APRIL 2019
Greetings!

WEEK OF THE YOUNG CHILD!
WHAT IS THE WEEK OF THE YOUNG CHILD?
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.
UPCOMING EVENTS
FUN DAYS IN APRIL
Because April is such a fun month to celebrate children and early childhood professionals, we thought it would be fun to have some special days mixed in throughout the month. Here they are…

Tuesday, April 2 – MN Twins Day
Friday, April 12 – Favorite Color Day
Wednesday, April 17 – Pajama Day
Monday, April 22 – Crazy Socks Day
Friday, April 26 – Hat Day
TEACHER APPRECIATION LUNCHEON
We would like to honor your child’s teachers with a special pot-luck lunch on Thursday, April 25. This is a special lunch where we ask parents to contribute a food item for a staff lunch. There will be a sign- up sheet on the parent table if you would like to participate. Feel free to drop off your food or beverage item in the morning. The teachers look forward to this event and greatly appreciate your thoughtfulness.  
PARENT REMINDERS
LOOKING AHEAD                                                  
EFC will be closed on Friday, May 24, for our Staff Development Day, as well as Monday, May 27, for Memorial Day.  
PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
SOCCER SHOTS
We are looking forward to offering soccer for our preschool class again this spring. We will either utilize the grassy area near the water tower or our playground for our soccer class. The class will be held on Thursdays at 10:30 a.m starting April 4. 
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 Kathy know what dates your child(ren) will be gone. Thank you!
Especially for Children
5133 W. 98th St. 
Bloomington, MN 55437  
(952) 831-1435 

Center Director:
Kathy Hane

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