APRIL 2019
Greetings!


NAEYC WEEK OF THE YOUNG CHILD 2019: CELEBRATING OUR YOUNGEST LEARNERS
April 8-12 is Week of the Young Child. This is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the nation’s largest organization of early childhood professionals with more than 80,000 members and a network of 300 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/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.
CENTER HAPPENINGS
WEEK OF THE YOUNG CHILD
We also decided to celebrate the week with “Spirit Week”. Each day will represent a different theme and your child can “dress-up” accordingly.

Monday, 4/8—Backward/Inside Out Day

Tuesday, 4/9—“Hat Day”

Wednesday, 4/10—Wacky Hair Day

Thursday, 4/11—Favorite Sports Team Day

Friday, 4/12—P.J. and Favorite Stuffed Animal Day
EFC MAIL
During “Week of the Young Child”, we will have a mailbox in the family lounge where you can write your child a special note. It will be delivered to the classrooms via EFC mail and read to your child that day.
ADVENTURE PEAK FIELD TRIP
Thursday, April 18—all preschoolers will be going to Adventure Peak at Edinborough Park in Edina. It is an indoor play structure and we will attend the amphitheater show with the “Teddy Bear Band”. A picnic lunch will be served at the park. Socks are required for this field trip. Parents are welcome to attend with the bus leaving at 9:00 am.   
PARENT REMINDERS
CONFERENCES
EFC will host conferences during late April and May so please watch for the sign-up sheets by your child’s classroom. We look forward to meeting with each family to discuss your child’s progress this year.

EFC CLOSED—IN-SERVICE DAY AND HOLIDAY
EFC will be closed on Friday, May 24, for our Staff In-service Day, as well as Monday, May 27, for Memorial Day.  
SUMMER SCHEDULES
With summer right around the corner, please inform us of any schedule changes or vacations that you have planned. We look forward to a great summer season here at EFC!
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 Cathie and Jamie know what dates your child(ren) will be gone. Thank you!
Especially for Children
6223 Dell Road
Eden Prairie MN 55346 
(952) 934-1119 

Center Director:
Cathie Underwood 
Center Assistant Director:
Jamie Rocheford
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