DECEMBER 2019
Greetings!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS
The holiday season is upon us once again, and we are looking forward to the excitement of the coming weeks. We will be celebrating several holidays in December and have included a list of them. If you have a tradition that you would like to share with the children, please let the teachers know.
PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
HOLIDAYS AROUND THE WORLD
During the month of December, we like to discuss with the children other holidays that are celebrated around the world. Some of the Holidays we briefly talk about are: 

  • St. Barbara Day, Dec. 4
  • St. Nicholas Day, Dec. 6
  • St. Lucia Day, Dec. 13
  • Hanukkah, sunset Dec. 2-nightfall Dec. 30
  • Las Posadas, Dec. 16
  • Christmas, Dec. 25
  • Kwanza, Dec. 26-Jan. 1 
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 signing the forms on the classroom doors by December 14 . This will help staff classrooms and allow our teachers some well-deserved time off. Thank you!

* Vacation credit reminder:  When you have been enrolled at Especially for Children 6 months or more- you will receive a half weeks’ tuition credit if your child is absent five consecutive days. It does include the days that we are closed over the holidays.
CENTER CLOSURES
Please mark your calendars in preparation for the holiday season:

EFC will close at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, 12/24 for Christmas Eve.

EFC will be closed the following days:
  • Christmas Day: Wednesday, 12/25
  • New Year’s Day: Wednesday, 1/1
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
 
Especially for Children
5133 W. 98th St. 
Bloomington, MN 55437  
(952) 831-1435 

Center Director:
Kathy Hane

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