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We have a very busy month planned for the children in October. It is hard to believe it is autumn already, which happens to be our unit this month, Awesome Autumn! We can already start to see the leaves changing to their vibrant reds, oranges and yellows. The colors are reflected in the children's artwork hanging on the bulletin boards in the classrooms.
As the leaves start falling and the temperatures are dropping, it is important that your child has warmer clothing for outdoor play. Please make sure to label all clothing items as many children have the same type/brand/color of clothes.

On Tuesday, October 17, the preschool children will travel by bus to the pumpkin patch in Wyoming with the Coon Rapids center. Parents are welcome to volunteer! The bus will leave at 9:30 a.m. The children will go for a hayride to pick their own pumpkins and Indian corn. We will also get to see beehives and have a little lesson on bees and how they make honey. After playing in the play area and having a picnic lunch we will return to the center at approximately 1:00 p.m.
Lifetouch preschool portrait studio will be here on Wednesday, October 25. Flyers will be found on the parent counter, the beginning of the month. Sibling pictures will also be taken at your request. Picture taking will begin at 7:30 a.m.

On Tuesday, October 31, the children may come to the center dressed in their Halloween costumes. We will have a special breakfast for parents and children. After breakfast, we will have a Halloween costume parade through the neighborhood. Please plan on breakfast with your child if you are able. We will begin serving breakfast at 7am. If you would like your child to change out of their costume after the parade, please bring clothing to change into.

We will be adding to our daily communication in the preschool. The preschool staff will be trained in on a Daily Connect app mid-October. The app will be similar to our Baby Connect app that is currently used by our infant and toddler groups. 

Last month, our infant and toddler staff attended a training session on Smart Steps. This is a developmentally based activity series that will provide a well-balanced physical "diet" of movement and play for our infants and young toddlers. These activities will optimize the children's physical, cognitive, social and emotional foundations for learning. Watch for some of these fun activities posted on the Baby Connect!  

Conferences will be held in November. Each class will have a sign-up sheet on the parent counter. If none of the available times work for you, please see Linda to make other arrangements.
We will be closed Thursday, November 23 and Friday, November 24 for the Thanksgiving holiday. 

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.

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
2 H South Pine Dr.
Circle Pines MN 55014
(763) 786-9410

Center Director:
Linda Burck

Center Assistant Director:
Kris Steffens
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