September 2018 Newsletter

Dear Parents,

Welcome to a new year at Friends ‘n Fun.  Our mission is to help you to provide your child with experiences that are filled with adventure, exploration and discovery.  We want to be in collaboration with you as we work together to support your child as he/she grows and develops during these exciting early years of childhood. We encourage you to let us know of any concerns or questions that you may have throughout the school year.

Teachers at FnF realize that parents know their children better than anyone.  It is you who have seen them smile their first smile; it is you who celebrated their first words and first steps; it is you who have nursed them through illness and accidents, and it is you who continue to encourage, support, comfort and love them. Thank you for sharing your children with us and know that we take the trust you have extended us very seriously.

          Please always feel free to “chat” with us about the day’s events.

              We are all looking forward to an exciting year and all of the journeys ahead of us.

This newsletter has a lot of information regarding upcoming events and getting started in our program.  PLEASE take time to read it and make notes on your own family’s calendar so that your family does not miss out on important  dates, etc.

September’s Journey

The beginning of a new school year presents us with an opportunity to see ourselves not only as individuals but also as a part of something bigger: a family, a school setting, a community. 

“A child is born a first time, and then, through the long and difficult process of constructing his identity, it is as if he is born again.  In this process, he gives himself a face, a body, gestures, movement, speech, thought, feelings, imagination, fantasy; in short, the awareness of being and the means of expressing his “me-ness” which is absolutely essential for becoming autonomous and distinguishing ourselves from other people and things – people and things we live and interact with and from which, little by little, we draw most of the raw material with which we create our own identity.  To recognize ourselves and to be recognized.  But a child’s most sought-after goal is to recognize himself in others, and to find in others (objects and the natural world as well) parts of himself.”

                                                                                              ~ Loris Malaguzzi

When beginning the process of planning for the start of our new school year we stumbled across the book The Best Part of Me by Wendy Ewald. Wendy Ewald is an award winning photographer who asked several children the question “What is the best part of you?” She combined beautiful black and white photographs and the children’s responses to create an amazing book. We were inspired by her work and decided to begin our year with the children by evolving this idea. We intend to craft experiences that encourage the children to look at themselves through the lens of physical capabilities, senses, thoughts and emotions.

The book itself is no longer available and there is only ONE in our local Library Consortium and we are third on the wait list to have a chance at it! Nevertheless we will move forward with it’s beautiful concept! You can take a peek at it online to view our inspiration.

  We look forward to the journey start and will be excited to see how it grows and evolves! Stay tuned……………………………!

STUDIO DISCOVERY FRIDAYS kick off this upcoming Friday August 31st with a an exploration of Ephemeral Art – creating impermanent beauty that is inspired in the moment by various materials and/or objects.  We will use something different each Friday to create with – photograph the children’s work – and then disassemble the creations to re-form another day!! We hope to use objects from, nature, color, light and shadow – just to name a few!

A NEW WAY OF TELLING THE STORY………….

The teachers begin their new school year the week before all of the children flow through our doors.  We clean and organize and return everything to its proper place in anticipation of a fresh start. We also develop three days of staff development and planning work. Each year we talk about an element of our program that we want to focus on for enhancement, re-invention or a closer and deeper look. This year we came together around focusing on a new way to communicate about the children’s “story” of growth, development and experience through documentation and portfolio. It will be somewhat of an experimental year for us because we really want to re-invent the portfolios in a way that tells a deeper story of the child. This re-invention may result in a slimmer volume, but hopefully one that tells a deeper story about how the children are making meaning of the world around them.

In conjunction with this we have the goal of creating more visible documentation panels that also represent a deeper “story” regarding process and child development.

Please bear with us as we work through our re-invention

Greetings & Goodbyes –

Entering the school environment is a transition time and the most significant one of the day.  Children and parents enter the school with multiple needs and feelings.  There can be enthusiasm, excitement, anxiety, sadness, confusion and frustration – just to name a few.  Teachers see their role at this time as facilitators of the morning transition.  We make ourselves available to hold a child during a tearful or joyful good-bye, receive and transfer information from and to parents, reassure everyone that things will be okay, and help children connect with activities, materials and each other when they are ready.  Parents tend to feel more comfortable going off to start their day once their children are engaged in an activity.  On the other hand, most children are preoccupied with the process of transitioning from home and parents to school and teachers. They are really not ready to begin something until the transition is complete. Once the parent has driven away, they are ready to look around and spend some time thinking about where they want to start. 

