FEBRUARY 2020
Greetings!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, EFC!!!
In February 2020, Especially for Children has been in business for 44 years!! After an overnight decision in 1976, Priscilla & Steve Williams took over two nursery school locations (Brooklyn Park & South Minneapolis) and named them Especially for Children. The company would eventually expand to a current total of 8 centers in the Metro area. Edinborough is the second longest running centerJ behind the other Edina location. Our other locations include Bloomington, Circle Pines, Coon Rapids, Eagan, Eden Prairie, and Inver Grove Heights.   

The Edinborough site, which opened in 1987, was located in the current Brookdale senior building right next door. We originally opened with five classrooms and served only toddlers and preschoolers. The infant program was added later, in the early 90s. In 2013 we moved from the Edina Park Plaza building to our current location in the Edinborough Corporate Center.

We are incredibly proud of the impact we have had on so many children and families over the years. We would like to thank you for entrusting us with your most valuable assets (your children!), and for partnering with us on your parenting journey. 
UPCOMING EVENTS
hearts
PARENTS-DESIGN-A-VALENTINE
Parents—it is homework time!! This year, we’d like all parents to design a Valentine for your child/ren to be hung up in the EFC classrooms during the month of February! This is your chance to be creative and have fun! Please decorate a 9x12 or a 12x12 sheet of construction paper with poems, snapshots, glitter or whatever else you want. Examples will be posted in each room. We hope to see some creative artwork. Please bring us your artwork no later than Monday, February 10! Have fun!
VALENTINE’S DAY
Each classroom will celebrate Valentine’s Day on Friday, February 14. We will play games and pass out Valentine’s Day cards. In early February, each classroom will communicate how many children/adults are in the room. According to our celebrations/treat policy, we will not allow any candy or sweets. Instead, we encourage you to consider stickers or healthier edible options such as whole-grain crackers or fruit. Earth-friendly Valentines on recycled paper or packages of seeds are also great ideas. Oh, and don’t forget to wear red, pink & white colors for our classroom parties!!
CRAZY DRESS UP WEEK
Who has the winter blues?? We do!! Let’s have a fun week of crazy dress up days to look forward to!! During the week of February 24-28, we will have some extra silly, fun days: 

Monday: Crazy hair day
Tuesday: Crazy hat day
Wednesday: Superhero day (wear your favorite Superhero outfit—or come up with your own!!)
Thursday: Crazy backwards day! We may even do things a bit backwards at school… like having breakfast for snack and snack for breakfast… Stay tuned!
Friday: Wear “all one color” day! Pick your favorite color and color coordinate your outfit! Can we get a rainbow of colors??
FEBRUARY SPECIAL EVENT
Merlajean the Puppet Lady visits our program on Tuesday, February 25 , and will bring some of her puppets along for a fun show. Please be here by 10 AM so you don’t miss the fun!
SAVE THE DATE, INFANT HAPPY HOUR
Parents; please reserve Tuesday, March 24, for our Spring Infant Happy Hour. Join us in the EFC training room for some happy hour beverages, snacks and meet the other parents in our infant program. We hope you can join us!
PARENT REMINDERS
VACATION NOTE
Samantha is off to sunny, beautiful Costa Rica between February 7-14 . Anna will be handing things in the office during Samantha’s absence.  
ESPECIALLY FOR PARENTS
SCARY NEWS
by Alli Zomer

A typical morning at our house: we load up the bags, head out to the car, forget a bag, rush back inside, then finally settle into the car heading to school. Just about the time we back out of the driveway, the debate begins. My son (almost 5) wants to listen to “talking” (aka the news) while my daughter (2) wants to listen to music. Until recently, I usually sided with my son. I am kind of a news junkie, and I like to know what is happening around the country and around the world. But more and more these days, I find myself turning the dial to music. There just seem to be too many complicated and potentially scary stories – and I don’t always feel prepared to explain them to an inquisitive preschooler. I strive to be direct with my children even when the topic is thorny, yet it can be challenging to balance my desire to be open and honest with a desire to protect my kids from fear and worry.

National Public Radio recently took on this very topic, asking child development experts what advice they have for talking to young children about unsettling topics. Their insights hit home for me.

  • Control the Exposure: This was my key challenge in the car – my kids were hearing things at the same time I was, so I didn’t have any time to prepare myself. Controlling the exposure is not about always keeping kids in the dark, but instead it is about not letting the radio or TV be the first messenger. Young children can’t fully comprehend news that is intended for an adult audience, so we as adults are encouraged to listen/read/watch first, then we can decide what to share with them, and how to share it in a way they can grasp.
  • Talk about it: Once children are aware of something, either because we chose to share it with them, or they heard/saw it somewhere, we can focus on understanding how it is affecting them. Asking them “What have you heard” allows us to make sure they understand what is really happening, which usually means we will need to clarify a misunderstanding or debunk a myth. Asking them “how are you feeling” allows us to know what is going on inside. Maybe they are feeling scared, or maybe they are feeling confused. And as we talk about their feelings, we can take an opportunity to explore empathy – if they are feeling scared, we can help them understand that other people feel scared sometimes too.
  • Avoid labels like “bad guys”: Labels can be helpful sometimes. We use them to help children sort and classify (think blue vs green, hot vs cold, big vs small). But in the realm of news, there are many shades of gray. So the experts encourage us to avoid labels like “bad guys” which oversimplify complicated issues. Instead, we can choose to focus on the action or circumstance rather than the person. When the inevitable “why?” floats up to me from the back seat, I find myself responding with some variation on “Because that person made a bad choice” or “Maybe they did that because they were feeling hurt, or sick, or afraid.”
  • We don’t always need the answer: This is one that has taken me time to embrace as a parent. When my children first started asking questions, I wanted to be able to give them the right answer. I thought that was my job. But I have come to realize, whether it is a question about space or a question about current events, I don’t always have the answer. And that is ok. It is just as valuable for my children to understand that the world is complicated and sometimes even adults don’t know it all.
  • Look for the helpers: Finally, as seems to be the case a lot lately, Fred Rogers had the answer. On his show he shared advice his own mother gave him, “When something scary is happening, look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." What a profound yet simple message. So the next time my son asks about the wildfires in Australia, rather than focus on the devastation, I will try to share stories of the incredible people who are fighting the fire, protecting animals and rebuilding the homes of their neighbors.

Read more here:
TWIN CITIES
FAMILY EVENTS

Now-2/2   Winter Carnival , Saint Paul
Now-2/2 Skate the Star at MOA , Mall of America
Now-mid Feb Ice Skating at Centennial Lakes , Edina
Now-2/17 The Dot , Stages Theatre, Hopkins
2/8   TC Field House Kid's Run , U of MN, Mpls
2/8   Valentine's Day 5k , Lake Nokomis, Mpls
2/9 Family Day: Jazz , Minneapolis Institute of Art,
2/9 Family Fun Da y , Coon Rapids
2/14 Family Night: DJ Dime , Midtown Global Market
2/15 Monster Jam , US Bank Stadium
2/23 Family Story Time , Bell Museum

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

Center Directors:
Anna Wilson 
Samantha Baker
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