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DIGGIN' THE GREAT OUTDOORS
Welcome to our summer program! The focus for the entire summer is all about digging, and planting, watering and picking! We will learn how plants are grown as well as getting our hands dirty digging' in dirt. We can't wait to see what this summer has in store!  

 
UPCOMING EVENTS
PRESCHOOL GRADUATION
We will be holding a Preschool Graduation Ceremony for those children moving onto Kindergarten next year! The ceremony will begin at 4 pm on Tuesday, June 7. We welcome anyone to join, and stay for light refreshments and socializing afterwards!


FATHER'S DAY PARTY
Dads & Grandpas:  Please join us for a special  Father's Day Happy Hour on  Thursday, June 15 at 4-5:30 PM.

SPECIAL DAYS IN JUNE
 
June 8 - Sports Day! Wear your favorite sports team attire. 
 
June 21 - Costume Day! Come dressed in your favorite costume! 
 
June 30 - Beach Day! Look like you are ready for the beach!

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

WATER DAYS   
We will be starting Water Days in June. Be sure to the classroom doors throughout the summer for the scheduled days. Please send a swim suit and towel with your child or a dry change of clothes and don't forget to LABEL EVERYTHING!

PUPPET WAGON
Starting June 12, Eagan Parks and Recreation will be presenting The Puppet Wagon every Tuesday morning at 10:00 at Quarry Park. We will pick certain Tuesdays each month for our classrooms to attend. Please keep an eye out for walking field trip permission slips to sign for each event. 

PARENT REMINDERS

SUMMER SHOES
With the warmer weather comes the excitement of shorts, tank tops and sandals. Every year, we see many accidents that are caused by the shoes that children are wearing. The children are very active and busy while they are here; running, jumping, and climbing, and they need to be wearing proper shoes to safely enjoy these activities. 
 
Although we know that they are popular trend in footwear, we will not be allowing flip-flops at the center. They easily fall off the child's feet while running and climbing causing tripping and falling injuries. Tennis shoe-like sandals with firm straps around the heel will be allowed. 

LOOKING AHEAD
Especially for Children will be closed on Monday, July 3, and Tuesday, July 4, to celebrateIndependence Day.

ESPECIALLY FOR PARENTS
Hannah is a parent at EFC Edina and works as an early childhood special education professional.

A TOOL FOR TIMES OF TRANSITION
Hannah Helms
 
When I was pregnant with Henry, I wondered how much my professional life would impact my parenting. I am an early childhood special education teacher and I expected that some of the strategies and adaptations that I use to support my students might come in handy as my husband and I navigated this new world. But from the first moment I held Henry, it was so clear how different this endeavor would be. I'm not Henry's teacher. I'm his mom. This emotional and wonderful journey was uncharted territory.
 
After staying home with Henry for his first 16 months, I went back to work and Henry started in the toddler room at EFC. Although my teacher-brain felt mostly separate from my mom-brain, I did feel like my many experiences with "student's first days" in my own classroom had prepared me for this. Transitions are hard. First days can be hard. First weeks can be hard. I knew this. And I also knew it can get better. So we were ready to persevere through what we expected to be a rocky start.
 
What I didn't expect was how hard this transition would be for Henry. The first hard month turned into a hard two months. Then three. Then four. During these months, I couldn't have been more grateful for the honest and thoughtful conversations with the EFC directors and with Henry's teachers on how to best support our little boy.
 
At work one day, while creating a social story for one of my students, my teacher-brain synced up with my mom-brain. I need to make one of these for Henry. A social story can be used to teach a new concept or routine or support a child in anticipating and navigating a new event. It has a positive spin and the child is often featured as the "main character" or narrator. With the help of his teachers, I gathered pictures of Henry throughout his school day. We took a picture of Henry arriving at school and a picture of pick-up as well. We took pictures of all of Henry's teachers. I created a simple narrative to go along with the visuals.  
We first showed Henry the social story at home. He took ownership right away. As a parent, what I didn't expect from the social story was that it gave my husband and me a concrete means of talking positively with Henry about his school day. Even Grandma and Grandpa could come over and say: "Wow, Henry are these pictures of your teachers? Is that your classroom?" all while Henry responded with a big grin. It connected Henry's two worlds in an incredibly positive way.
 
It also helped us create a consistent routine at drop-off. Every morning for a month or so, we sat on the couch in Henry's classroom and read the story before walking to the drop-off room. There were still tears at drop-off (and there - many times - continue to be tears at drop-off) but Henry's days started to get better. He was napping better, he was smiling more, and he began interacting more with his environment. He was happy. We were so happy that he was happy.
 
I do want to say that I recognize as a teacher and a mom that, had Henry continued to have a difficult time despite the accommodations and supports embedded in his day at EFC, the best decision for him might have been a change in environment. And we were prepared for that. Yes, the transition to something different would have been hard. But I knew we could navigate it together.
 
I in no-way think that the social story was the sole impetus for positive change for our little guy. There is no question in my mind that the consistency, warmth, thoughtfulness, skill, and supportive nature of Henry's teachers had an incredible impact on him and on us during those hard months.
 
But, I do think the social story helped. It helped us as parents, too. I think it's a tool that we'll continue to utilize as we face new opportunities, transitions, and challenges ahead. I am already building one in my mind for our next trip to Kid's Hair. 
 
TWIN CITIES
FAMILY EVENTS
Now-6/18   A Year with Frog and Toad
Now-9/4 Kangaroo Crossing, MN Zoo, Apple Valley
6/2-6/4  Edina Art Fair , Edina
6/9-9/4 The Science Behind Pixar, Science Museum of MN, St. Paul
6/10 Mpls Sculpture Garden Reopens, Walker Art Museum, Mpls
6/16-6/18 Stone Arch Bridge Festival, Mpls
6/23-7/30 Shrek The Musical, Stages Theatre, Hopkins


We are so appreciative when parents and grandparents contribute their time and talents to our program. Read about Grandpa Jim and Grandma Molly, who have offered the gift of music at one of our EFC schools, on this month's blog post.


 
Especially for Children
3370 Coachman Rd.
Eagan, MN 55121
(651) 452-0043

Center Director:
Jessica Nunn
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