APRIL 2019
Greetings!

MONTH OF THE YOUNG CHILD
Each April the National Association for the Education (NAEYC) dedicates a week to celebrate young children through Week of the Young Child. This year we will celebrate young children, their families and staff all month long! Throughout the month we will have special activities planned.

Monday, April 1 – Silly Dress Up Day

Monday, April 8 – Bring a picture of your child and their pet!

Wednesday, April 17 – Staff Appreciation Luncheon. Sign up to bring in a special dish to share with your child’s teacher.
CENTER HAPPENINGS
CELEBRATING EARTH DAY
Please bring in a white t-shirt by Monday, April 15. We will be painting these shirts throughout the week to celebrate Earth Day. As part of our celebration we will be talking with the children about the difference between recycling, composting and trash. We will learn how each affects our Earth.  

On Monday, April 22, we will wear our shirts and the preschool children will have an Earth Day picnic at a park. The toddlers will have a picnic on the playground.
potwithflowers
PLANTING WITH PARENTS EVENT
Wednesday, April 24, for preschool families and Thursday, April 25, for infant and toddler families we will have a fun event for parents to participate with your child. Each family will be potting a plant/flower to take home. A light snack will be served during the event.
PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
BIKE DAYS
The preschoolers will begin to have bike days again! Watch the calendar for the bike days and each child with a bike also needs to bring a helmet. Bikes can be dropped off out back at the playground.
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 Linda and Kris know what dates your child(ren) will be gone. Thank you!
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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