Please speak with teachers if you would like support with your morning transition.

END OF DAY

Friends’n Fun’s day has several schedule options. Teachers plan a variety of experiences for the groups of children who are scheduled for specific time frames. It can be confusing to all if there is an unrequested time overlap. Please help us with this by picking up your child at your scheduled end of day. If you would like to add to your schedule speak with Janet or Jane and we can plan for your child’s participation.

BITS & PIECES

HEALTH FORMSThe State of Colorado requires us to have a recent physical for each child at FnF.  This physical must be updated annually.   Jane will let you know if you are missing any paperwork and when it needs to be updated. 

PERMISSION FORMLicensing requires the permissions page of your child’s paperwork to be initialed and dated annually.  We will have new forms for everyone to sign this year since we had a change to our sunscreen policy.

INFORMATION CHANGES – Jane will be asking returning families to review their child’s enrollment forms and update any changes to: address, phone numbers, employment (and that contact information), emergency contact, physician, insurance.  If any of those things change during the year, please let us know so that we have current/correct information.

MEDICATIONS – A form  MUST be completed by your doctor each time he/she prescribes ANY medications to be given to your child while in our care.  This includes prescriptions and over the counter meds.  Please ask Jane or Janet for the medications form and have your physician complete this form and return to school with the medication(s), as we will not be able to administer any medications without it.   Please note that we are not allowed to administer any homeopathic medications/remedies. THANKS!

WATER BOTTLES

Our nurse consultant, who keeps us up to date on so many things and helps make sure we’re on top of current information regarding children’s health, has recommended that we do not allow water bottles.  Water bottles left in the cubbies, or even the refrigerator, are tempting to many children.  There is a chance a child may take a drink from someone else’s water bottle and this can lead to spread of germs. Some people may also add something to their children’s water bottle that may be unsafe for another child to have (examples: vitamins; fruit juices to which other children may be allergic).  Children have ready access to our water fountain whenever they need a drink and we work with the children on the best way to drink from the water fountain and sanitize it several times a day. Thank you for your help in trying to contain the spread of germs.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Mark your calendars and watch the Parent Board for more specifics regarding these dates.

Wednesday Sept. 12     FALL POTLUCK – LaMont Dos Park – See notice on Parent Board

Wednesday Sept 19     (4:00 – 7:00) PARENT-TEACHER FALL CONFERENCES  Watch the Parent Bulletin Board for a sign-up sheet to schedule a 15 minute Fall conference. We like to touch base with all of you early in the year to help us better support your child’s interests and needs as well as answer any further questions you might have after being at FnF for a few weeks.

SATURDAY Nov. 17    FAMILY BRANCH CELEBRATION                                           We will post more information closer to the event time!

FRIENDS ‘N FUN SCHOOL CLOSINGS FOR 2018 -2019

September 3, 2018                    Labor Day

November 21 – 22, 2018                     Thanksgiving

December 24-31 & January 1    Winter Break (reopen Wed, Jan. 2nd)

January 21, 2019               Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

February 18, 2019                             President’s Day

March 27 – 28 – 29, 2019                   Spring Break

May 27, 2019                                   Memorial Day

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Please watch Channel 9 News for notices of school closings or late

opening times on days of extreme snow.  If you can, check Channel 9

News online for the most current updates, as the television has a

delay time from when we called.  We will also post closures on the

“Latest & Greatest” page on our website and our Facebook page:

www.facebook.com/FriendsnFunChildrensCenterInc

July 2018 Newsletter

June has flown by and we are already skipping along through July!

We are finishing up our fun with Bridges and Towers this week and ready to begin our next adventure! We spent lots of time experimenting with different materials to build various bridges and towers and have culminated our experience with building versions of our own to take home. Spliced in the middle –  don’t forget the fun we had in the sandbox where we dug a moat, filled it with water and crossed over a bridge to climb a Castle tower and survey the land!

   Next week we will have some fun with animal “stuffies and stories” as we begin planning for animal mask making.

   

      Our Summer Fun continues……………………..!!!

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ALERT!

After consulting with our school nurse, we have decided to change our sunscreen policy. We are requesting that families apply sunscreen right before your child arrives at school and then we will reapply if your child is here for lunch and later. If you happen to forget as we are adjusting to this change you are welcome to use our sunscreen at drop off time.

