FEBRUARY 2020
Greetings!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY EFC!!!
On February 22, Especially for Children will have been providing quality child development programs for 44 years! Congratulations, EFC!

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. 

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.  
CENTER HAPPENINGS
hearts
VALENTINES TO YOUR CHILD
We would once again like to carry on one of our favorite traditions. Families, join in by creating a valentine for your child to hang in our front lobby. Have fun and use your imagination to design this special project!
SWEETHEART SNACK
Parents are invited to join us for a sweetheart snack event on Wednesday, February 12 at 3:30 to 4:30pm. We will have a snack and some fun activities for you and your favorite sweetheart - your child!
WHAT'S COOL IN SCHOOL
On Monday, February 3, the children are invited to bring a flashlight to school. We will talk about Groundhog’s Day and shadows. Did the groundhog see his shadow and hide for six more weeks this year?
On Friday, February 14 , wear red and/or pink to celebrate the day!

The last week in February we will be having a crazy week!

Monday – Backwards Day! Wear things backwards.
Tuesday – Pocket Day! Wear clothes with pockets, how many pockets do you have?
Wednesday – Crazy Hair Day! Style your hair crazy.
Thursday – Mismatch Day! Wear things that don’t match, such as two different socks.
Friday – Pajama Day! No need to get dressed this day.
PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
COOKING WITH CHILDREN
Each week at school, the preschoolers have an opportunity to develop their math and science skills by doing a healthy cooking project. The children learn to measure, mix, crack eggs, take turns and watch mixture turn into a healthy food that we serve for our breakfast or snack. When children are involved in the preparation of their own food, they are more open to tasting new food items! We are always looking for new ideas, so please feel free to bring in one of your family’s favorite healthy recipe for us to try!
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
2 H South Pine Dr. 
Circle Pines MN 55014 
(763) 786-9410 

Center Director:
Linda Burck
Center Assistant Director:
Kris Steffens
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