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DIGGIN' THE GREAT OUTDOORS
We are very excited to kick off our summer program, "Diggin' the Great Outdoors".  Digging and planting, watering and picking; through hands on experience, children will learn how plants and animals are grown/raised, and how they make it from the farm to our table. Again, this year, the children will have the opportunity to plant and care for our summer garden.  
 
The experience of growing provides rich learning opportunities across all areas of physical, social/emotional and intellectual development. Growing offers a chance to learn about:
  • the cycles of the natural world (from climate to bugs to dirt)
  • people and cultures and the role food and farming play in their lives
  • how good food fuels our bodies and minds
  • patience, cooperation and problem solving, and
  • the hard work it takes to go from seed to the supper table. 

PARENT REMINDERS
SUMMER PARENT REMINDERS
Please remember to bring in non-aerosol sunscreen that is labeled for your child. Now that the sun is deciding to shine, we will be going outside more with the children. Also, please remember that occasionally we have "water days". Your child's teacher may ask you to bring in a swimsuit and towel or change of summer clothes in case they spontaneously have a fun water day!
 
It would also be a good idea to apply sunscreen early in the morning before arriving at school. We will be re-applying as needed throughout the day.
 
Please send your child to school in sturdy shoes like tennis shoes or closed-toe sandals. We are requesting that the children do not wear flip-flops while at EFC. We know they are cute, but we want everyone to stay safe while at school.
 

LOOKING AHEAD...
EFC will be closed on Monday, July 3 and Tuesday, July 4, for the Independence Day holiday.

IN THE COMMUNITY
fruitsandveggies
NEARBY FARMERS MARKETS
 
CENTENNIAL LAKES FARMERS MARKET
Thursdays, June 15 - September 28
3:00 - 7:00 p.m.
7499 France Avenue, Edina
 
Approximately three dozen vendors setup along the walkways outside of Hughes Pavilion. Although products vary weekly, you can expect to find items such as sweet corn, beans, potatoes, melons, strawberries, apples, pears, peppers, fruit, salsas, jams, honey, beef, pork, lamb, poultry, eggs, jerky, cheeses, breads, confections and much more! Plenty of complimentary parking is available in any of the numerous parking lots adjacent to the market.
 
BLOOMINGTON FARMERS MARKET
Saturdays, June 10-October 21
8:00a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
East Lot, Bloomington Civic Plaza
1800 W. Old Shakopee Road, Bloomington
 
The Bloomington Farmers Market is a weekly gathering in which farmers, growers and produces sell their own products directly to the public, allowing consumers to have a direct relationship with the producer of the item they purchase. The market emphasizes quality and freshness.
 
STAR WELLNESS
star wellness
HEALTHY SUMMER TREAT

Instructions:
1. Dice your fruit into small pieces. Layer the bottom of your tray with the fruit, then fill with yogurt.

2. Pop your tray in the freezer. After about half an hour, just when the yogurt is just starting to freeze, place your popsicle sticks upright and place back in the freezer until completely frozen. 

The yogurt pops slide out easily from the silicone molds when you're ready to eat them!

 
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
5015 W. 70 St
Edina MN 55439
(952) 946-9971

Center Directors:
Susan Wilson and Michelle Botz
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