December 2019
Making Memories
This time of year doesn’t just feel busy to us grown-ups, for children, this season can be filled with anticipation for fun family activities, obsession over the toys they hope to get, and excitement for winter break. Managing all this excitement and mixed-up schedules can be a challenge! For those of us still trying to figure out how to keep things balanced and fun, here are some ideas to make this time of year more enjoyable:
  • Experiences and quality time together. You don't have to spend a lot to create a special experience for your family. A picnic on the floor where your kids help pick the menu or pajama day where you play board games, read books, and watch a movie can all be memorable.
  • Want, Need, Read, Wear. Scale back your purchases for your kids by focusing on buying one of each item from just these four categories.
  • Give back to the community.
  • Little Hands Can empowers youth through service opportunities meant for young children.
  • Ask your kids how they want to help neighbors and support them to follow through on their ideas.
  • Giving Trees (choose a tag or card and then purchase the item) around the county provide toys and clothing for children and/or seniors who may not receive a gift otherwise.
  • Over weekends and winter breaks, many school-age children go hungry without the meals provided by their school. Food for Lane County snack packs send food home for these kids. If you would like to support this effort, you can give here.
When you think back to your own favorite wintry memories, you may find that spending time with loved ones and connecting with events and celebrations in the community are what you remember most. You can help create memories and strong connections that will be loved much longer than the hottest holiday toy. Plus, you are passing on important values that the young ones in your life will carry with them far into the future.
We Hear You (and, Thanks)!
With the passage of the Student Success Act (SSA), Lane County has the unique opportunity to expand access to high quality child care & preschool. There are many areas of our county where these early learning programs are critically lacking. To plan for what early care and education expansion might look like, we asked parents what they want and need in a child care or preschool setting and some of their biggest barriers to accessing it. You came out in full force to tell us your experiences – we heard from over 800 parents from all over Lane County. THANK YOU!

Here’s just part of what we learned:
The top three criteria for parents when looking for a child care or preschool are:
  1.  Affordability
  2.  High-quality rated program
  3.  The teacher’s skills and teaching style

The top three biggest challenges to getting a child enrolled in a child care or preschool are:
  1.  Cost of the program
  2.  Low (or no) availability of programs or providers
  3. The days and hours of a program don’t work for parents

What’s next? We’ll submit our regional expansion plan to the Early Learning Division of the Oregon Department of Education, which will help inform their funding decisions. New or enhanced Preschool Promise , Head Start, and Early Head Start services will begin in August or September 2020. Stay tuned for updates on this process in the next newsletter.
Featured Blog
Make Time For Everyday Learning Opportunities

Toddlers and young children are constantly asking questions about their world: "Why is the sky blue?", "Why do we have feet?" As a parent, it can be hard to keep up with their curiosity! But the truth is, you are likely teaching your child more...

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Wondering What to Read?
Fox's Garden by Princesse CamCam
A story without words, "Fox's Garden" by Princesse CamCam is a tender story about a fox chased out of town by grownups, and a boy who responds with kindness when he spots the fox. This wintery story will give you a chill from the rich, snowy pages and, by the end of it, leave you feeling warm and fuzzy. 
As a book without words, rereading and retelling this story provides ample opportunities to build literacy skills! Take turns telling the story with your kiddo, and allow your kiddo to use their own words while encouraging them to expand on their sentences with more detail. There's no right or wrong way to tell this story! Discuss facial expressions, feelings, and enjoy the stunning cut-paper artwork. These conversations will help enrich the story and your kiddo's understanding of how pictures and stories are connected. Babies can enjoy this story too as you retell it in different ways and point to the corresponding artwork as you speak. Have fun!

- Becky Arnoux, Children/Teen Services, Cottage Grove Public Library
Upcoming Events

December 7

The oldest and coldest Christmas parade is in its 67th year and will follow the same parade route as in the past – 21st St and Olympic St, down Mohawk Blvd to Main St. Santa Claus has promised to visit, escorting the finish of the parade and ushering in the holiday season. See decorated cars, horses and floats of all kinds.

December 7

This is the end of term performance for the Shedd’s student mariachi performance group. Mariachi del Shedd is led by Fernell Lopez and consists of students from around the Eugene/Springfield areas. The group studies, learns, and performs traditional mariachi music.

December 8

A gathering of Northwest artists and crafters who are dedicated to preserving native arts and cultures hosts the Winter Native American Arts and Crafts Market. Native artisans will share their work in a wide variety of genres, including beading, basket making, printmaking, painting and graphic arts.

December 15

Come celebrate the season as the Oregon Children’s Choir performs two FREE concerts of winter repertoire that will warm your heart!

A reception with OCC founder Dr. Randall Moore will follow each concert. Admission is free.

month of December

From West Fir to Cottage Grove to Florence, communities are celebrating the season with festive holiday lighting gatherings.

Visit the LaneKids calendar and search for "Seasonal and Holiday Activities" to find them all.
Contact Us
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LaneKids is Lane County’s parenting education hub.
Our mission is to ensure all parents in Lane County have the knowledge, tools, and support to nurture their child’s optimal development for success in school and life.
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