JULY 2019
Greetings!

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY
Especially for Children will be closed on Thursday, July 4, and Friday, July 5, in honor of Independence Day. We wish all of our families a safe and fun-filled holiday weekend! If your child will not be attending any other days that week, please let us know in the parent book on the front desk.
CENTER HAPPENINGS
TAMARACK NATURE CENTER
The preschoolers will once again visit Tamarack Nature Center on Thursday, July 20, at 9:45am. Let us know if you are interested in volunteering to join us for this trip. Please have your child wear shoes that can get wet for this trip as there is a small water stream where their feet may get wet.
picnic
FAMILY BBQ
We will be having a Family BBQ event on Wednesday, July 24, from 5-7pm. This event will be potluck style, we will provide hamburgers and beverage and have a sign-up sheet at the front desk for side dishes. Ms. Barb from our Fitness Fun classes will be here from 5:30-6:30 for a fun outdoor obstacle course challenge!
PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
EFC GARDENS
We now have small gardens set up, flower gardens out in front of the building, and vegetable gardens on both the preschool and toddler playgrounds. The toddlers planted cherry tomato plants, green beans, carrots and pumpkins. The preschoolers planted tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, carrots and green peppers. The children will assist the teachers with watering and weeding to take care of our gardens all summer long!
ESPECIALLY FOR PARENTS
A PLACE FOR RACE IN EARLY CHILDHOOD?
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
TWIN CITIES
FAMILY EVENTS

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
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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