Towards the end of August, we will bid farewell to the children who are starting Kindergarten—class of 2032!!  We have loved getting to know you and being part of your early childhood years. We hope 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!!

We want to remind you to give at least a two-week notice to any changes to your child’s schedule and attendance (including withdrawals). This allows us to properly plan for tuition billing as well as move-ups and classroom changes in our program.  
On Thursday, August 1, the preschool groups will be going to the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary in St. Louis Park. They will be doing a guided tour with a Garden Naturalist. Fun fact: The garden is home to more than 500 plant species and 130 bird species! The naturalist recommends tennis shoes, a sun hat and an application of bug spray for this field trip. 

On Tuesday, August 27, the preschoolers will venture off to the Works Museum in Bloomington! They will enjoy a workshop and museum time in different areas such as design and build, gears, sensor, and lights and optics. What a unique experience! 

*All preschoolers will need a bagged, nut/peanut free lunches for these fieldtrips!

Our preschoolers have had such a wonderful summer exploring their community and taking advantage of the beautiful Minnesota summer! One of their favorite activities is to head to Centennial Lakes to enjoy a show and bring their own picnic lunch! Below are dates for when different classrooms will be doing this so you can plan and pack a peanut-free bagged lunch (this includes peanut butter!).

-Puppy Room: Thursday, August 15
-Penguin Room: Tuesday, August 13
-Grizzly Bear Room: Tuesday, August 13
-Polar Bear Room: Thursday, August 15 
If your child is participating in Soccer Shots and you would like to see the skills they have been working on this summer, we’d like to invite you to our Parent Visit day on Monday, August 26 .  This will be our final class for the season. Soccer classes will be back next summer.  
Especially for Children will be closed on Friday, August 30 , for our Staff Development Day and Monday, September 2, for Labor Day.

Have you checked your settings for receiving notifications on Baby Connect/Daily Connect? The teachers put a lot of time and effort into communicating your child’s daily activities and are proud to be able to give you insight into his or her day. It’s also important to be checking for any special reminders or announcement about things going on in your child’s classroom. We’re happy to form a collaborative partnership with you!  Please let us know if you have any issues receiving these updates or need help with setting up notifications.

We appreciate everyone’s efforts to keep their child(ren’s) files updated at our center. Our license requires us to keep current records on site of each child. We need annual physical forms as well as the computer print out of updated immunizations. If you have an appointment scheduled, feel free to stop by the office to gather the necessary paperwork. Again—thank you for your help!

Also, we want to remind you that in order to get you vacation credits when your child is absent, your tuition needs to be paid in full and you need to submit an account adjustment form. These forms are located in the check box at the sign in table in the lounge.  
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

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
3300 Edinborough Way 
Edina MN 55435 
(952) 835-0505 

Center Directors:
Anna Wilson 
Samantha Baker