JULY 2018
Greetings!

MINNESOTA SPOTLIGHTS!!
Our summer program has been off to a great start. The Dolphin class has learned a new Minnesota song and the Chipmunks learned about reflections in the lake. The young toddlers loved our study of bugs and the Monkeys did a great job cutting out the shape of Minnesota! Our gardens are looking very green—feel free to take a peak on the playground to see how our plants are growing.

Please watch room letters for interesting things that are happening in your child’s classroom.

Also remember that as you travel around Minnesota this summer with your family, please remember to bring back a postcard or take a photo to hang on our Minnesota bulletin board. It will be fun to see where everyone goes!!

If you work for a Minnesota company and have information that would be useful for our children’s classrooms, please feel free to let us know.  
LYNN’S RETIREMENT CELEBRATION         
We are in the process of planning a retirement celebration in honor of Lynn as she has been an integral part of our program at Especially for Children. Please watch for an email invitation regarding the event, and we look forward to a fun gathering!
CENTER HAPPENINGS
OLD LOG THEATER FIELD TRIP
Field trip to Old Log Theater to see “How I Became a Pirate” will be held on Thursday, July 12. After the performance, we will have a picnic lunch and return to the center. Both Dolphin and Monkey classes will attend. Due to ticket counts, we will have limited tickets available for parents to attend this field trip. Please let us know if you are interested in attending.
COMO ZOO FIELD TRIP
Thursday, July 26, we will be heading to Como Zoo with the Dolphin and Monkey classrooms. The bus will leave at 9:00 am and return after lunch. The preschoolers will also enjoy a picnic lunch at the zoo. Volunteers are welcome to attend.
PARENT REMINDERS
HAPPY 4TH OF JULY
We will be closed on Wednesday, July 4 in honor of Independence Day. 

Planning Ahead: EFC is closed Friday, August 31, for Staff Professional Development Day and Monday, September 3, for Labor Day
EFC TREATS AND CELEBRATIONS POLICY
EFC strives to create a healthy environment at our centers. We are also happy to celebrate special occasions with children, staff and families. We believe occasional treats, when enjoyed in moderation, contribute to a spirit of celebration. We know, however, that at times it can be difficult to limit the number of sugary treats children consume. In addition, we are eager to ensure that children with food allergies are safe and feel included in classroom celebrations. Finally, we recognize that bringing food to class is taxing for many families – in both time and money.  

For those reasons, our policy is to promote healthy and/or non-food celebrations in the classroom. Our classrooms have many traditions in place to ensure that each child feels honored on his/her special day. Please note that there is no expectation that families bring in something to celebrate . If families would like to help celebrate a child’s birthday or other special occasion in the classroom, we request that you consider one of the ideas below.

If you would like to bring food to celebrate your child’s birthday or other special occasion, we ask that you bring in a healthy choice. All food brought to EFC for the purposes of sharing with the class must be commercially packaged and labeled with the ingredients (i.e. not homemade).
 
EFC Parties and Celebrations
EFC does not provide treats to children on a regular basis. We will continue to offer treats (i.e. cake) in moderation for special events such as graduation, family parties or center-wide celebrations. 

Thank you for your cooperation!     

SUGGESTED CLASSROOM CELEBRATIONS
  • Decorate a banner or hat for your child to wear
  • Join your child for breakfast or lunch
  • Come to class and read your child’s favorite story
  • Send a special game or craft for your child’s class
  • Bring photos or a special object for your child to share in class
OR
 
SUGGESTED CELEBRATION FOODS
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Hummus
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Whole grain crackers
  • 100% juice popsicles
SUMMER VACATIONS…VACATION CREDITS
Please let your child’s teacher know about any vacation time you plan on taking this summer. You can also mark an “X” in the attendance logs in the entryway on dates that you will not be in attendance. If you are gone on vacation for an entire week and have been with us for more than 6 months, you are eligible for a half-week tuition credit.  
SUMMER SCHEDULES
We understand that summer is great time to have different schedules for you and your child. Please keep in mind that you should contact the center if your child is going to be absent for the day or if they are arriving later than usual. Teachers will contact parents if children have not arrived by 10:00 am to check in. 