  Thank You!!!

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Sadly, we are entering our last few weeks with Kara before she and her husband begin their new adventure in Spain. Friday July27th will be her last day. If you would like to stop by that Friday to say adios and wish her well we will be having Popsicles on the Playground. Drop by anytime between 2:30 and 4:00.

 

APRIL 2018 NEWSLETTER

Dear Parents,

Spring has sprung!  The landscape is greening up with pops of color waiting to be discovered and enjoyed.   My, how the children have all grown this school year – in so many ways beyond physically!  We love that we get to be a part of this with you.  Thank you for sharing your children with us.  We are honored that you have all been a part of Friends ‘n Fun this year.

“MEOW! MEOW!”

All of the cats and kittens have now gone to new homes – as you well know! We had such fun purring and prowling and pouncing! Decked out in customized “cat wear,” we spent days and days exploring the feline side of ourselves. The children had such fun transforming into cats as they went about their morning play. Cats were drawing, painting, building. Cats were rolling out play dough, caring for baby dolls and assembling puzzles. Cats were living in the Tree House! But it didn’t stop there! Once we “became” cats we needed to learn more about what it meant to be a cat. The small groups delved into the study of different aspects of cats – cat behavior, cat feelings, cat sounds and the way cat’s bodies work. Each small group put together a presentation to share their findings with each other. Posters, a full body cat model, recorded cat sounds listening games, photographs demonstrating how cat’s look when they are having a variety of feelings and even a filmed documentary of cat behavior were created to demonstrate our new knowledge!

Our next adventure is in full swing! Outer Space and our Solar System are tickling our imaginations and igniting our “need to know” about the wonders of the Universe! Stars and planets and meteors and orbits and black holes and dwarf planets and the Sun and our Moon are all swirling and twirling around in our brains as we journey into Space!

Studio Discovery Fridays have also begun a new focus – we are grounded on planet Earth as we embrace Spring and learn about gardening!

We, as teachers, continue to be inspired by what is interesting and exciting to the children.  They have led us on some amazing journeys this year!

This newsletter has lots of dates for and information about upcoming events!  Keep reading for more news and dates!!!!

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FRIENDS ’N FUN’S ANNUAL

MOTHER’S DAY TEA

CALLING ALL MOMS!!!!

Wednesday May 9th and Thursday May 10th

Please be sure to attend this special event! Your child will be at your “beck and call” as he or she attends to your every need during our Mother’s Day Tea Party. Your child should arrive at school at their regular time so we can prepare for the school’s magical transformation. You are invited to return at 11:00 to enjoy tea and treats served to you by your children. Be ready to shed a tear or two!

Due to our limited space and the nature of this special celebration, siblings or other family members will not be able to attend. If you are unable to come, a substitute would help your child join the celebration.

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PLEASE TAKE NOTE OF THE SPECIAL DATES IN THIS NEWSLETTER AND MARK THEM ON YOUR CALENDARS…..

IMPORTANT DATES – SPRING & SUMMER 2018

May 9 and 10  (Wed/Thur)    Mother’s Day Tea – 11:00 – 12:00                              (depending on your child’s school schedule)

May 23 (Wed)                 End of Year Potluck Picnic  6:00pm to 7:30pm

                                        at LaMont Does Park

EVERYONE: Main Dish to share

AND

Last name starts with A-M:Salad

Last name starts with N-Z: Dessert

May 29/30/31 (Tue/Wed/Thur)         Parent Teacher Conferences                        Conferences will be held Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday afternoons/early evening. Conference sign up sheets will be posted in May.

May 30/ 31 (Fri)               Last Day of School

May 28 (Mon)       Memorial Day  School closed

June 1st                 No school for children

June 4/5                        First Day of Summer Session                                                      Summer session runs from June 4th through August 17th

July 4     Fourth of July Holiday  School closed

Aug 16/17               Last days of Summer Session

August 20-24                FnF Closed for Children                                                                For cleaning, organizing and planning for Fall 2018

August 27/28                  Fall Session Begins

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January 2018 Newsletter

January 2018

Dear Parents,

   January 2018 rolled in so fast that it is now nearly February!

