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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
, 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.