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March is READ, READ, READ Month.  We are looking for special readers to  come into school and read their favorite  book to the classrooms. Please talk to  your child's teacher if you would like to  volunteer to read.

You're never too old, too wacky, too wild,
To pick up a book and read with a child.
You're never too busy, too cool, or too hot,
To pick up a book and share what you've got.
In schools and communities,
Let's gather around, Let's pick up a book, Let's pass it around.
There are kids all around you, Kids who will need
Someone to hug, Someone to read.
Come join us in March Your own special way
And make this America's Read to Kids Day.

March 13 In-house field trip at 9:30!! We have a special visitor coming to join us...The Cat in the Hat!! (Princess Party Pals)
March 15 - Princess and Prince Day!!
March 16  - Wear GREEN
March 23 - Pajama Day!
March 28 - Super Hero Day!!
March 30 - Bring in your favorite book!!

Please make sure you are labeling items with your child's name when you bring them to school. This will help to ensure that items go home with the right child. Thank you for your help!!


Read early and read often. The early years are critical to developing a lifelong love of reading. It's never too early to begin reading to your child!
The tips below offer some fun ways you can help your child become a happy and confident reader. Try a new tip each week. See what works best for your child.
■ Read together every day. Read to your child every day. Make this a warm and loving time when the two of you can cuddle close.

■ Give everything a name. Build your child's vocabulary by talking about interesting words and objects. For example, "Look at that airplane! Those are the wings of the plane. Why do you think they are called wings?"

■ Say how much you enjoy reading. Tell your child how much you enjoy reading with him or her. Talk about "story time" as the favorite part of your day.

■ Read with fun in your voice. Read to your child with humor and expression. Use different voices. Ham it up!

■ Know when to stop. Put the book away for a while if your child loses interest or is having trouble paying attention.

■ Be interactive. Discuss what's happening in the book, point out things on the page, and ask questions. 

■ Read it again and again. Go ahead and read your child's favorite book for the 100th time!

■ Talk about writing, too. Mention to your child how we read from left to right and how words are separated by spaces.

■ Point out print everywhere. Talk about the written words you see in the world around you. Ask your child to find a new word on each outing.

Great book lists:

Are your children getting enough sleep? Many studies have shown that children who do not get good quality sleep on a regular basis can have a variety of significant side effects. One is that their cognitive performance suffers.
That is because while we are sleeping, our brains are very active. "While in deep sleep,  all the information children have learned gets selected, consolidated and stored in the long-term memory, so it can be put to good use at a later date," says sleep physiologist Dr. Guy Meadows. "A child has to be awake enough to be focused and attentive in the first place, and then well-rested to recall those memories and use them to solve problems in the future.  Poor sleep can affect every stage of the learning process."
You may ask, "How much sleep does my child need?" Everyone's needs are different, but health professionals recommend that each day, children ages 1-2 get 11-14 hours, 3-5 get 10-13 hours, and 6-13 get 9-11 hours.
Across the world, children are sleeping less. There are a number of reasons for this, chief among them is dependence on technology, a more child-centered style of parenting, poor diet, and the example set by an older generation who work longer hours, come home later, and constantly check their phones.
"Our benchmark of what is normal is changing," says Meadows. "For children and adults, waking up feeling tired is becoming the new normal. So people are just reaching for energy drinks, reaching for caffeine as ways of coping and seeing that as perfectly normal. Parents need to make their children aware of the importance of sleep." Parents can become role models for their children, showing them, "I don't stay up late, I have a regular bedtime, I don't stay on my smart phone before bed."
Tips for a child's good night
  • Avoid sugary snacks and caffeine; particularly at suppertime. Opt for alternatives like banana, oatmeal or whole wheat bread.
  • Think about the bedroom environment: is it calm and conducive to sleep?
  • Have a consistent routine that you follow every evening in the hour before bedtime.
  • Consider whether bathtime is relaxing. If it isn't, separate it from the bedtime routine. If it is, have the bath 30 minutes before bedtime to allow the body temperature to rise and then drop again - this helps us feel sleepy.
  • No screen activity in the hour before bed; no TVs, computers, phones or tablets.
  • Activities involving hand-eye coordination help the brain wind down before bed - things like puzzles or coloring.
  • Have a set wake-up time, even on the weekends.
  • Provide your child with a visual cue so they know when it is time to wake up, like a light on a timer.
Many of these tips can be used by adults too!
Information taken from:  Children of the World Sleeping Less, Child Care Exchange

Now-3/17  Tropical Beach Party , MN Zoo, Apple Valley
Now-3/18 The Wiz, Children's Theatre Company, Mpls
Now-5/13 Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood: A Grr-ific Exhibit, MN Children's Museum,  St. Paul
3/3  First Free Saturday: Kids' Film Fair, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
3/9-3/25 The Nightingale, Stages Theatre, Hopkins
3/10 Irish Day Running Races, Various Locations
3/17 St. Patrick's Day Parade , St. Paul
3/17 & 3/18 Irish Dance Celebrations , Landmark Center, St. Paul
3/23-4/30 Farm Babies, MN Zoo, Apple Valley

"Play is the highest form of research."

- Albert Einstein

Especially for Children
8885 Evergreen Blvd
Coon Rapids MN 55433

Lisa Ward
Director, EFC Coon Rapids 

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