    We kicked off the Holiday season a bit earlier this year by gathering together for the Family Branch celebration on the weekend before Thanksgiving. We had an amazing turnout and want to thank everyone for creating a branch.  We have so enjoyed having each family’s photos and creations dangling above us on the beautiful hanging branches! It is one of our favorite events, so thank you for sharing your time and families with us!

     Also in December, our past parent and long time friend Bruce Kirschner, whose adult sons Paul and Sam attended Friends’n Fun as preschoolers, came to school to celebrate Hanukkah with us.  Bruce has been doing this with us for over 20 years now!  He engages the children with his warm and fun personality and is always memorable. 

    The Train study has finally pulled into the Station following a long and joyful journey! We all had so much fun! We worked together to build and decorate a L …O…N…G  cardboard train that had so many train cars we could all get in it at the same time! The children enjoyed hours and hours of delightful pretend play as they climbed aboard and let their imaginations run wild.

  We sang lots of new and old train songs. One of the favorites being, “Get a Ticket, Ticket, Ticket For the Train!” This song evolved into a combination train song and extreme weather/ natural disaster report!

The small groups all worked on projects resulting in toy trains and train tracks. Some added towns and scenery for interest as the trains traveled along. Some even had an axel system and coupling solution that allowed the trains to really roll down the tracks. Katey and Janet’s MW group worked together for weeks to create a huge train “mini-world” that once it was completed and used, was gifted to the whole school as another fun way to enjoy train play. It included a Train Station, passenger parking garage, houses and buildings, tunnels, mountains and trees, rivers and lakes, farm animals grazing in the fields and an operable gated train crossing!

We are now shifting to a new area of interest……new because we haven’t explored it as an area of focus before………but definitely NOT new to the pretend play of preschoolers…….CATS! There is always prowling and purring going on around here (year after year) so the teachers asked the children if they would be interested in spending some time exploring Cats. Of course most of them said yes! We did have a couple of “hisses” but those have now been transformed into “purrs.” The children would all like to become “cats” first so we will begin by creating some cat wear and accessories. We will also research factual information about cats and see what we can find out about their behavior and their unique attributes. We will join the children as they explore this topic to see what interests and twists and turns crop up. The teachers are hoping for a bit of theatre as part of the journey…… we will have to wait and see!

    We are a few weeks into the next series for Studio Discovery……COLOR!  Jane and Kara are concocting all kinds of experiences for the children as they explore the magical sensations of this phenomenon of light and visual perception.

     Color is the place where our brain and the universe meet.”      (artist Paul Klee)

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SHARE-A-GIFT

The people at Share-a-Gift tell us that each year Friends ‘n Fun parents are one of the most generous group of contributors to their program.  This year our box was filled to overflowing 4 separate times…and our box was bigger than it was last year!

Thanks to all of you for your concern for others in need.

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NOTE CARD FUNDRAISER!!!!!!

Thanks to all of you for your notecard orders. Your contributions raised $1450.  We hope that you and your families enjoy the amazing artwork created by your children. Thank you so much for your continued support and generosity!

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SNOWY WEATHER!!!!

We will notify 9 News if we will be closed due to bad winter weather. It sometimes takes awhile for schools to be listed on television but a listing pops up pretty quickly on their website, so check there as well. We will also post closures on our Facebook page and on our website on the Latest & Greatest page.  If you are not sure you are welcome to call Jane or Janet.

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VALENTINE’S DAY–

Your children are invited to bring valentines for their friends on Tuesday, February 13th or Wednesday the 14th.  

For children of preschool age it is best to just have them write their names on the cards and leave the envelopes blank.  You can buy pre-packaged valentines or join them in making their own creations.

                                                  Bring 22 cards for the Monday group

                                                   and 22 cards for the Tuesday group.                                           

A Valentine snack sign up will be posted on the parent bulletin board closer to time.

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ENROLLMENT FORMS

You have received questionnaires asking for your schedule requests for Summer 2018 and Fall 2018.  We appreciate your prompt return of these forms so we can begin our enrollment process.

PLEASE RETURN BY Jan 31st!!

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We are excited to be part of a new initiative being sponsored by

Lafayette’s Waste Reduction Advisory Council! 

The council has provided three businesses on E. Simpson with a TerraCycle box as part of this pilot program.  Friends‘n Fun, East Simpson Coffee Company and HiFi Jones are collection locations for items that cannot be composted or recycled. 