Tuition is based up to a 10-hour day. Please contact the office if you have schedule changes for the summer that will change your typical drop off/pickup times.  
PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
SUMMER IS HERE AT LAST!!
We hope you are able to take some time to slow down and enjoy the summer with your family. 

Here at EFC we have planned field trips and visitors throughout the summer to expose your children to a variety of experiences. Field trips and visitors are just two of the learning components in our program which give children and opportunity to learn about the world around them, and their potential place in it, by meeting people and finding out what they do.

Field Trips:
  • are planned around weekly themes to reinforce things learned in the classroom
  • provide hands-on experiences
  • teach children cooperation and enhance listening skills
  • teach children the responsibility of sticking together with their classmates.

This summer’s field trips are highlighting Minnesota!! We love volunteers!! Summer field trips are a fun and easy opportunity for parents/grandparents to participate. Let us know if you’d like to join us!! Some field trips have limited space available so feel free to ask.
ESPECIALLY FOR PARENTS
LET’S TALK!
Child development research shows that talking to infants and young children on a very frequent basis provides a myriad of cognitive and social/emotional benefits. The number of words a child is exposed to and the regularity of conversation is a predictor of school readiness. While verbal interactions help children understand and develop speech sounds and build vocabulary, nonverbal cues during conversations—even with infants—are extremely important too.

A recent article in Parenting Science states that nonverbal cues “help children forge even more fundamental skills: How to tune into another person. How to understand his or her intentions. How to empathize and predict what someone is likely to do next.”

The article describes studies on how eye contact and nonverbal connection during conversation lead babies and their caregivers to mirror one another’s brain waves, which, in other experiments, is shown to produce better comprehension.
Image from Leong lab by Cambridge University

This resonates with me as I think about my interactions with our 3- and 6-year-old. From an emotional standpoint, our communication is always more effective when I get down to their levels, look them in the eyes, nod, and generally show them that I am listening.

In addition, when I am engaged in a nonverbal way versus being distracted by a thought or task, I am more likely to extend a conversation based on their interests, ask questions, and explore an idea or issue further, thus helping them learn new vocabulary and/or thought processes.

As children grow, it is important that we don’t limit ourselves to simple sentences. According to Professor Erika Hoff of Florida Atlantic University “…parents should not restrict their conversations to simplistic baby talk. Rich and complex language, with adjectives and subordinate clauses, helped them to learn the complex structure of language…Children cannot learn what they don't hear.”

The benefits of talking to our children on a frequent basis are immense, and both the content of those conversations as well as the nonverbal cues attached to them make a difference. For more on this topic, visit the sources used for this article:


Angie Williams
EFC Finance and Marketing Director
TWIN CITIES
FAMILY EVENTS

Now-8/5 DreamWorks Madagascar - A Musical Adventure , Stages, Theatre, Hopkins
Now-9/3   Kangaroo Crossing , MN Zoo, Apple Valley
Now-9/3 Towers of Tomorrow with Legos , Science Museum of MN, St. Paul
Now-9/9 Dinosaur Train , MN Children’s Museum, St. Paul
7/4   Red, White and Boom , Minneapolis
7/4   Edina Parade , Edina
7/12-7/15   Whiz Bang Days , Robbinsdale
7/18-7/21   Minneapolis Aquatennial , Downtown Minneapolis
7/21   ArtCar & ArtBike Parade , Lake Harriet, Mpls

All Summer -  Music and Movies in the Park  - Various Minneapolis Parks  
After reading our Parent Article, are you interested in learning more about language development in infants? Check out this TedTalk by Patricia Kuhl on the linguistic genius of babies. It will fill you with wonder about how amazing the smallest among us really are!

Especially for Children
6223 Dell Road
Eden Prairie MN 55346 
(952) 934-1119 

Center Directors:
Lynn Seltz and Cathie Underwood 


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