APRIL 2019
Greetings!

PLAYGROUND UPDATE
We are just waiting on road restrictions to be lifted and playground remodel will start. If you have not seen the new equipment there are pictures in the hall. Check them out!! We are all getting excited!!!
CENTER HAPPENINGS
FUN DAYS IN APRIL

Monday, April 8: HAT DAY!
Tuesday, April 9: SPORTS DAY!
Wednesday, April 10: WACKY WEDNESDAY!
Thursday, April 11: BEACH DAY!!
Friday, April 12: WEAR FAVORITE COLOR!!
PARENT APPRECIATION
Thursday, April 11 , will be breakfast to go for parents. Thank you for being the most amazing parents and allowing us to be a part of your child’s life!!
TEACHER APPRECIATION LUNCHEON
We would like to honor our fantastic teachers with a special luncheon on Tuesday, April 9. There will be sign-up sheets located at the Front desk if you would like to contribute food for this event. Feel free to drop off your food item in the morning. The teachers look forward to this yearly event and greatly appreciate your thoughtfulness.
PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
WEEK OF THE YOUNG CHILD
What is the Week of the Young Child™?
The Week of the Young Child™ is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the world's largest early childhood education association, with nearly 60,000 members and a network of 50 local, state, and regional Affiliates. 

The purpose of the Week of the Young Child™ is to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs.

NAEYC first established the Week of the Young Child™ in 1971, recognizing that the early childhood years (birth through age 8) lay the foundation for children's success in school and later life. The Week of the Young Child™ is a time to plan how we—as citizens of a community, of a state, and of a nation—will better meet the needs of all young children and their families.

Why focus on young children and early childhood programs?
Today we know more than ever before about the importance of children's earliest years in shaping their learning and development. Yet, never before have the needs of young children and their families been more pressing.

The Week of the Young Child™ is a time to recognize that children's opportunities are our responsibilities, and to recommit ourselves to ensuring that each and every child experiences the type of early environment—at home, at child care, at school, and in the community—that will promote their early learning.
ESPECIALLY FOR PARENTS
TALKING ABOUT DIFFERENCE
It’s the moment many parents dread. Standing in line at a public place, and having your child lean over and ask, loudly, “Mommy, why is she in a wheelchair?” For some of us, this spurs a visible sense of panic. What do I say? Has my child offended this person? Can I just ignore and make it all go away? Why, oh why is this line moving so slowly?

We may have been taught, explicitly and implicitly, that it is “impolite” to talk about differences. In our own childhoods, perhaps we were soothed by adults who responded, “We don’t talk about that,” or “Everyone is the same.” And then the conversation was closed, just like that. While parents and caregivers sending that message may have thought they were doing the right thing – protecting the dignity of the person whose difference we had noticed, or simply avoiding an uncomfortable conversation – the result was to deny an important learning opportunity.

People are different. We are different in many ways – body size, physical ability, race, gender identity, home language, faith tradition, and on and on. When children observe these differences, they do not automatically cast judgment, they simply notice. In their minds, they are trying to make sense of the world: my skin is light and hers is dark; my family goes to a church and his family goes to a mosque; I walk on my legs and she rides in a wheelchair. When they ask adults about these differences, they need help understanding what it all means. If those adults hush them, the message is clear – “there is something wrong/bad about the difference you have noticed, and it is something that should be avoided.”

To the person the child has noticed, silencing the conversation also sends the message “there is something wrong with you, or I am not comfortable with who you are.” That person is aware of her difference, she lives it every day. So having a child point it out is not a surprise. But what might be a very welcome surprise would be to hear a response that acknowledges that difference while also celebrating her personhood. “Yes, she is in a wheelchair because her legs might not work like ours do. But did you know that people in wheelchairs can do jobs just like people who aren’t?” Or, “People in wheelchairs often ride in or drive special cars made just for them – isn’t that cool?” Or perhaps, “You remember Nana has a wheelchair too. Lots of people use wheelchairs to help them move around.”

If you find your child identifying and asking about differences between people, rather than avoiding the conversation, try some of these strategies:

  • Respond honestly and simply.
  • Validate their observation and respond with tolerance for others.
  • Not all strangers will want to engage in a conversation, but if the person seems open to it, encourage your child to talk with him/her directly.

Alli Zomer, Director of Operations
TWIN CITIES
FAMILY EVENTS

Now-4/30 Farm Babies , MN Zoo, Apple Valley
Now-5/12  Wild Kratt's Creature Power! The Exhibit , MN Children's Museum, St. Paul
4/7   Goldy's Gallop Kids Run , TCF Bank Stadium
4/12-5/12 The Most Magnificent Thing , Stages Theatre, Hopkins
4/20 Family Arts Blast , Ordway, Minneapolis
4/20   Earth Day Clean Up , multiple locations throughout Minneapolis
4/27   Get in Gear Half Marathon, 10k and 5k , Minnehaha Park, Minneapolis 

SUMMER PLANS

We are excited about what’s to come at Especially for Children this summer! We plan to spend a lot of time outdoors, taking advantage of the warmer weather months. If you have any summer vacations planned, please fill out this THIS FORM to let Lisa know what dates your child(ren) will be gone. Thank you!
Especially for Children
8885 Evergreen Blvd 
Coon Rapids MN 55433 

Lisa Ward 
Director, EFC Coon Rapids 
(763) 784-0901
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