We are starting small with this pilot project and are focusing on collecting BATTERIES and ART SUPPLIES.  Bring your worn out batteries and art supplies (like pens, markers, empty tape dispensers, etc.) to fill our box.  Once it’s full, we’ll send it to TerraCycle where they will sort it and find ways to recycle these materials.    

We will have a small, marked collection container on the driveway side of the school, near the tricycles, for easy drop-off of these items. 

Spread the word and let your neighbors know!

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UPCOMING DATES TO BE AWARE OF:

Please mark your calendars and note the following dates

Tuesday/Wednesday, February 13th & 14th: Valentine’s Day

Monday, February 19th: Presidents Day – Friends ‘n Fun CLOSED

Wednesday-Friday, March 28, 29, 30: Spring Break – Friends ‘n Fun CLOSED

Wednesday/Thursday, May 9th and 10th:Mother’s Day Tea

Monday, May 28th: CLOSED Memorial Day

Wednesday/ Thursday, May 30th & 31st:  Last days of school

Monday June 4th:  First day of summer session

Kindergarten Enrollment 2018-2019 information

KINDERGARTEN TIME – FOR SCHOOL YEAR 2018-2019

It’s time to register for kindergarten!  If your child will be 5 years old on or before September 30, 2018 (BVSD)/October 1, 2018 (SVVSD), he/she is eligible for kindergarten beginning in late August of 2018. Parents should begin to consider the school that they want their child to attend.

Many people choose the school that is nearest to their home or within the attendance boundaries.  Neighborhood schools can offer families and children great support and sense of community as children grow through the elementary years.  Both Boulder & St. Vrain Valley School Districts also allow for what is called OPEN ENROLLMENT.  Open Enrollment lets each family choose the school environment that best fits their needs.  Each district and each school may have different criteria and dates.  PLEASE CHECK EACH SCHOOL DISTRICTS WEBSITE FOR SPECIFIC INFORMATION!

If you do select a school that is not your child’s home school, you will need to get an open enrollment form from the office of any school; complete the form; get it to the appropriate Open Enrollment Office. There is usually a line at these offices during the last days of enrollment, so we suggest you have your application in earlier than the last date for open enrollment.  It does not matter if your application is in the office on the first or last day of open enrollment, or any date in between.  The system of selection is a lottery system and all applications receive an equal opportunity for being granted permission regardless of when they are submitted.

Moving on to a new school and new educational system is a big step for your family.  Janet and Jane are available to talk with you about this move.  We suggest you visit the schools you might be interested in.  As you visit classes, note how the environment feels.  Pay attention to how children are interacting with one another and how teachers and children interact with one another.  Remember that test scores are not always the most important factor in determining quality in education.  We also suggest that you meet personally with the principal to discuss your concerns and ask questions that might give you more insight to the environment as a whole. Try to select a school that you feel is a good match for your child and your family style and one you can see your family participating in for a number of years.

Schools have a variety of Open House dates, visitation dates, and/or tour dates.  Please call the schools you are interested in to see when they are hosting events to inform prospective parents.  There is usually a publication from the Boulder Daily Camera that informs us of such dates & times.  Again, we are available to assist you in any manner during this enrollment and selection process.  Please talk with us, as you need. 

We realize the importance of supporting children and their families as they transition into and out of our program, so once your school decisions have been made, we are also available to talk with you about activities that we do at school and that you can do as a family to ease the transition between programs.  We also sing a special good-bye song – “We Are Sad To See You Go” – as children move onto their next environments, whatever they may be. We have many other ideas for working together to ease this important transition for your child.

Boulder Valley School District

Enrollment Information for your neighborhood school and open enrollment: 

http://www.bvsd.org/Enrollment/Pages/Enroll.aspx

St. Vrain Valley School District

Enrollment Information for your neighborhood school and open enrollment:

http://svvsd.org/schools/enrollment-registration

Information about schools and scheduled tour times is available through this link from The Daily Camera: 

http://www.dailycamera.com/schoolchoice/ci_31424684/school-choice-2017-2018

October 2017 Newsletter

Dear Parents,

 We have had such a lovely beginning to our school year!

