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HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
The entire staff at EFC wishes you good health and happiness for 2018! Thank you for your continued support and for allowing us to be a part of your child's life!
 
We also want to thank everyone who thought of us this holiday season. The holiday cards, gift cards and presents were very much appreciated. We hope you had a wonderful holiday with your family!!
NAEYC
As we start 2018 the teachers and myself are busy getting ready for our NAEYC Accreditation visit. This visit will happen during the first 3 weeks of January. If you see a strange face in your child classroom it will may be our Accreditor. The teachers are an amazing group and will do wonderfully!!

PARENT REMINDERS
JANUARY TUITION & TAX INFO
Your new tuition rates are in effect January 1. Make sure to save your January statement as it will have your 2017 tax information.


WEATHER EMERGENCIES
If Especially for Children cannot open due to inclement weather, the center's closing will be announced on WCCO (830 AM radio, Channel 4 television, and WCCO.com). If conditions during the day (weather or emergency) make it necessary to close before our regularly scheduled time, we will need to reach each of you at your work places. If at any time you are aware of changes that should be made on your child's emergency card, please request a new card. This also includes changes with your emergency contacts and authorized to pick up persons.
 
PLANNING AHEAD
2018 days EFC will be closed:
Monday, January 1 New Year's Day
Friday, May 25 Staff Professional Development Day
Monday, May 28 Memorial Day
Wednesday, July 4 Independence Day
Friday, August 31 Staff Professional Development Day
Monday, September 3 Labor Day
Thursday, November 22 Thanksgiving Day
Friday, November 23 Day after Thanksgiving
Monday, December 24 Floating Holiday
Tuesday, December 25 Christmas Day

 IN THE COMMUNITY
COMMUNITY EVENTS -  SNOW FLAKE DAYS

January 25, 26, 27
Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Annual Mayor's Cup Simulator Golf Tournament
Dust off your clubs for the Annual Snowflake Days Mayor's Cup! Registration information will be available at Bunker Hills Golf Course.

Saturday, January 29
Adult Medallion Hunt Begins!
Clues posted by 8:00 a.m. daily at www.coonrapidssnowflakedays.com
Must have a 2018 Snowflake Days button to participate.

Saturday, January 28
Kid's Medallion Hunt, Coon Rapids Fire Station #1 
Children ages 5-10 Years Old, Boys & Girls Division
Meet at Fire Station #1 (Egret Boulevard) at 10:00 a.m.

Saturday, January 28
Miss Coon Rapids/Miss Coon Rapids Outstanding Teen Scholarship Pageant
Coon Rapids High School Auditorium
2340 Northdale Boulevard NW, Coon Rapids, MN
6:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Saturday, February 3
Children's Carnival 
Eisenhower Elementary School
151 Northdale Boulevard NW, Coon Rapids, MN
10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Free - Magic Show at 12:00 p.m. 

Thursday, February 8
Chili Challenge
Coon Rapids VFW Post
1919 Coon Rapids Boulevard NW
5:30-7:30 p.m.
Rapids Rotary Club / Coon Rapids VFW / Coon Rapids Women of Today

Saturday, February 10
Coon Rapids Junior Royalty Recognition Ceremony & Ambassador Crowning
Coon Rapids High School Auditorium
2340 Northdale Boulevard NW, Coon Rapids, MN
1:00 p.m.

Sunday, February 11
Snowflake Days All You Can Eat Waffle Breakfast
8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Coon Rapids VFW Post 9625
1919 Coon Rapids Boulevard NW
 
Sunday, February 11
"Cookies & Canvas"
Fun event for children of all ages
$5 per person, all supplies provided
3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Coon Rapids Ice Center (CRIC), Conference Rooms A & B
11000 Crooked Lake Boulevard NW

