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FALL IS HERE!
The leaves are falling and the temperature is dropping - fall must be here! Our teachers are planning lots of fun and festive activities to help us celebrate the coming of autumn. 

At home, a family walk to celebrate the season can turn into an outdoor adventure. Bring journals and crayons to make leave rubbings or bring a bag to collect treasures. Once home, kids can use their treasures to make a festive fall collage!
UPCOMING EVENTS
FIRE SAFETY
The Edina Fire Department will be coming to our center on Monday, October 23. This is always a very exciting day for the children! Fire fighters will be here to speak to the children about fire safety. They will also get to see some of the fire equipment on the "big, red, fire truck".

LIONS KIDSIGHT VISION SCREENING
The Lions Club will be here on Wednesday, October 25 to provide vision screening for children 6 months and older. This service is offered free of charge. Specific details will be sent out before the screening along with a parent consent form. We are excited to provide this opportunity.
 
SAVE THE DATE
Save the date for our Halloween Party! It will be on Thursday, October 26. More details to follow soon.

PARENT RESOURCES
EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENTAL SCREENING
Early childhood developmental screening is a check of a child's development, vision, hearing, growth, health history and immunizations. Screening takes approximately 1-hour and a parent or legal guardian stays with the child during the process. Edina School District is offering screening by appointment on select days in November and December. This screening must be completed before starting kindergarten in a Minnesota public school. For more information, visit:  https://www.edinaschools.org/Page/1873

STAR WELLNESS
star wellness
EASY PUMPKIN SPICE GRANOLA
  • ¼ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 ½ cups rolled oats
  • ¼ cup ground flaxseeds
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup real maple syrup (or honey)
  • ¼ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract 
Preheat oven to 325. Spread oats and quinoa on parchment paper  lined baking pan. Toast in the oven 10 minutes, stirring once. Remove from oven and place in a medium bowl, adding flaxseeds, pecans and dried fruit. Reduce oven to 300. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over the oats, and mixing well. Spread back on baking sheet and back an additional 20 minutes. 

Recipe taken from www.skinnytaste.com
IN THE COMMUNITY

COMMUNITY EVENTS
  • PUMPKIN FESTIVAL - Held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on October 21 at 50th & France. Trick-or-treating at area businesses, games and more. www.50thandfrance.com
  • Citywide Halloween Party on October 31 from 6:00-8:00 at the Bloomington Ice Garden. Children will enjoy trick or treat alley, open skating, games, prizes and much more. Admission is free but they will be accepting non-perishable food donations for the VEAP food shelf.
  • Wood Lake Nature Center: Half Haunted Halloween with the theme of "Natures Superheroes". This is a family friendly, non-scary event full of activities including a trick or treat trail, magic show, games and much, much more. This event is Saturday, October 21, from 2:00-7:30.  
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!

>> View more photos on the blog


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

Center Directors:
Susan Wilson and Michelle Botz
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