MARCH 2021
Greetings!

EFC LOVES TO READ!
At Especially for Children, we want to instill a love for books. From infants through preschoolers, children are read to often and there is also time for independent reading. We know that reading to children is such an important part of a child’s development. The benefits of reading to children include (but are not limited to)…

  • Building strong relationships
  • Academic excellence
  • Developing basic speech skills
  • Better communication skills
  • Mastery of language
  • Learning the basic book mechanics
  • More logical thinking skills
  • Acclamation of new experiences
  • Enhanced concentration and discipline
  • Enjoyment of reading

Throughout the month there will be many fun activities to engage the children in the world of books.

*Info taken from earlymoments.com
MARCH HAPPENINGS
WELCOME BACK KID DANCE
Ms. Amy, our wonderful Kid Dance instructor (who also had a baby during the pandemic) returns with dance classes March 16 & 19. Registration materials will be available at the parent table. This is a parent-paid class for the Older Toddler* and Preschool/Pre-K classes. Classes will be held at a socially appropriate distance and no classes will be combined to maximize everyone’s safety. Dance classes will be held on Tuesday or Friday mornings, in the gym/entryway. Once we know how many children are enrolled, class days & times will be announced. 

*At this time Toddler classes will only be offered if there is enough participation.
FOOD DONATION DRIVE
This month we are joining VEAP, the Twin Cities' largest food pantry, as we participate in the annual Minnesota FoodShare Campaign, the largest grassroots food and fund drive in the state, to engage in the fight against hunger. Help us ensure no family goes hungry this spring!

Donate items at EFC between March 8-19

Most-Needed Items:
Please, only non-perishables + unopened, unexpired items

  • Laundry detergent

  • Personal care and household items (shampoo, toothpaste, soap, shaving cream, toiletries, etc.)

  • Baking essentials (flour, sugar, cooking oil, etc.)

  • Paper products (toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, etc.)

  • Gluten-free products (whole grains like brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, cornmeal; nut flours and butters; rice crackers, GF snacks, etc.)

  • Whole grain cereal (like Shredded Wheat, Kashi, bran cereals, Chex, etc.)
STAR WELLNESS
HEALTHY STAR WELLNESS RECIPE:
LEPRECHAUN JUICE SMOOTHIE
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Here is a great way to get your children to eat some greens! Feel free to experiment with different amounts or types of fruit.

What you will need:

  • 1 banana cut into chunks
  • 1 cup grapes
  • 6 oz. plain yogurt
  • ½ apple, chopped up
  • 1 ½ cup fresh spinach leaves

Combine items in a Blender. Cover and blend until smooth. Pour into glass and enjoy!
ESPECIALLY FOR PARENTS
COVID ANNIVERSARY
by Alli Zomer
Some anniversaries are cause for celebration – we find joy in the commemoration of a first date, a wedding, or a birthday. Other anniversaries, like the death of a loved one or a significant historical event, bring more solemn reflection. This month marks the one-year anniversary of the first Covid 19 case in Minnesota. From that day on, we all experienced a profound shift in our daily lives. It is not an exaggeration to say that over the last year, it has felt as though the world turned upside down.

There are, of course, many things about this Covid era that we are eager to put in the rear-view mirror. We all look forward to the day when we can reconnect with loved ones, resume our favorite activities, and break free from the fear and anxiety that this pandemic has caused. And yet we also know that all experiences, whether challenging or joyful, help us to grow in new ways.

We recently asked each member of our director team to share something positive that they hope to hold on to from this past year – something beneficial that can endure, despite all the challenges of the past year. It is no exaggeration to say that our group of EFC directors are strong, amazing and inspiring women. Here are some of the things they shared:

Embracing the outdoors: Whether going for a simple walk in the neighborhood, exploring a new state park, or learning to ski, this year has inspired us to embrace the outdoors. It has been energizing and healing for both body and mind. 

Connecting with loved ones: While physical distance has meant less in-person time with friends and family, the shift to virtual living has allowed us to connect with loved ones in a new way. Regular video chats with friends and family have brought us closer with those who live far away. And even as life inches back to normal, technology can help us maintain these ties.

Gratitude for an amazing team: In times of stress, strong bonds are forged. In the early days of the pandemic, EFC teachers and directors from multiple centers came together in incredible ways. They supported one another through uncertainty. They developed the deep and lasting connections that come from enduring challenges together as a team. And for those who spent time away from EFC, absence surely made the heart grow fonder. As one director said, “I have never wanted to come back to work so badly!”

Finding small joys: Appreciating the little things helps us stay grounded. For some that has meant special Friday snacks and celebrations, for others it has meant embracing the silly whenever possible. And for many of us it has meant finding joy in the things we still can do, like supporting a local restaurant. In addition, many of us have had more time at home with our own families. Without a place or event to rush off to, we’ve created space for moments of ordinary joy in our homes--listening to siblings giggle uncontrollably, cooking meals together, or snuggling with our pets.

We are grateful for the amazing team of EFC directors, who inspire us with their strength and uplift us with their laughter and hopefulness. We hope that over the past year, despite all the challenges, your family has found a few things that you can hang on to – traditions, connections, or new passions that, because they were forged in hard times, will be even stronger as they endure.
Especially for Children
5015 W. 70 Street
Edina MN 55439 
(952) 946-9971 

Center Directors:
Susan Wilson and Michelle Botz
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