The children’s book, HELLO, MY NAME IS RUBY,  by Philip C. Stead started us all off as we explored the concept of Making Connections. Ruby’s sweet nature inspired us to get to know each other and make new friends. We looked at the way things we liked to play and do brought us together as we started connecting at school. Some of us made puppets of the story characters, illustrated back drops and performed the story to an eager audience.  Some of us listed favorites such as foods, colors, sports and animals and discovered we had favorites in common with others at school. To culminate making connections with friends and people we each made a self puppet that we “connected”  together with hot glue and displayed on our wall  accompanied by the children’s comments and reflections on how we connect as people.

That was just the beginning! The small groups then began looking at creating connections with toys, puzzles and objects. Including a 65 foot paper chain! We looked at “connectors” such as glue, tape, string, wire and staples. We are now finishing up by exploring the way all kinds of things in the world are connected to each other by how they relate………pirates and pirate ships; socks, shoes and feet; sand, water, sea shells and stones; etc……….We will be completing our Making Connections Study in the next couple of weeks as we wrap up some projects.

Our next journey will invite us to “climb aboard” as we explore TRAINS!!

Studio Discovery Fridays have been all about BALANCE! Katey and Kara will be finishing up this fun and exciting topic of exploration just in time to begin a new topic as our transition to Trains begins.  That topic will be revealed soon!!

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PLEASE be sure to read the newsletter carefully and mark your calendar for some exciting upcoming events 

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Halloween Celebrations

Mon. Oct. 30 & Tues. Oct. 31 We Will be celebrating Halloween in Friends ‘n Fun style.  We want to celebrate one of the kids favorite holidays, and we do it in a way that everyone has fun and feels safe. Costumes can be scary and confusing to some children, so we ask that you keep your child’s costume at home and not bring them to school.  We will have some special games and activities planned for these two days and there will be special snacks provided by some families. 

It is definitely a fun day, and we want it to be safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone.

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ANNUAL TREE OF THANKS – BY FRIENDS ‘n FUN FAMILIES –

We invite you to join us in creating a leaf to attach to the tree in our front yard.  We will be sending home paper leaves and a few fun things to embellish them with.  We would like you to work with your child and family to think about whom in your family, friends, neighbors and/or people in the community you are grateful to and why.  Then please write a short note of thanks explaining this on the leaf,  let the children decorate it, and then cover it (front & back) with the contact paper.  Make sure your child’d name is on the leaf! Teachers will have ribbon at school for you to use to tie the leaves onto a wire we will have affixed to the tree.  We are in the hopes that you and your children will take time to read the collection of leaves of thanks on our tree.  We also hope that the community of walkers by in Lafayette might see and learn more about us as a community at Friends ‘n Fun.

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SNOW DAYS

It’s that time of year again.  Our general rule of thumb is that if BVSD closes for weather, we likely will as well.  We list closure or late start a few different places when that happens.  Check these when in doubt:     

www.friendsnfunchildrenscenter.com – FnF Website on “Latest & Greatest” page

https://www.facebook.com/FriendsnFunChildrensCenterInc/  – Facebook

http://www.9news.com  – Channel 9 News (closings/late starts are listed on 

                                           website more quickly than TV streaming list)


We will make the decision to close based on the safety of all – children, parents and community.  If you have questions on snow days please call Janet or Jane.  We’ll do our best to keep you informed.  Thank you.

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FAMILY TRADITIONS

The holiday season is upon us.  It all begins with Halloween (from the children’s perspective) and rolls into Diwali, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Ramadan, Las Posadas, Christmas, multiple New Years’, and many other wonderful celebrations that honor special cultural and religious traditions.  We join together with family and friends to enjoy this season.

We treasure all of the unique and distinctive differences and unifying similarities that make up our school community.  This holiday season we would like to recognize all of our families.

On Saturday, Nov.18th from 1:00-3:00 we have once again reserved the John M. Taylor Conference Center at Imagine!.   We would like to invite your family to join us to decorate a tree branch with photographs and small objects that represent special things about your family.  We will provide an assortment of yarns, beads, wire, buttons, jewels, etc. – and a tree branch for each of you.  You can bring photographs, small objects and your wonderful children.  We will work together at Imagine! to create these beautiful branches.  We will then bring them back to school to display for all to enjoy.  The things you bring to embellish the branch should represent your family’s interests (biking, pets, skiing, etc.), as well as special celebrations.

We hope you can attend this gathering to get to know each other and share in an activity with your children to celebrate this special time of year. Drop by anytime between 1 and 3 and spend as much time as works for you that day.

