November 2015

From Your Director:

Hello, Wonderful First English Families.  I’m sorry it has been so long since my last newsletter.  I’d like to take a moment to talk about something I’ve been thinking about recently:  calling our little ones “babies”.  First, I understand that to you and me, they are and will always be our babies. In spite of this, we have to be careful of how we use the word “baby”, and here are a couple of reasons why:

At some point (often around the age of 3), “baby” becomes one of the biggest insults one child can possibly hurl at another.  Being “a big kid” becomes so important to them that being accused of baby-ness is considered a terrible thing.  As a parent, you might be tempted to use this.  When your 3-year-old is having a massive meltdown, you might want to tell him, “Stop acting like a baby.”  When you are tempted, remember that--whether you mean it this way or not--you are using what amounts to one of the biggest bad words in the world of children.  We spend a lot of time talking to our children about why they may not call each other babies.  So we, the “grownups”, should try to reinforce that by not resorting to name-calling ourselves.

For years, I have heard complaints from different Sunbeam teachers about people calling their Sunbeams babies. (I am totally guilty of this!)  They remind me that, if we want the other children in the school to recognize our toddlers as big and independent and capable, we have to refrain from describing them with the B word.  (Baby, that is.)

I know, they are still our babies.  But for the time being, we’ll just have to think that and not say it out loud.

Thank you for trusting us with your children.

Shannon

Mark Your Calendars:

  • Thurs., Nov.19th:  Picture Day!
  • Tues., Nov. 24th:  Thanksgiving Feast
  • Wed.-Fri., Nov. 25-27th:  Closed for Thanksgiving
  • Thur., Dec. 24th-Fri., Jan. 1st:  Closed for Christmas and New Year’s
  • Mon., Jan. 18th:  Closed for MLK, Jr. Day

Thank you for Work Day:  Thank you so much to the volunteers who came out for the Parent Work Day in September.  We accomplished a lot:  the bathroom received a bright new coat of paint; the garden boxes were prepped for planting;  trees and bushes were trimmed; drying racks and paper towel dispensers were hung.  We really appreciate everyone who helped--and those who supplied the snacks, too!

Companion Cafe:  In case you haven’t tried it out yet...First English Lutheran Church makes a different tasty dinner every Wednesday evening starting at 6 pm, and you are invited to join them for just $5/plate ($3 for kids).  The purpose of Companion Cafe is to reach out to neighbors, CDC families, and the community.  They would love to have you stay and meet some members of the congregation, but you are welcome to take a plate to go.  I have often taken food home to my family on a Wednesday night when I was not in the mood to cook.  It can also be a fun way to meet up with other CDC families--arrange to meet each other at the Cafe!

Conferences:  Lead teachers are scheduling parent/teacher conferences during the first three weeks in November.  If you have not already, you will soon receive more information about dates and times to meet with your child’s teacher.  Conferences are an important means of sharing information about our children, so please sign up.  We appreciate your trying to find a way to meet during our pre-arranged times so that we can schedule substitutes to work in the classrooms for the lead teachers.

Late Fee Reminder:  Our closing time is 6pm.  We recommend trying to get here by 5:50 at the latest so that you don’t have to rush your child out the door immediately.  Your children have so many things they want to share with you at the end of the day: art projects to show you, favorite toys and books to tell you about.  Most kids respond better when they have a minute to show you around before hurrying home.  

We understand that sometimes circumstances are beyond your control and you can’t help but arrive late. However, we want to keep it from becoming a habit.  We have liability issues to worry about as well as tired teachers who want to get home.  (Many of our staff have long bus rides before they get home, and leaving just a few minutes later can mean missing an earlier bus.)

If you pick up between 6:00 and 6:05, you will be charged $15. After 6:05, you will be charged an additional $10 for every 5 minutes you are late.  (See your parent handbook for more information.)

Thanksgiving Feast:  While we are all feeling a little sad that we had to cancel our Fall Festival this year, we have another fun, family tradition to look forward to in just a few weeks!  On November 24th, you are invited to join your child for lunch in the Fellowship Hall.  Jennifer will be personally preparing a Thanksgiving lunch for the entire school and their families--a pretty amazing feat, if you ask me.  Watch your email for an evite to this fun and tasty event.

And Speaking of the Fall Festival…  Our teachers worked hard preparing a special art project for each child, intending to have them for sale as a fundraiser at the festival.  The projects will be on display for the next couple of weeks in the hallways.  You may purchase your child’s art for a recommended donation of $5-10.  They make great gifts for grandparents!

Book Fair:  Thank you so much to everyone who purchased books at our book fair!  Your purchases add up to Scholastic Dollars for our teachers to spend on books and other classroom resources.  Don’t forget that you can continue to buy books at our online book fair until November 15th!  If you are planning to buy books as Christmas gifts, please shop here first:  http://bookfairs.scholastic.com/homepage/firstenglishlutherancdc

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