Especially for Children has been in business for 45 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. Edina EFC has been open since 1982 is the longest running center. Our other locations include Edina/Edinborough, Bloomington, Circle Pines, Coon Rapids, Eagan, Eden Prairie, and Inver Grove Heights.   

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 (the kids!), and for partnering with us on your parenting journey.
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.
Although flipping a coin may prove more accurate, we hope Punxsutawney Phil predicts an early spring!
The dates for Chinese New Year aren’t set in stone, and vary yearly based on the lunar cycle, but it always falls in January or February. The most important days of Chinese New Year are Chinese New Year’s Eve and the first day of Chinese New Year. Chinese New Year’s Eve is very special and important day to gather with family and have a big feast. The celebration lasts for fifteen days with the Lantern Festival marking the end of the celebration.

2021 is the year of the Ox. In Chinese culture, the Ox is a valued animal for being hardworking and honest, making great leaders.
We would like families to design a Valentine for your child/ren to be hung up throughout the center. This is your chance to be creative and have fun! Please decorate a piece of paper (construction, cardstock, plain copy paper) with poems, snapshots, glitter or whatever else you want. Please bring us your Valentine by February 10! Have fun and thank you in advance for your participation.
Our preschool classrooms have each selected at least three inspirational black men or women (not necessarily from this book) to spotlight within their learning each week. By the end of February, the classes will each have honored and learned about 12+ influential people who have changed the world, from activists and historical figures to musicians and athletes.

We will also be joining all our preschool teaching teams celebrating the achievements of these amazing black men and women who have paved the way for future generations within our Kindness Book Club. The book we have selected this month is Bedtime Inspirational Stories – 50 Amazing Black People Who Changed the World by L. A. Amber.
As a reminder, if you haven’t already, please complete the 2021 Media Release form for your child here: https://especiallyforchildren.com/media-release-form/
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 heading into 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
5015 W. 70 Street
Edina MN 55439 
(952) 946-9971 

Center Directors:
Susan Wilson and Michelle Botz