
·        Noticing and discriminating rhyme : “one, two, buckle my shoe”
·        Noticing and discriminating alliteration “bringing home a baby bumble bee”
·        Noticing and discriminating smaller and smaller units of sound
We are intentional in teaching these skills as teachers sing songs, play games, and read books to children involving these kinds of sounds. Eventually, children start repeating the words in these songs and games themselves at ages one and two, filling in missing rhyming words and playing with rhyming words at two or three, starting to become aware of and able to match beginning sounds at four or five, and then being able to answer “what rhymes with cat?” or “what’s the beginning sound of baby, ball, bat?” at age 5.  A similar process exists and is included in our curriculum for all the literacy objectives above.

As part of our commitment to literacy, we are pleased to introduce Chris Ablutz, our new Multnomah County Library volunteer, who will be on-site Wednesday morning to read stories to the Junior and Preschool children. Chris is a retired kindergarten teacher certified in special education with a Masters degree in Reading and Literacy, so she has lots to offer both children and teachers. Chris will spend approximately 20 minutes in each classroom once a month. 

It is important to remember that the stages of literacy build on one another and that each child accomplishes each stage at their own pace, much like they learn to walk.  At home, talking with and reading aloud to your child are some of the best ways to promote literacy. Every classroom at Peninsula participates in Multnomah County Library's Raising A Reader program - be sure to talk to your child's teacher about this great way to get new books at the Center to read with your child at home!

School Age Site Notes

At the Sabin campus we are getting ready for a great spring break. Activities will include a Mardi Gras party and a visit from Mr. Lizard who will be sharing his knowledge and bringing a variety of snakes and other reptiles for the kids to see and touch!

The kids are working on a movie to premiere at the Schools Uniting Neighborhoods (SUN ) showcase in a few weeks. 

Sam Landau is the new Site Coordinator for the Sabin campus. Unfortunately, Kirsten has decided that she cannot commit to the amount of time that is required for the position. Kirsten will continue to be involved with the program as a volunteer, but she has stepped down as site coordinator.

As always, parents are encouraged to stop in, learn to juggle with us, or just say hello and share any concerns or ideas for the future of our Sabin program.

To any parents with children entering kindergarten,  we will be at kindergarten roundup on February 23. We hope to see you there.

Please note our Sabin campus will be closed on Monday, February 20 for President's Day.

Registration forms for the Summer Camp program will be available this month. Please be sure to sign up early as registration is on a first come first served basis.

School Age Site Notes

Hello again from the school-age program at Boise-Eliot.  We have come to the end of another month of school and all is well. Please be aware that on Monday, February 20 (Presidents Day) we will be closed.

During the month of February please remember that kindergarten round-up has started. Check your neighborhood schoools to find out dates and times. Finally, we would like you to know that in our classroom we will be celebrating Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, and Black History month.

Registration forms for the Summer Camp program will be available this month. Please be sure to sign up early as registration is on a first come first served basis.

Thank You & Good Luck Sharon!

All of the school-age teaching staff would like to wish Sharon good luck as she transitions into her new position as an Assistant Teacher in the Junior 2 classroom at the Maryland campus. Sharon is pictured below at her party.

Recruiting Discount Reminder

Limited Time Offer

We still have  a few openings in some of our classes, and we feel that our  family members are our best spokespeople. We need your help to recruit new students! As a thank you for your efforts we are offering a referral and enrollment incentive: $600 tuition credit for YOU, and a $600 tuition credit for YOUR FRIEND. The credit will begin the second month after enrollment, and you and your referral will be given a $100 credit for the next 6 months.  For every family you refer and they enroll you will receive an additional $600 credit. Restrictions may apply.  If you have any questions, see Natalie or Ken.

Save Employment Related Day Care (ERDC)

In 2011, lawmakers promised to fund ERDC for 10,000 Oregon families. Now, they are backing out on that promise and are considering making cuts to the program.You can help protect ERDC for Oregon parents (including 21 Peninsula Parents with 29 Peninsula Children!).

Contact Your Legislator: Send an email to your legislator and tell them how important ERDC is to working parents. To quickly and easily send an email, visit

Share Your Story:By sharing how ERDC affects your life, you help us make the case for continued investment in the program and help keep child care affordable for working parents across the state.

For more information please visit or email

Free Tax Preparation

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CASH Oregon, through our partnership with AARP Tax-Aide, provides free tax preparation and tax credit outreach statewide at 145 tax sites. Call 1-866-698-6158 to find a location near you!

Calendar of events

Friday, February 10, 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. Join us for the monthly Family Committee Meeting at the Maryland campus. All families are welcome and encouraged to participate!
Monday, February 20 Boise-Eliot and Sabin School-Age Sites Closed.