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LEARNING UNIT: "AWESOME AUTUMN"
This month's learning unit is "Awesome Autumn." We will explore topics like colors of autumn leaves to weather changes; apples to pumpkins and Halloween to Fire Prevention. We have some really great books, art projects, sensory activities and cooking projects in store!
 
Our preschoolers have adjusted quickly to their temporary classroom. They have been working hard on social skills within a larger group, their eZ Write skills and small/large group time activities. Check out some of their latest art projects on the walls! 

While fire prevention week is October 8-14, we have invited our local firefighters to EFC on Tuesday, October 3 at 10:30am. They will teach us about fire safety and we will get an opportunity to explore the fire trucks. 

UPCOMING EVENTS

FIELD TRIP
All preschool children will be heading to Afton Apple on Thursday, October 12. We will get to go on a hay ride, pick our own apples and pumpkins and burn some energy at the amazing play area. The bus will leave EFC at 8:30am and return by 11:30am. Please have your child here no later than 8:15am to prepare for departure. Parent volunteers are welcome. Please sign the permission slip located at the front desk.

SPOOKY TRAIL MIX
This year, all classrooms will be making a healthy Spooky Trail Mix for their Halloween Snack. Each child is asked to bring a trail mix item (no nuts please) to add to the snack. Some ideas may include Corn Chex cereal, pretzels, yogurt covered pretzels, dried fruit, raisins, etc. Please bring your item by Friday, October 27.

HALLOWEEN PARTIES
Classroom parties will be held the morning of Tuesday, October 31, and we will conclude with the Spooky Trail Mix snack that afternoon.
If you would like your child to wear a costume for the party, please have him/her come in costume that morning and bring a bag with extraclothes to change in to. Please leave accessories that may be broken or lost at home.

PARENT REMINDERS

MARK YOUR CALENDAR
  • Wednesday, October 19: Picture Day
  • Tuesday, October 31: Classroom Halloween Parties/Spooky Trail Mix
  • EFC will be closed Thursday, November 23, and Friday, November 24, for the Thanksgiving Holiday
  • EFC will be closed on Monday, December 25, for the Christmas holiday.
PARENT RESOURCES

PRE-TRICK OR TREATING DINNER
Simple-to-make homemade pizza bagels get a spooky makeover with a few easy garnishing tricks. What a super fright night treat our Spooky Face Pizza Bagels are for kids and kids at heart!

What You'll Need:                                 
6 miniature bagels                                  
1 cup pizza or spaghetti sauce                         
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
                      
1 / 4  cup sliced pepperoni, for garnish      
1 / 4  cup sliced black olives, for garnish   
1 / 4  cup sliced mushrooms, for garnish

What To Do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. 
Split bagels in half and spread 1 tablespoon sauce on each half. Sprinkle each half with 1 heaping tablespoon mozzarella cheese. Decorate with pepperoni, black olives and mushrooms to make spooky faces.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until cheese is melted.


ESPECIALLY FOR PARENTS
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT DAY
On Friday, September 1, the teaching staff from all eight of our Especially for Children centers gathered at Normandale Community College for a series of workshops. It was a productive day of getting new ideas and preparing ourselves for the start of the "school year". We split into groups so that the trainings could be age-specific.
 
The teaching staff who work with infants or young toddlers attended one session on math and science and another on how movement and play build the brain. We participated in hands-on activities, and teachers were given some new resource materials to enhance their classrooms and facilitate their lesson planning.
 
The teaching staff who work with older toddlers or preschoolers also had sessions on interactive math and science. It is amazing how even the simplest activities can be designed to help children understand concepts such as patterning, geometry, estimation, volume, and the physical aspects of the environment.
 
Back to School Dramatic Play area
Also leading a workshop were two of our own employees. Carolyn and Samantha from our Edina/Edinborough center led a session on Creative Dramatic Play. They presented great ideas on how we can embellish our dramatic play areas to be even more fun and educational for children.

Then, all employees attended sessions on how to prepare for their accreditation visits that will be coming up soon. The workshop was entitled "Through the Assessor's Eyes" and gave very practical information to help teaching staff prepare for the observations that NAEYC validators will conduct. Our accreditation renews every five years. Although we work very hard to uphold the accreditation standards each and every day, there is always a bit of stress connected to having an outside observer spend an hour in your classroom during which time he/she assesses whether or not hundreds of standards are being met. Think good thoughts as our teachers prepare for these visits.
 
The last component of our day was honoring long-term employees. This year 51 people were recognized for having worked for Especially for Children over 5 years. Of those, 19 people have been with the company 20 years or more. A special thank you to our longest-term employee, Kathy Brotten, of the Circle Pines center for her 37 years of service!!! See our Parent Blog for photos of our long-term employees.

TWIN CITIES
FAMILY EVENTS
Now-10/29  Spookley the Square Pumpkin , Stages Theatre, Hopkins
Now-10/29  Shafer Corn Maze, Shafer 
Now-10/31 Scarecrows, MN Landscape Arboretum, Chanhassen
10/14-10/15 Farmer Ken & Jan's Pumpkin Patch Trolley Ride, Lake Harriet Trolley, Mpls
10/21  Pumpkin Night in the ParkSpringbrook Nature Center, Coon Rapids
10/21  Pumpkin Fest , 50th & France, Edina
10/21-10/29 (weekends) ZooBoo, Como Zoo, Saint Paul
10/28   Terror Trot 5k, 10k & KidsK Family Run, Lake Harriet, Mpls
10/29 Trick 'r Trolley , Lake Harriet Trolley, Mpls 

Apple Orchards & Pumpkin Patches
Aamodt's, Stillwater
Applewood, Lakeville
Deer Lake, Buffalo
Emma Krumbee's, Belle Plain
Minnetonka, Minnetrista


At our Professional Development Day in early September, we recognized all EFC teaching staff and directors who have been with the organization for 5 years or more. That includes 51 dedicated early childhood educators across all of our centers! We appreciate their many contributions to EFC. The individuals pictured below have been with Especially for Children for 26 years or more!



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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