AUGUST 2019
Greetings!

GOODBYE, KINDERGARTENERS
Towards the end of August, we will bid a fond farewell to the children who will be starting Kindergarten. We have loved getting to know you and being part of your early childhood years. We know you have a lot of fun memories of our school and we look forward to hearing about your continued adventures in Kindergarten. Best of luck to all of you! We hope you will stop by and visit us!!  
CENTER HAPPENINGS
TAMARACK NATURE CENTER
The preschoolers will have their last summer visit to Tamarack Nature Center on Tuesday, August 13, at 9:45am. Let us know if you are interested in volunteering to join us for this trip. Please have your child wear shoes that can get wet for this trip as there is a small water stream where their feet may get wet.
WATER PLAY DAY
We will have a water day on Wednesday, August 21. Please send a swimsuit (or clothes that can get very wet), a towel and a bag for the wet items afterwards. We will squirt, splash and play with water outside in the morning on the playgrounds!
PARENT REMINDERS
CENTER CLOSED
EFC will be closed on Friday, August 30, for our Staff In-service Day, as well as Monday, September 2, for Labor Day. By closing the center for a staff in-service day, EFC’s goal is to provide our staff with time to complete a portion of their in-service hours required by Licensing, and to let them know they are valued employees. Have a fun, safe holiday weekend!
PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
EFC GARDENS
We will be ending our garden season at the end of this month. The children have had so much fun tending our garden this summer and sampling the vegetables that they grew. We are excited to see what else we will harvest before the end of the season!
ESPECIALLY FOR PARENTS
SING, SING A SONG
As I approach a milestone birthday this fall, I have a greater awareness of the changes that come with the middle-age stage of life. Recovering from long runs takes more time than it did a decade ago, and there are a few more forgetful moments when I ask myself, “what was I doing again?” Not to mention the additional “love lines” that raising children in a busy season of life adds to one’s face. In terms of memory, however, I have always been astounded by the mind’s ability to remember music. I can still recall all the lyrics to countless songs learned throughout my childhood and young adulthood—even songs I have not heard in many, many years. It’s no wonder that we learn our ABC’s with a song—putting together words and a tune makes things stick.

Music is a powerful tool with many benefits. We have written in the past about how music supports math concepts such as patterning and special awareness through rhythm, beat, and repetition. A recent article in the Exchange early childhood magazine titled, “Music is for Everyone,” describes additional benefits of music-making: there are social and emotional and benefits such as promoting prosocial behavior, reducing stress hormones, and cultivating the pleasure of dancing and singing together. In addition, music-making has cognitive benefits around language development and, as alluded to above, preserving aging brain function. I would add to this list that exposure to a variety of music can increase cultural awareness and understanding.

I recently took a flight out of MSP and in the terminal, they placed a piano at which anyone is welcome to sit and play a tune. A young man was at the bench playing a beautiful song; it had the effects of decreasing my stress level and making me feel a connection with him and the strangers around me who were also enjoying his music. 
The value of music in our lives is immeasurable, and as parents it is easy (and fun!) to support our children’s participation in music-making. (Active participation, and not merely passive listening, is important in order to fully realize music’s benefits.) We don’t have to have any special talent for music, nor do we need a particular goal for ourselves or our children around musical skills. We just need to model music-making and join in with our children when they are singing, drumming, or dancing to music. The title of this article is from a song I remember from my childhood; the lyrics that stick in my head the most are: “Sing, sing a song, sing out loud, sing out strong!” In spite of my inability to carry a tune, these words are my own call to action with my children today.

Resources: “Music is for Everyone,” by Anne Sailer and Lili M. Levinowitz, Exchange, July/August 2019

Angie Williams
EFC Marketing and Finance Director
TWIN CITIES
FAMILY EVENTS

Now-8/4 Roald Dahl’s Willie Wonka , Stages Theatre, Hopkins
Now-9/2 Llama Trek , MN Zoo, Apple Valley
Now-9/8 Rube Goldberg The World of Hilarious Invention , MN Children’s Museum, St. Paul
8/2-8/4  Uptown Art Fair , Minneapolis
8/9-8/11  Irish Fair , Harriet Island, St. Paul
8/17-10/29  Minnesota Renaissance Festival , Shakopee, MN
8/18 Red Barn Pizza Farm , Northfield, MN
8/22-9/2  Minnesota State Fair , Saint Paul, MN
8/25 Open Streets Franklin , Minneapolis 
 
All Summer -  Music and Movies in the Park  - Various Minneapolis Parks  
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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