FEBRUARY 2024

PHOTO GALLERY | MENU/CALENDAR

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Dear Angie,


Valentines to Your Child

We would like to invite parents, to join in the valentine fun by creating a valentine for your child to hang in our front lobby. Have fun and use your imagination to design this special project!

CENTER HAPPENINGS

WHAT'S COOL IN SCHOOL

On Friday, February 2, 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?

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SWEETHEART BREAKFAST

Join us on Tuesday, February 13, for breakfast with your favorite sweetheart, your child! We will serve a special breakfast from 7:30 to 9am.

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VALENTINE CARD EXCHANGE

On Wednesday, February 14, we will have a valentine card exchange in each of our classrooms! The staff will be sending you a class list of the children in your child’s class. This is a great opportunity to practice writing our names!  

100TH DAY OF SCHOOL

On Thursday, February 1, we will celebrate the 100th day of the school year. The preschoolers will be making a “Friendship Mix”. Everyone is invited to bring in a healthy snack item to add to our mix. Please bring the item in its original container and please do not bring any peanut containing items. The children will be counting them as part of their math activities that day.

OUTDOOR PLAY

As we start to get some snow, the preschoolers will enjoy going over to sled on the small hills at the church grassy area. All preschoolers are welcome to bring in a sled labeled with their name for the winter if you haven’t already.  

CENTER HAPPENINGS

CHINESE NEW YEAR - FEBRUARY 10TH

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. 2024 is the year of the Dragon. In Chinese culture, the dragon represents good luck, strength and health. The dragon is unique because it is the only mythical creature of all the animals in the Chinese zodiac and babies are born in the year of the dragon more than any other animal.

ESPECIALLY FOR PARENTS

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 INSPIRATION FOR THE FUTURE FROM BLACK LEADERS OF THE PAST

 

My daughter’s 5th grade teacher is a huge baseball fan (instead of taking the lovely Minnesota summers off, she works at the Twins stadium to be close to the action). As she sets the tone for her classroom each year, she highlights Jackie Robinson, the first African American MLB player, and his nine core values. We are entering Black History Month, and it is inspiring to reflect on how these values shaped Robinson’s life, and how powerful they can be when cultivated in our own children.

 

Jackie Robinson’s nine core values were:

 

COURAGE

Doing what you know is the right thing even when it is hard to do

 

DETERMINATION

Staying focused on a plan even though the path to its end may be difficult

 

TEAMWORK

Working with other people toward a common goal

 

PERSISTENCE

Working toward a goal and continuing to move forward even though you face obstacles or barriers

 

INTEGRITY

Sticking to your values, regardless of what others think you should do

 

CITIZENSHIP

Making a contribution that improves the lives of others

 

JUSTICE

Treating all people fairly, no matter who they are

 

COMMITMENT

Making a promise and following through on it

 

EXCELLENCE

Doing the best that you possibly can

 

Jackie Robinson broke barriers and lived out these values in spite of the personal and professional challenges he faced during an era of deep discord over issues of race.

Martin Luther King Jr. followed behind Robinson during the civil rights era, and from a young age he was determined to develop and use his skills for justice and equality in our nation. In reading a recent biography of MLK, it is clear that he dedicated himself to and lived out many of Robinson’s same values. His persistence in fighting for equal rights, though it cost him his life, is evident. He also did so with optimism, which feels remarkable to me given what he and others encountered. In an early sermon, he asked his listeners,

 

“Life is what you make of it by the way you handle trouble. When malice or misfortune finds you, do you hold it so close to your eyes that you can’t see anything else?…Learn to handle life’s difficulties with kindness and courage.”

 

MLK implored his audience to keep working toward justice with a sense of positive and hopeful expectation.

 

While black history is American history and should not be relegated to one month of the year, Black History Month gives all of us an opportunity to focus our attention on the life stories of both well-known black heroes as well as ordinary black citizens and their extraordinary contributions to our world. We can take time on our own and/or with our children to reflect on black history, and to learn about and be inspired by the perspectives and values of the people who lived it.

TWIN CITIES

FAMILY EVENTS

Now-2/4 Winter Carnival, Saint Paul

Now-2/10 Winter Fete Activities, Bloomington

Now-2/11 Art Shanty Projects, Lake Harriet, Mpls  

Now-Late February Ice Castles, Maple Grove

Now-2/24 Night Trains, TC Model Railroad Museum, St. Paul      

Now-2/25 Dragons Love Tacos, Stages Theatre, Hopkins

2/3-2/4 Loppet Winter Festival, Mpls

2/17 Live Music with John Penny, Midtown Global Market, Minneapolis

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Especially for Children - Circle Pines

2 H South Pine Dr.

Circle Pines, MN 55014

(763) 786-9410

efc12@especiallyforchildren.com

Center Directors

Linda Kottke and Bridget Doyle