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FUNDRAISER 

In December we will create note cards using your child’s artwork – easel paintings, watercolor paintings, self-portraits, collages, etc.  Packages of your child’s note cards, with envelopes, will be available to you at $12.00 per package of 8.  In the past families have sent them to grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc. for holiday gifts.  The money raised goes to help purchase art supplies at Friends ‘n Fun.  Watch the parent bulletin board for additional details.

This is our ONLY fundraiser of the year and it typically brings us about $1000 for use in our supply budget. We hope you can support us and enjoy this celebration of your children’s efforts. Thank you for your continued support of our small program.

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Share-a-Gift

We are proud to be participating in Share-a-Gift again this year. Share-a-Gift is an annual, all-volunteer, non-profit toy collection and distribution holiday project encompassing the Boulder Valley school area. Last  year over 600 households (1600 boys and girls, ages birth to 14) received these community donations. To be successful, Share-a-Gift needs thousands of high quality, new and used toys, games, books, and puzzles. School collections are the biggest source of toys for Share-a-Gift. This collection allows children to meaningfully participate in gift giving by sharing their own gently used or new toys with less fortunate children in Boulder county. Toys may be dropped off in the Share-a-Gift box in our school beginning the Monday after Thanksgiving, November 27th, through Wednesday, December 13th.   Friends ‘n Fun families have been one of their biggest donors in the past.  Let’s see what we can do to continue this tradition of giving!

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IMPORTANT DATES !!!!!!!!!!!

Nov. 16-17 – Tree of Thanks leaves to be sent home.  Return to us anytime from the 21st on, and help your child attach them to our tree so our neighborhood community can enjoy.

Nov. 18 – FnF Family Traditions Workshop –  Imagine! John M. Taylor Conference                       Center  1:00 – 3:00 PM

Nov. 23-24 – CLOSED for Thanksgiving Holiday

Dec. 25 – Dec.29 and Jan 1st 2018    –   FnF Closed.   

                                             We will be closed from Monday, Dec. 25th

                                             through Friday, Dec. 29th and Monday

                                            January 1st. We will reopen on Tuesday January 2, 2018.

 

September 2017 Newsletter

Dear Parents,

Welcome to a new year at Friends ‘n Fun.  Our mission is to help you to provide your child with experiences that are filled with adventure, exploration and discovery.  We want to be in collaboration with you as we work together to support your child as he/she grows and develops during these exciting early years of childhood. We encourage you to let us know of any concerns or questions that you may have throughout the school year.

Teachers at FnF realize that parents know their children better than anyone.  It is you who have seen them smile their first smile; it is you who celebrated their first words and first steps; it is you who have nursed them through illness and accidents, and it is you who continue to encourage, support, comfort and love them. Thank you for sharing your children with us and know that we take the trust you have extended us very seriously.

          Please always feel free to “chat” with us about the day’s events.

              We are all looking forward to an exciting year and all of the journeys ahead of us.

This newsletter has a lot of information regarding upcoming events and getting started in our program.  PLEASE take time to read it and make notes on your own family’s calendar so that your family does not miss out on important  dates, etc.

September’s Journey

The beginning of a new school year presents us with an opportunity to see ourselves not only as individuals but also as a part of something bigger: a family, a school setting, a community. 

“A child is born a first time, and then, through the long and difficult process of constructing his identity, it is as if he is born again.  In this process, he gives himself a face, a body, gestures, movement, speech, thought, feelings, imagination, fantasy; in short, the awareness of being and the means of expressing his “me-ness” which is absolutely essential for becoming autonomous and distinguishing ourselves from other people and things – people and things we live and interact with and from which, little by little, we draw most of the raw material with which we create our own identity.  To recognize ourselves and to be recognized.  But a child’s most sought-after goal is to recognize himself in others, and to find in others (objects and the natural world as well) parts of himself.”                                                                                                                            ~ Loris Malaguzzi

We will begin our year with exploring “Connections.” It is a broad umbrella that will give us many opportunities and possibilities to not only think about how things, objects, experiences etc. in the world relate to each other and are connected but also how we as people connect with each other. Connecting with each other will be the first steps we will take together on this journey. We are using the lovely children’s book, “Hello, My Name Is Ruby” by Philip C. Stead to open up the conversation. Ruby bravely goes out into the world to introduce herself to others. As she wanders along she also sees some of the different ways the other creatures experience the world. We look forward to the journey start and will be excited to see how it grows and evolves! Stay tuned……………………………!

