Thank you to everyone who participated in the Adopt-a-Classroom program.  It was a great success.  Please read on to find out more about upcoming immunization deadlines and hearing and vision screenings.

Program Updates

Directly Speaking

I want to wish all of you a HAPPY NEW YEAR and hope all of you had a wonderful holiday season. Because of the wonderful generosity of our Board members, Kaiser Airport Way Medical Lab employees, Catlin Gabel School,  Harrang, Long, Gary & Rudnick LLP, Berry, Elsner & Hammond LLP, Social Ventures Partners of Portland members, and many others (including some family members),  we were able to gather materials for our classrooms through our “Adopt a Classroom” holiday program. This year we asked folks to support our teachers and children by adopting a classroom and providing some of the tools and toys that help to give our children the best educational start possible.  The program was a real success.  We got over $2,500 in donations, and all sorts of items were purchased for our classrooms.  A big  thank you for all that participated!

As this year begins, I challenge you to find more ways to get involved at Peninsula. Our school is only as great as the community that supports it. Of course the teachers and staff are critical members of this great community, as are your children. But family members are equally important. There are endless ways for you to get involved. Volunteering in your child’s classroom is a wonderful way to get involved. If you have an idea of how we can make the school a better place, we would love to hear it and we welcome family members taking the lead on school improvement projects.  Getting involved in your child’s school will help you be an integral member of the Peninsula community and will teach your children about the importance of getting involved   in things that you really care about.


Notes from Tracy, Director of Education

Kindergarten Readiness
As we begin a new year, it’s a great time to start thinking about the new changes in your child’s life if your child is a preschooler getting ready to transition to kindergarten this fall. Children go through many transitions throughout their lives, but one of the most important transitions is the one from a preschool program to kindergarten. Successful transitions from preschool to kindergarten are supported by a strong partnership between the child’s parents and the child’s preschool teachers.  This is part of building the foundation for successful lifelong learning.

Here at Peninsula Children’s Learning Center we help children to prepare for kindergarten from the moment they enter our program, until they leave our program, whether they are an infant, toddler, junior or preschooler. Our curriculum and assessment programs support the development of each child and children have ample time to explore and develop self directed play.  Our teachers engage with children during play to help children develop negotiation skills or to share complex ideas. Research shows that play leads to improved academic skills, but more importantly, positive social and emotional health.  Play is critical for brain development.   Play is the work that helps children develop in all areas—cognitive, physical, social and emotional.  All areas of development are critical for school success, but social skills are most important in kindergarten to create the foundation for continued success in later years. 

Parents can help to build the bridge between home and school by working on kindergarten readiness skills at home, with any aged child.  Here are a few ideas that you can use to help your child develop skills needed for school success:

  •  Read with your child.  Ask questions about what you are reading to stimulate thinking.
  •  Model social behaviors such as sharing, taking turns, good manners, problem solving.
  •  Provide social experiences such as preschool, play dates or sports.
  •  Visit your child’s school because parent involvement is crucial to school success.
  •  Talk about kindergarten—more kids, more rules, more structure, more fun!

Make sure to check the date and time for your neighborhood school Kindergarten Connect, or if interested, check into one of the focus or immersion elementary schools that offer foreign language immersion, science, math or creative arts.  Entrance into these types of schools is available by lottery.  We will be following up with each family with a child entering kindergarten to make sure they are aware of the important dates they need to know. If you have any questions regarding kindergarten readiness or our programs at Peninsula Children’s Learning Center, please contact Tracy at



Happenings in our Curriculum Corner

Julie Kuhnau, Curriculum Coordinator

Happy New Year to all of our wonderful families at Peninsula!  We are excited to start 2014  with your children and to continue to support them in their learning.   As I walk around our center and visit the classrooms, I see so much growth already…….walking babies, chatty toddlers, Juniors sharing materials, and preschoolers engaging in experiments to learn about their world!
Our wonderful teachers are planning meaningful curriculum including a marble study in Preschool 3, a weather study in Preschool 4, a Train Study in Preschool 2 and a study about changes in Preschool 1.   Our Junior 1 room is trying their hand at some tricky new puzzles and Junior 2 has some fancy new dress up clothes for dramatic play. 

Please make note: On February 18th and 19th, Mt Hood Community College nursing students will be helping us with our annual vision and hearing screenings at the center.   This is a great way for future nurses to get practice with completing these important screenings.  Look for more information soon.



Thursday, January 9, 6:15 - 7:00 Group Tour

Friday, January 10, 6:00 - 9:30 Parents Night Out

Monday, January 20, ALL SITES CLOSED

Sabin Site Notes

 In January we will be learning about South Africa.  On January 14 in the afternoon, Neil’s grandmother, Janice, will give a presentation based on her travels in South Africa.  She will be teaching the kids a dance and says it would be best if they could all bring rubber boots to school that day.

 We will recognize Elvis Presley’s birthday, Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday, Lewis Caroll’s birthday and start celebrating Chinese New Year which begins on the last day of January this year.

 There is one late start this month, one closure and one full day for Peninsula.  Let us know if your child will be attending. 

 Abby will not be working on Mondays for the rest of the year so that she can dedicate that day to substitute teaching for PPS.   Kari will be filling in for the first couple weeks. 

Abby Scott and Francine Alexander, Sabin Site Co-Directors

Boise-Eliot/Humboldt Site Notes

The month of December was full of sharing and learning about each student's holiday celebrations and traditions within their family, as well as holiday celebrations from around the world. Student's learned about Kwanzaa and the Straw Man from Ecuador (Our straw man can still be found in our classroom) to name a few.

Looking ahead to the month of January, the students will get to spend time creating robots and discussing their dreams for their futures, while also brainstorming ways on how to achieve their goals.

Ashley Echang, Boise-Eliot/Humboldt Site Director
Annual Immunization Review UnderwayIf you received a notice in your child's cubby regarding immunizations, please stop by the office to update their records.  We obtain immunization records from the State of Oregon ALERTiiS database,  but at times their database is not up to date.  Our report to the health department will be mailed on Monday January 13th, so all records must be updated by this Friday January 10th.  Any records that are not up to date will receive a reminder in the mail from the health department to obtain missing vaccines before the exclusion date of February 19, 2014.  Children still out of compliance by the exclusion date will be unable to attend school until immunizations are up to date.

Fond Farewell

After many years of dedicated service to our school it was with deep regret that we accepted Joellen Pail’s our Development Director’s resignation effective Jan 10th.  Joellen has accepted a position in the Hood River area and will be relocating there.  Joellen has played a key role over the years in contributing to the success of our program. Joellen continually went over and beyond the scope of her job description performing with a high degree of professionalism and excellence.  She helped bring literally thousands of dollars to our school.   She will be missed.  We have begun the process of advertising and recruiting for a new Development/Marketing person. If you know someone who you think would be qualified, please have them get in touch with Ken (, or 503-280-0534 ext. 21). Joellen will be a “hard act to follow”!

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