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Directly Speaking
Ken DaleI cannot believe that eight months have already passed since I came to Peninsula. Each month I find myself busier than the month before. As we head into May we are still hard at work on our summer school-age camps and finalizing our budget for next year. 

Volunteer groups have also been hard at work in helping us improve our Center. A wonderful group of 18 students helped us spruce up our building and grounds on Saturday, April 9. Our painting and weeding project was one of 11 projects for Spring into Action, Lewis and Clark University's Community Service Day, which had 280 participants this year. On Saturday, April 29, we had volunteers from Rebuilding Together Portland work on improving our preschool and toddler playgrounds. This loyal group has been supplying people power and tools as well as purchasing soil for our garden, bark chips for our play areas, and cedar hogsfuel for our pathways for the past 6 years.
 
The week of May 9 we will FINALLY open our stroller/car seat shed. We will notify you of the official ribbon-cutting and grand opening. Please see Natalie if you leave your stroller and/or car seat here at Peninsula so she can fill you in on how to secure your item in the shed. At the end of this month the Junior League of Portland will send a group of volunteers to paint the shed. If you'd like to lend a hand to this project, please let Natalie know.

All of these wonderful and various volunteer groups are examples of the tremendous community support Peninsula needs to remain a viable resource for children and parents. I feel we have some of the most motivated volunteer groups that any school or center could ask for. When you add dedicated volunteers to a superb group of teachers and motivated students you have the ingredients and recipe for a very succesful school.

Notes from Sue, our Education Director
Sue StauberIn March I let you know about our change to healthier menus here at Peninsula.  This change was prompted by parent input and our desire to support the development of healthy eating habits for children as advocated by leading health organizations (see information about children’s health and nutrition from the Center for Disease Control below).  We consider this an important part of your child’s early education experience since habits developed early in life tend to follow people throughout life.
 
As part of this commitment to healthy eating at Peninsula we are becoming a sweets-free zone during the school day.  This means we are altering the way birthdays are celebrated in classrooms.  In the past we have allowed parents to bring in treats for their child’s birthday.  Most often these treats have been extremely high in sugar. Moving forward, we will be focusing birthday celebrations on celebrating your child’s special day in healthier ways. 
 
Teachers will be making birthday books and/or crowns for children and encouraging their friends to think about and record what they like best about the birthday child. Of course, we will also sing “Happy Birthday”.  Parents are still welcome to send a special store-bought snack and/or inexpensive party favors for your child’s class.  However, snacks will need to be healthy, such as fresh fruit: strawberry, cherry, blueberry, or watermelon parties, for example.  Remember that any food must be store bought or from commercial kitchens.  For instance, you could send a commercial “edible bouquet” but if you are sending watermelon we will need to cut it up here.
 
As always, please check with your child’s teacher in advance to make sure your plans will work for the class and make sure any party favors sent are safe for the children’s age (bubbles are a great party favor).   Please give any birthday items directly to your child’s teacher as she/he will have a particular time of day when they will want to hold the celebration.
 
If you have questions about celebrating your child’s birthday at school, please contact your child’s teacher or me.  You can reach me at sue@penchild.org , (503) 280-0534 extension 36 or in person at the center.

Sabin Program Notes
At our Sabin site, students will celebrate Cinco de Mayo on May 5. They've spent the last few weeks learning about the holiday and Mexican customs and facts. On Cinco de Mayo, we will be making guacamole and salsa, and the children will create and decorate a traditional pinata.
Boise-Eliot Program Notes
At Boise-Eliot, students will celebrate all the various holidays of May throughout the month. For Cinco de Mayo they will create a wonderful handmade fan, for Mother's Day they will be making cards and planting flowers, and for Memorial Day they will create flags.
Health Facts from the Center for Disease Control
www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/KeyStrategies
  • Since 1980 obesity among children in the United States has almost tripled.
  • 1 in 7 low-income preschool age children is obese.
  • In Oregon 10 -15% of children ages 2 to 4 are obese.
  • Childhood obesity has immediate and long term health impacts
May Calendar of Events
  • Friday, May 6 All Sites CLOSED for all staff training
  • Sunday, May 8 Mother's Day!
  • Wednesday, May 11 Vision & Hearing Screenings for Preschoolers
  • Wednesday, May 18 Raising A Reader family surveys due back to Natalie in order to get your free children's book
  • Monday, May 30 All Sites CLOSED for all staff training