Newsletter - August 2020
SPARK is the hub of a valuable wheel. An education initiative of Fox Valley United Way, SPARK (Strong, Prepared and Ready for Kindergarten) connects underserved Aurora, Illinois, families with early education and childcare opportunities that prepare their young children for success in school and life.
SPARK Calendar
Our SPARK monthly calendar has been created to share ideas for activities for young children, including easy things you can do at home as well as new places to explore in the community. This month we are highlighting several activities that focus on early math that are fun and engaging for your children. Click on the links for more information!
Virtual Play. Learn. Connect.
Check out our first VIRTUAL Play. Learn. Connect. from Family Focus! We will be hosting a virtual Play. Learn. Connect. every Tuesday and Thursday on our social media. If you don't follow us click the links below to get to our account and give us a like!



The Aurora Public Library is aligning our reopening with the Restore Illinois plan. Currently our building is closed but we are offering Curbside pickup and public computing by appointment only at all of our three locations. While we cannot offer programs onsite, we do have a wide range of virtual programming for the whole family available through our social media and YouTube channels. We are excited to start offering a limited supply of free take home craft and STEM kits for families which need to be reserved through our website, www.aurorapubliclibrary.org.
La biblioteca pública de Aurora está alieando con el plan del estado de Illinois para reabir. En este momento el edificio está cerrado pero estamos ofreciendo el servicio de recogida en la acera y uso público de las computadoras, solo con cita, en los 3 ubicaciones. Mientras que no podemos ofrecer servicios adentro, tenemos una variedad de programas virtuales para toda la familia por las redes sociales y canales de YouTube. Estamos emocionados para ofrecer bolsas con actividades de arte y STEM para los niños y puede reservar una en el sitio de web www.aurorapubliclibrary.org
Gateway to Early Childhood: Virtual support now available for our families
The goal of SPARK is to connect families with children birth to 5 to quality early childhood supports and services. If you are looking for a program for you child, please watch this short video for more information on how to connect with our staff.
El objetivo de SPARK es conectar a las familias con niños desde el nacimiento hasta los 5 años con servicios y apoyos de calidad para la primera infancia. Si está buscando un programa para su hijo, mire este breve video para obtener más información sobre cómo conectarse con nuestro personal.
Census 2020
Self-response rates for the 2020 Census continue to lag in neighborhoods with a high risk of under-counting young children. PRB Data is tracking the numbers weekly.
A Guide to Early Learning for Parents/Families
Many parents wonder what they can do to ensure that their preschooler will be successful when she enters school, especially now with so much emphasis on state testing and learning standards. Through play and everyday activities such as cooking, cleaning, and grocery shopping, your young child is acquiring the information and skills needed to learn more difficult skills, including how to read, write, and solve problems. This guide is meant to help you understand that the lessons necessary to meet state learning standards begin in the home with your child’s first and most influential teacher: YOU!
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to alter daily life, many families will find themselves staying closer to home than they normally would during the active summer months. Fortunately, there’s lots of summer joy to be had right in your own backyard—or on your balcony, in your living room, and around the neighborhood.
Here are 14 ideas for having fun with young kids this summer while nurturing important language, STEM, social, and motor skills. Adapted from and inspired by some great early childhood books from Brookes (see the end of this post for links), these activities will help keep families busy during the hot summer months and help children expand the skills they’ll need to succeed in school. (If you’re an early childhood educator or provider, this would be a great post to email the families you work with!)"
Make paper-plate sand pictures
For some good fine-motor practice, have your child glue some sand to the bottom of a paper plate (or paint it to look like sand). Then ask them to decorate the plate with different items that might be found underwater, such as fish, sharks, and seaweed. (You can use small plastic animals, cut the photos out of nature magazines, or draw your own.) Wrap the whole plate in a film of blue plastic wrap to represent the water (this gives a cool aquarium effect).
Haz fotos de arena en un plato de papel!
Para una buena práctica de motricidad fina, haga que su hijo pegue un poco de arena al fondo de un plato de papel (o píntelo para que parezca arena). Luego pídales que decoren el plato con diferentes elementos que se pueden encontrar bajo el agua, como peces, tiburones y algas. (Puede usar pequeños animales de plástico, recortar las fotos de revistas de la naturaleza o dibujar las suyas propias). Envuelva todo el plato en una película de plástico azul para representar el agua (esto le da un efecto de acuario genial).
Spotlight on Children's Books that Promote Diversity
This Coretta Scott King award-winning picture book is about self-esteem and beauty within. It’s a whimsical and heartwarming story about a little girl who learns to embrace her unique self.

Reading Level: 4-8
Virtual Play. Learn. Connect. Activities
We have added a running list of virtual activities you can do with your children while you are home. We will continue to add this page as we find more activities. You can find virtual zoo tours, tours of national parks, hear a bedtime story from outer space, activities you can do with your children focusing on all different topics from math to literacy and everything in between. We are all in this together let's Live United and SPARK a love of learning while we are all staying home.
Preschool Openings in Your District
East Aurora
  • East Aurora School District 131 is now accepting registrations for 3 and 4 year old children.
  • Registration is the first step in entering East Aurora’s FREE preschool program.
  • https://ecc.d131.org/register/
West Aurora
  • To register you child for preschool at the West Aurora Early Learning Academy please call the office at (630)301-5016
Oswego
  • Children 3-5 years of age who meet eligibility requirements, may attend this free preschool program.
  • Parents interested in scheduling a preschool screening should contact (630) 551-9613.
  • https://www.sd308.org/Page/8237
Indian Prairie
Kindergarten Registration
East Aurora
West Aurora
Kaneland
Plano
Batavia
Geneva
St Charles
Yorkville
  • https://www.y115.org/Page/3354
  • Parents will complete registration online or by visiting the school their child will be attending. They can also contact the district administrative office at 630-553-4382.
Oswego
Indian Prairie
Resources