JULY 2019

The play equipment is installed, and the kids have loved it!! Weather permitting the sod will be installed Week of July 1 , and we will have our playground back!! It has been a long June, but the new playground is worth it!! 

The gardens were off to a slow start with all the construction. They are playing catch up now!! Not to long and we will have tomatoes to eat. 
Thank you to everyone who shared feedback in our recent family surveys. Based on your input, our teaching team is committing to an increased focus on communication. Specifically, we will be working together over the next several months to make sure that we are utilizing Baby/Daily Connect so that you can stay informed on what your child is learning and experiencing at EFC. Thank you for your partnership as we continue striving to be our best!  
Monday, July 1 - Wear Red
Tuesday, July 2 - Wear White
Wednesday, July 3 - Wear Blue
Thursday, July 4 - Center Closed
Friday, July 5 - Center Closed
Tuesday, July 9 - Bring in family picture
Wednesday, July 10 - Costume Day
Thursday, July 11 - Dress like your teacher
Thursday, July 18 - Bring in a Bug
Wednesday, July 24 - Wacky Socks
Friday, July 26 - Splash Day
Tuesday, July 30 - Wear clothes inside out
The kids are loving the new playground!! We are hoping to schedule some splash days on some nice days! For splash day please send your child with swimsuit or clothes that can get wet, a towel and water shoes. We will put notices on the door alert you of these favorite days!!
We realize that summer is often laid back and many parents have more options for their working hours at this time year. Please keep in mind that we plan our staffing based on when we are expecting children to arrive and depart. This is important so that we can maintain proper staff to child ratios. If you have a change in your schedule, such as arriving earlier or staying later, please let us know at least 24 hours in advance so that we can plan for the change.
In the world of early childhood, one gets used to clever wordplay when it comes to books and resources: The ABC’s of Love , Eye See You , or 1-2-3 Magic . But when I recently picked up the book The First R: How Children Learn Race and Racism, the title left me feeling far from playful. The book’s author, sociologist Debra VanAusdale, spent one year observing a preschool classroom. She listened to stories, watched children build and topple towers, and attended field trips. But mostly, she observed. Her goal was to explore what young children know and understand about race. Do they notice it? Do they talk about it? Do they respond to it? And if so, how?

For many parents and teachers, these can be scary questions to even ask. A common assumption is that children are happily colorblind – that they don’t see or understand race and view all people as the same. Many parents and educators worry that talking about race could be harmful – that it could introduce ideas about difference or somehow “teach” children racism when otherwise they would be free from it. But VanAusdale’s observations show that children as young as 3, 4 and 5 very much understand race. They observe how people are different from one another: VanAusdale’s preschoolers frequently compared their skin tones or identified book characters based on their race. They know about their own family’s racial backgrounds, as well as those of their peers: when a mixed-race child was picked up by her Black mother and White father, other children were direct and inquisitive, trying to piece together the puzzle of race and families. VanAusdale’s preschoolers were like all children, they ask questions as they try to figure out what these differences mean. And in the absence of explicit conversation from adults, children pick up implicit (and too often negative) messages from the world around them.

In recognition of this early racial awareness, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), through which Especially for Children obtains accreditation, encourages early childhood educators to get comfortable with a topic that for many is anything but comfortable. A 2018 NAEYC article on the issue was titled “Becoming Upended,” and that seems like a very apt name; while on the one hand race is everywhere in our society, on the other hand there is a very real social stigma against talking about it openly. But just as we help children navigate everything else, we have an opportunity to help them navigate race in a way that recognizes and celebrates our similarities as well as our differences.

The leadership team at EFC (directors and administrators) have been participating in a series of trainings aimed at better understanding race: its history, its impact, and how to help young children make sense of it in a positive way. Our goal in this work, as with all of the continuing education we engage in, is to grow and learn so that we can continue to help all children (and adults!) thrive in an environment that honors the myriad of backgrounds, experiences, languages and cultures that combine to make our EFC community vibrant.      

Alli Zomer
Director of Operations

Now-8/4 Roald Dahl’s Willie Wonka , Stages Theatre, Hopkins
Now-9/2 Llama Trek , MN Zoo, Apple Valley
Now-9/8 Rube Goldberg The World of Hilarious Invention , MN Children’s Museum, St. Paul
7/4  Red, White and Boom , Minneapolis
7/4  Edina Parade , Edina
7/11-7/14  Whiz Bang Days , Robbinsdale
7/24-7/27  Minneapolis Aquatennial , Downtown Minneapolis
7/27  ArtCar & ArtBike Parade , Lake Harriet, Mpls
All Summer -  Music and Movies in the Park  - Various Minneapolis Parks  
Especially for Children
8885 Evergreen Blvd 
Coon Rapids MN 55433 

Lisa Ward 
Director, EFC Coon Rapids 
(763) 784-0901