DECEMBER 2019
Greetings!

PAJAMA DRIVE EVENT
Bring the gift of a smile to kids and their families. We are asking for donations of a new pair of pajamas from birth to adult (possibly the same size as you or your own child) until December 11 . We will be bringing these donations to a local shelter. For every pair of pajamas donated, Scholastic Book Clubs will also donate a brand new book to the organization, Pajama Program. Any donation you are able to give is appreciated!

The donation box will be located by the parent counter. In celebration, all students and staff are asked to wear pajamas on Friday, December 13 !  
CENTER HAPPENINGS
FUN DAY DECEMBER FRIDAYS
Join us in participating in Friday FUN!

December 6: Winter-themed shirt
December 13: PAJAMA Day!
December 20: Favorite (or ugliest) sweater
December 27: Hat Day
PARENT REMINDERS
HOLIDAY ATTENDANCE
We understand many families travel or spend time at home together during the holiday weeks. Please let us know your child’s attendance by December 13 . This will help us staff classrooms and allows us to give our teachers some well-deserved time off. Thank you!
CENTER CLOSURES
Please mark your calendars in preparation for the holiday season:

EFC will be closing @ 3:00 PM on Christmas Eve: Tuesday, December 24

EFC will be closed the following days:
  • Christmas Day: Wednesday, 12/25
  • New Year’s Day: Wednesday, 1/1

We wish everyone a very happy and healthy holiday season!
ESPECIALLY FOR PARENTS
“WHAT IS ESSENTIAL IS INVISIBLE TO THE EYES” AND
OTHER THINGS FRED ROGERS KNEW
by Angie Williams

I grew up watching Mister Rogers. Perhaps some of you did, too. But I have not reflected on the lessons of his television show until recently. Ahead of the movie,   A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood , there have been several excellent profiles about the man who touched millions of children’s lives with his kind demeanor and profound grasp of humanity. He spoke directly to children about the joys and the challenges of their experiences. He gently but consistently emphasized the importance of children acknowledging and talking about their feelings in order to understand themselves and the world around them.

There is a new, 10-episode podcast called  Finding Fred , which explores the themes and methods of his show. I listened to the first episode last night entitled, A Genius of Empathy. The host and guests discussed how Fred Rogers was able to teach children about empathy—a pretty tricky emotional concept even for adults—by, again, recognizing the feelings children have, helping them understand that feelings are universal, and giving them words and ideas to help them manage their feelings. (If you haven’t listened to his song, “What do you do with the mad you feel?”, it’s a great example of this.)

We know—and Fred Rogers knew—that the social and emotional development of children is paramount to their overall wellbeing as well as their ability to be a “good neighbor,” which is what we hope all of our children will be.

The depth of his thinking is something that I can appreciate only now as an adult. The following paragraph of an article stood out to me:

“L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.” That was Fred’s favorite quote. He had it framed and hanging on a wall in his office. “What is essential is invisible to the eyes,” from Saint-Exupéry’s “The Little Prince.” “It’s not the honors and the prizes and the fancy outsides of life which ultimately nourish our souls,” he once said, expounding on the idea in a speech. “It’s the knowing that we can be trusted, that we never have to fear the truth, that the bedrock of our very being is good stuff. … What is essential about you that is invisible to the eyes?”

These are deep thoughts for both adults and children, and I love that Mister Rogers reminded children that there  is  something essential within them that they can love and share. When I reflect on the message within those words, I think of what an amazing privilege it is to engage in the life of a child as a parent, and for our teaching staff, as caregivers and educators. It is such an honor (and a responsibility!) to help children discover the essential parts of themselves—those interests and traits that make them who they are and connect them to life and the world in a positive way. Once again, as Fred notes, “the bedrock of our very being is good stuff.” How lucky we are to share that lesson with children and watch it grow within them.

Sources:
http://www.neighborhoodarchive.com/music/songs/what_do_you_do.html
Angie Williams
EFC Marketing and Finance Director
TWIN CITIES
FAMILY EVENTS

Now-12/22   Holidazzle , Minneapolis
Now-12/28 Elf the Musical , Stages Theatre, Hopkins
Now-1/5 Cinderella , Children's Theatre, Minneapolis
Now-1/5 Winter in Bloom , Mn Landscape Arboretum, Chanhassen
Now-1/5 Gingerbread Wonderland , Houses of Norway, Minneapolis
12/7 Reindeer Day , Linden Hills, Minneapolis
12/7-12/8 Holly Trolley , Lake Harriet, Minneapolis
12/14 Reindeer Run , Lake Harriet, Minneapolis
12/25 Joyful 5k , Maple Grove
12/31 New Year's Eve in the Wild , Lebanon Hills Park, Eagan
 
Many thanks to Courtney Perry for the beautiful photos she took at our center this month. They are included in our Photo Gallery!
Especially for Children
3370 Coachman Rd. 
Eagan, MN 55121 
(651) 452-0043 

Center Directors:
Bri Dieffenbach and Kate Beck
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