APRIL 2019
Greetings!

NAEYC WEEK OF THE YOUNG CHILD 2019: CELEBRATING OUR YOUNGEST LEARNERS
April 8-12 is Week of the Young Child. This annual celebration is 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 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.

We think that a week is too short, so we will be celebrating our children & families throughout the month of April!
UPCOMING EVENTS
WEEK OF THE YOUNG CHILD EVENTS AT EFC:
DRESS UP DAYS
Friday, April 5                      Twins Day!
Thursday, April 11              Hat Day!
Friday, April 19                   Pajama Day!
Wednesday, April 24 Mismatch Day!
APPRECIATION LUNCHEON
We would like to honor our fantastic teaching staff with an appreciation luncheon on Tuesday, April 23. A Sign-Up Genius email will be sent to you in early April. Feel free to drop off your food item in the morning. Please make sure to label any dishware you bring in, so we can return it to you (dishes will be returned at the end of the week). The teaching staff look forward to this each year and greatly appreciate your thoughtfulness. 
FAMILY EVENT
Join us for our 2019 Mini Prom Family Event on Thursday, April 25, between 5 and 6:30 PM. We will have a rockin' good time with our DJ for the night. A light dinner will be served. Feel free to dress up for the occasion--and we will crown our little Prom kings and queens upon arrival. We hope you can join us!
WONDERWEAVERS STORYTELLERS
Wonder Weavers Storytellers visits our center on Monday, April 22, for their “Everyday is Earth Day” presentation. They will share new stories and old tales that teach children ways to care for nature, the environment, and our world.
COUNT ME IN PUPPET SHOW
The PACER Center is an organization dedicated to championing for children with disabilities and their families. Their goal is to expand opportunities for these children and families so that each one may reach his or her full potential. 

The PACER center will be doing a special performance for our Grizzly Bear and Polar Bear groups (the presentation is appropriate for ages 4 and older) on Tuesday, April 9 , at 10 AM.

The COUNT ME IN puppet program is designed to help children and adults learn about disabilities and chronic illnesses in an effort to bridge the gap between typical students and those with disabilities.

COUNT ME IN features three endearing, child-size, multicultural puppets that portray children with disabilities. These puppets have proven to be effective communicators of the message of understanding and acceptance, helping to dispel fears, myths and misconceptions about persons with disabilities.  
We are looking forward to the show!
PARENT REMINDERS
LOOKING AHEAD

  • Anna and Samantha will be out of the office Wednesday – Friday, April 10-12, for a director’s conference.
  • Lifetouch Photography will be taking individual, sibling & class pictures on Thursday, May 2
  • Parent/Teacher conferences will be held in early May. More info in the May newsletter.
  • EFC will be closed on Friday, May 24, for our Spring Teaching Staff Development Day, and Monday, May 27, for Memorial Day.
PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
WEEK OF THE YOUNG CHILD: APRIL 8-12
for additional family resources and ways to celebrate Week of the Young Child, including:

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 Anna and Samantha know what dates your child(ren) will be gone. Thank you!
Especially for Children
3300 Edinborough Way 
Edina MN 55435 
(952) 835-0505 

Center Directors:
Anna Wilson 
Samantha Baker
CONNECT WITH US