Sunday, February 11
"Family Day at the CRIC"
Fun event for the entire family!
3:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Coon Rapids Ice Center (CRIC)
11000 Crooked Lake Boulevard NW
Schedule of Events:
3:00-4:30 p.m. / Cookies & Canvas
3:30-5:30 p.m. / Family Fun & Games Outside - Outdoor Rink/Pleasure Rink/CRIC Grounds
5:30-7:30 p.m. / Family Fun Public Skate - Indoor Rink
5:30-6:30 p.m. / Indoor Ice Fishing, Spin Art, Face Painting
6:30-7:30 p.m. / Light Out Glow Skate 

Sunday, February 11
Family Skating Event at Coon Rapids Ice Center
5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Fun night of skating & activities on indoor & outdoor rinks

Sunday, February 11
Indoor Kids Ice Fishing Contest
5:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Coon Rapids Ice Center (CRIC)
11000 Crooked Lake Boulevard NW

ESPECIALLY FOR PARENTS
THE "E" IN STEAM -  THE VALUE OF TINKERING
The U.S. has become a nation of "non-tinkerers" and it has harmed the way we live and work. In a poll of 1,000 U.S. adults, nearly 6 in 10 said they had never made or built a toy. The majority said they avoid doing household repairs themselves. The problem is that tinkering is the process that leads to discovery and innovation - brainstorming with your hands. We want to encourage tinkering in our children!
 
A further concern is that girls are encouraged to tinker even less often than are boys; and when it comes to higher education, women are vastly underrepresented in many STEM fields. Though male and female students perform equally well in mathematics and science on standardized tests in high school, by the time they reach college, disparities begin to emerge. Women receive only 17.9% of computer science degrees, 19.3% of engineering degrees, 39% of physical science degrees, and 43.1% of mathematics degrees. (National Science Board, Science and Engineering Indicators, 2016.)
 
For the past decade, there has been a concerted effort to change this. Many of you have heard of STEM curriculum, which has been changed to STEAM:

Science  
Technology 
Engineering
Art 
Math 

Schools across the nation are creating STEAM curriculums. Early Childhood Education has long been focused on hands-on learning. On a daily basis, children are given opportunities to experiment in science, art, and math. In recent years at Especially for Children, we are consciously working to give children more experiences in tinkering, which develops skills needed for both engineering and technology. We want our students to be prepared for the challenges of the future.
 
We let children touch things, make things, and solve problems on their own. We know that by allowing children time to tinker and struggle with answering questions, we are showing them that we have high expectations for them. We pose age-appropriate challenges and then send the message, "I know you can get it if I give you the chance."
 
At home, you can help your child understand the value of hands-on skills. Let them see you handle a necessary household repair or tackle a hobby for pleasure. Show them your pride when you fix or create something.  Let them help you when you are tinkering. Have a set of tools your child can "use" when you are repairing a faucet or tightening a loose screw. Even a set of plastic tools will help your son or daughter understand the concept of taking things apart and putting them back together again.

Over the New Year's weekend, we will be with all of our grandchildren. I think I will throw in my suitcase some items that encourage tinkering. I hope your 2018 is wonderful - tinkering times with your child may provide some special joy!
 
TWIN CITIES
FAMILY EVENTS
1/1  Polar Dash , Minneapolis
Now-1/5  Tinkertoy, Build Your Imagination, Children's Museum, Saint Paul
Now-1/7  How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Children's Theatre, Minneapolis
Now-1/7 Gingerbread Wonderland, Houses of Norway, Minneapolis
Now-2/11   Wells Fargo Winter Skate, St. Paul
Now-mid-February  Centennial Lakes Ice Skating, Edina
1/14 Winter Ice Festival , Edina
1/19-2/19 Leo Lionni's Frederick, Stages Theatre, Hopkins
1/23-3/18 The Wiz, Children's Theatre Company, Mpls
1/25-2/10 Winter Carnival , Saint Paul

After the busyness of the holiday season, it can be a transition for both parents and children to get back to the regular routine. As parents, we may need to re-establish certain boundaries and expectations that were eased over the last month. But this can be challenging work, and according to child development expert Dr. David Walsh, many of us fall into some common pitfalls when it comes to limits and consequences.

Especially for Children
8885 Evergreen Blvd
Coon Rapids MN 55433

Lisa Ward
Director, EFC Coon Rapids 

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