JULY 2019

We are looking forward to more summer fun with the following events:

On Thursday, July 11, Merlajean’s Puppets will be here to share some fun summer stories. The preschool show will begin at 9:30 with the toddler show to follow at 10:00. 
Mark your calendars for our EFC Family Potluck Picnic on Thursday, August 1. More details to follow.
Thank you to all the families that completed the Annual Survey this spring. Below are the goals we have set based on the feedback received:

  • We recognize earlier this year we experienced some turnover, which can make it challenging for children and families to feel connected. Our goal is to improve our communication regarding who will be the teaching staff working with your child each day. In the coming weeks you will notice posters near the classroom doors indicating the names of teaching staff. We are proud that 16 of our 32 staff have been with EFC for 5 years or more and, of those, 8 have been with EFC for over 10 years!

  • There was also a desire to be more environmentally friendly when it comes to mealtime dishes. You may have noticed that we have already transitioned to primarily using re-usable dishware. The children and teaching staff have done a wonderful job with this transition.

Thank you for your partnership as we continue striving to be our best!  
Especially for Children will be closed on Thursday, July 4 , in honor of Independence Day and on Friday, July 5 , for EFC’s floating holiday.

EFC will also be closed on Friday, August 30, for Teaching Staff Professional Development Day and on Monday, September 2, for Labor Day.
Please let us know about any vacation time you plan on taking this summer by marking your days off in the vacation calendar at the sign-in table. If you are gone for an entire week and have been with us for more than 6 months, then you are eligible for a half-week tuition credit. Vacation credits can be applied following the vacation.
We understand children wake up hungry and may often need a snack or light breakfast as they travel to school. Please make sure your child finishes any food from home in the car prior to dropping them off, or you may also stay and sit with your child at the table near the office as they finish eating.  

EFC serves breakfast until 8:30 a.m.; if your child will be eating breakfast at school, please ensure they are here by 8:20 a.m. We thank you for your cooperation!
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
5015 W. 70 Street
Edina MN 55439 
(952) 946-9971 

Center Directors:
Susan Wilson and Michelle Botz