We would like to continue the tradition we started a few years ago and will need your participation!! We would like parents to design a Valentine for their child(ren) to be hung in the hallway at Especially for Children during the month of February. This is your opportunity to be creative and have fun!! Due to limited space, the size restriction of the Valentine will be letter size (9” X 13”). Please have your artwork to Kathy by Wednesday, February 10. Have fun!!
The toddler and preschool groups have their valentine exchange and party on Friday, February 12. The teachers will provide more information regarding their classroom parties soon. Please see Kathy if this is not a scheduled day for your child and you would like them to have the opportunity to participate in the Valentine activities. 
In 1926, Dr. Carter G. Woodson, known as the “father of Black History” initiated the celebration of Negro History Week to coincide with Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln’s birthdays. In 1976, 50 years later, President Gerald Ford officially recognized and expanded it to Black History Month. He called upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” Every Republican and Democratic president since has endorsed the theme and focus each year.

The theme for Black History Month 2021 is: The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity.
Please make sure your child has extra clothes, labeled with his/her last name, at school in case of accidents, spills, wet playground, etc. Our “extra” clothes bin here at the center is getting quite low. We appreciate your help!
A random act of kindness is a selfless act performed by kind people to either help cheer up a random stranger, for no reason other to make people happier. Here are 15 ideas to try!

  1. Hold the door for someone
  2. Compliment a friend
  3. Bring a welcome gift to a new co-worker
  4. Send a thank you note to a soldier
  5. Let another driver looking for a spot know when you’re leaving.
  6. Leave change in the vending machine
  7. Help someone carry groceries to her car.
  8. Leave a happy note on the bathroom mirror that says “you look amazing!”.
  9. Smile at everyone you see.
  10. Send flowers to a friend.
  11. Leave extra time in the meter.
  12. Give up your seat for someone.
  13. Write a note of encouragement to someone who inspires you.
  14. Leave a flower on a neighbor’s doorstep.
  15. Deliver a cup of coffee.
star wellness
February in Minnesota usually means we need some fresh ideas for indoor activities (especially this year!). Here are a few ideas to help keep children and parents active on those cold days:

Freeze dance: Put on some energizing music and encourage kids to do their best dance moves. They must pause when you stop the music, only resuming dancing when you turn it back on.

Scavenger hunt: Write a list of items and read them to your children one at a time (or let older kids carry their own list) so they can look throughout the house for the objects in question. Things like puzzle pieces, utensils, crayons, or books with specific pictures on the cover are some ideas to start. Up the ante by giving hints instead of a list, giving tips like “Find something that comes in pairs (socks or shoes) or “Find something that is round and edible” (apple or orange).
by Angie Williams
At Especially for Children, we continue to be committed to training and growth around the topics of race, diversity, bias, and inclusion in early childhood education, and we look forward to sharing that journey with you. Last month our country witnessed a historic moment when Kamala Harris, the first woman, first Black person, and first person of South Asian descent was sworn in as Vice President of the United States. As our nation continues to grapple with its troubled history and continued systemic problems around race, it is encouraging to think of the millions of girls and women of color who can finally see themselves reflected in the person who holds one of the top offices of our government. One early childhood educator reflected on the moment in our industry magazine:

“Now…little Brown girls all over the world can finally have a genuine moment of recognition and joy: The new VP looks just like us!

For all of us, for me, this moment of representation matters. For the first time, as Black and Brown girls everywhere, we will see ourselves as limitless. Game changers. Earth shakers. Trailblazers.

People of privilege will now have no choice but to allow us Brown girls to bring perspectives that are new to them. Our stories will bridge chasms, our actions will redirect the course of history.”

-- Mismiki Montgomery

Directly following this moment, we find ourselves in February, Black History Month. This year’s theme is The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity. As educators and within our own families, Black History Month is an important time to intentionally learn about African American History and celebrate Black culture.
We have collected several resources for families to support this learning and experience. Please find those resources below, and if you have additional ideas or resources to share with teachers and/or families, please let your center director know.

The Library of Congress: African American History Month: http://www.africanamericanhistorymonth.gov/

45 Books to Teach Children About Black History (sorted by age): http://theculture.forharriet.com/2014/02/45-books-to-teach-children-about-black.html#axzz55g6irvsy

Raising World Citizens: 5 Ways to Celebrate Black History Month with your family:
Angie Williams
EFC Marketing Director
Especially for Children
5133 W. 98th St. 
Bloomington, MN 55437  
(952) 831-1435 

Center Director:
Kathy Hane