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WEEK OF THE YOUNG CHILD!!
April 24-28 is Week of the Young Child. This is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the nation's biggest organization of early childhood professionals with more than 100,000 members and a network of 450 local, state and regional affiliates.

The purpose of the Week of the Young Child is to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs/services that meet those needs.

NAEYC first established the Week of the Young Child in 1971, recognizing that the early childhood years (birth through age 8) lay the foundation for children's success in school and later life. This year's Week of the Young Child theme:  "Early Years are Learning Years" 
 
UPCOMING EVENTS

TEACHER APPRECIATION LUNCHEON
We would like to honor our fantastic teachers with a special luncheon on Wednesday, April 26. There will be sign-up sheets located at the Front desk if you would like to contribute food for this event. Feel free to drop off your food item in the morning. The teachers look forward to this yearly event and greatly appreciate your thoughtfulness.
 

KID CREATE STUDIO
EFC will be hosting an in-house field trip for all toddlers and preschoolers on Monday, April 24. Kid Create Studio in Woodbury will be here starting at 9:00am. "Their teachers provide a fun, self-esteem building atmosphere where children learn to express themselves through the visual arts." Each child will be creating their very own masterpiece.
 
For more information about KidCreate Studio, please visit their website at  www.kidcreatestudio.com

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
WHAT YOUR CHILD IS LEARNING  - "ART"
 
LITERACY : expands vocabulary and language through art, introduces them to new words describing art elements such as color (warm, cool, bright, dull), line (straight, zigzag, wavy, curly), shape, space (near, far) and texture (smooth, rough, bumpy, prickly); teaches knowledge of print by having children sign their names to their pictures or post their names next to creations. With permission, write children's descriptions of their work directly on their artwork or on accompanying sentence strip; exposes children to books and other texts on art that call attention to artists and their styles of painting.

MATH: introduces number concepts by pointing out that many artists both sign and number their prints; helps develop one-to-one correspondence as they place one paintbrush in each paint pot or replace a marker cap; encourages observation or creation of patterns; explores geometry and spatial sense by using three-dimensional shapes in sculpting and constructing; practices measurement by tearing paper "as long as the shelf."

SCIENCE: introduces physical science by  conducting experiments with different art media (adding water to clay: observe changes); teaches about life science by incorporating leaves and flowers they collected during a nature walk; increases awareness of earth and the environment by having them observe the use of shadow in fine art and then trace their friends' shadows in chalk while playing outdoors.

SOCIAL STUDIES: teaches about people and how they live by drawing, painting, and sculpting the people and things in their world; promotes knowledge of people and their environment by creating art that will beautify the environment at school; encourages conservation of materials by reusing clay, using both sides of paper and keeping tops on markers.
 
ART: ties music to art activities by playing appropriate background music; links drama by providing art supplies to make backdrops and costumes for dramatic play.
 
*The Creative Curriculum by Diane Trister Dodge

ESPECIALLY FOR PARENTS
ANNUAL PARENT SURVEY FOLLOW-UP

Many thanks to all of you who provided feedback on our annual parent survey. It is so valuable for us to hear about your experiences and how your children are doing at Especially for Children. We were pleased to see positive feedback in many areas, especially regarding communication and how your child's teachers care for and meet the individual needs of your child.
 
DeeAnn Besch, VP of Operations, and Alli Zomer, Director of Operations, have read every survey and continue to reach out to many individual families for follow-up on specific questions. In addition, DeeAnn and Alli have met with each director to review the (anonymous) survey results, celebrating the areas of success and making an action plan for any areas of improvement.
 
Kindergarten Readiness
One question on our survey asked about kindergarten readiness, and we'd like to provide you with some additional resources on this topic. In Minnesota, kindergarten readiness is assessed by considering each child's progress in social/emotional skills, language and communication, physical health and understanding of age-appropriate art, math and science concepts. There are several tools school districts can use to assess kindergarten readiness, including Desired Results, which we use at Especially for Children. Another tool comes from the Minnesota Work Sampling System; they provide a helpful Kindergarten Readiness Checklist, which is available on our website. 

You can learn more about each tool on the Minnesota Department of Education's website: http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/dse/kind/KEP/res/MDE060071. 

In addition to these resources, we will be collecting specific information from each center's local school district and sharing it with you in a future newsletter and on our website.   

Open Communication
As always, we hope that you feel comfortable communicating with your center director(s) and the management team at the administrative office about your experience with Especially for Children. We encourage you to reach out to us at any time.
 
This year, all of our centers are going through the re-accreditation process with NAEYC as well as our re-application with Parent Aware. As part of these processes, you will receive additional short parent surveys before the end of the year. We appreciate in advance your time and participation in these surveys.
 
We thank you for choosing Especially for Children and hope that you feel part of the EFC family. We know that this time of life can be busy, hectic and even exhausting, but also full of joy and happiness as you watch your child(ren) learn and grow in amazing ways. Please know we are here to support you and your family.
 
Sincerely,
EFC Administrative Management Team
 
Priscilla Williams 
President
                                     
DeeAnn Besch
VP of Operations
 
Angie Williams
Director of Marketing and Finance
Steve Williams
Vice President
 
Alli Zomer
Director of Operations
 


TWIN CITIES
FAMILY EVENTS
Now-4/30  Farm Babies , MN Zoo, Apple Valley
4/9   Goldy's Gallop Kids Run , TCF Bank Stadium
4/15 Harlem Globetrotters, Target Center
4/18-6/18 A Year with Frog and Toad, Children's Theatre Company
4/21-5/20 Stone Soup, Stages Theatre, Hopkins
4/22  Earth Day Clean Up , multiple locations throughout Minneapolis

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.

~ Native American Proverb

April 22 is Earth Day. It is a great time to talk with your child about taking care of our earth. We've gathered a few Earth Day resources on our blog.
 
Especially for Children
6125 Cahill Ave. 
Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076
(651) 450-1994 

Center Directors:
Fle Jensen and Roxie King
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