STUDIO DISCOVERY FRIDAYS kick off this upcoming Friday September 1st with a focus on BALANCE!! We are ready to have loads of fun as we experiment with our bodies and objects to learn everything we can about this exciting topic!

Greetings & Goodbyes –

Entering the school environment is a transition time and the most significant one of the day.  Children and parents enter the school with multiple needs and feelings.  There can be enthusiasm, excitement, anxiety, sadness, confusion and frustration – just to name a few.  Teachers see their role at this time as facilitators of the morning transition.  We make ourselves available to hold a child during a tearful or joyful good-bye, receive and transfer information from and to parents, reassure everyone that things will be okay, and help children connect with activities, materials and each other when they are ready.  Parents tend to feel more comfortable going off to start their day once their children are engaged in an activity.  On the other hand, most children are preoccupied with the process of transitioning from home and parents to school and teachers. They are really not ready to begin something until the transition is complete. Once the parent has driven away, they are ready to look around and spend some time thinking about where they want to start. Please speak with teachers if you would like support with your morning transition.

END OF DAY   Friends’n Fun’s day has several schedule options. Teachers plan a variety of experiences for the groups of children who are scheduled for specific time frames. It can be confusing to all if there is an unrequested time overlap. Please help us with this by picking up your child at your scheduled end of day. If you would like to add to your schedule speak with Janet or Jane and we can plan for your child’s participation.

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HEALTH FORMSThe State of Colorado requires us to have a recent physical for each child at FnF.  This physical must be updated annually.  Please be sure that by September 12, 2016 we have documentation of this exam.  Jane will let you know if you are missing any paperwork.  Your cooperation is appreciated.  RETURNING FAMILIES: Licensing requires the permissions page of your child’s paperwork to be initialed and dated annually.  Jane will try and catch you at the beginning or end of the day to review and sign.

MEDICATIONS – A form  MUST be completed by your doctor each time he/she prescribes ANY medications to be given to your child while in our care.  This includes prescriptions and over the counter meds.  Please ask Jane or Janet for the medications form and have your physician complete this form and return to school with the medication(s), as we will not be able to administer any medications without it.  THANKS!

WATER BOTTLES – Our nurse consultant, who keeps us up to date on so many things and helps make sure we’re on top of current information regarding children’s health, has recommended that we do not allow water bottles.  Water bottles left in the cubbies, or even the refrigerator, are tempting to many children.  There is a chance a child may take a drink from someone else’s water bottle and this can lead to spread of germs. Some people may also add something to their children’s water bottle that may be unsafe for another child to have (examples: vitamins; fruit juices to which other children may be allergic).  Children have ready access to our water fountain whenever they need a drink and we work with the children on the best way to drink from the water fountain and sanitize it several times a day.  Thank you for your help in trying to contain the spread of germs.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Mark your calendars and watch the Parent Board for more specifics regarding these dates.

THURSDAY Sept. 14 (4:00 – 7:00) PARENT-TEACHER FALL CONFERENCE

 Watch the Parent Bulletin Board for a sign-up sheet to schedule a 15 minute Fall conference. We like to touch base with all of you early in the year to help us better support your child’s interests and needs as well as answer any further questions you might have after being at FnF for a few weeks.

SATURDAY Nov. 18   FAMILY BRANCH CELEBRATION

Every school year we look forward to enjoying a few social events together.  We typically start with a Fall Potluck, gather together for the Family Branch celebration during the holiday season and end the year with a Spring Potluck.  We are having a challenging time trying to schedule events this Fall due to park availability, teacher’s evening schedules – Jane is taking a class this semester – and a few other confinements.  We will be unable to do the Potluck this Fall but have a couple of new ideas.

It is yet to be confirmed, but we are thinking of holding the Family Branch Celebration the Saturday before Thanksgiving before all of the holiday intensity builds; plan a family bowling event in January/ February; and end the year with the traditional Spring Potluck. And of course we will have the conferences and Mother’s Day Tea!  We apologize for the changes but hope we can still enjoy times to have fun and get to know each other this school year!!              

FRIENDS ‘N FUN SCHOOL CLOSINGS FOR 2017 -2018

September 4, 2017                    Labor Day

November 23 – 24, 2017                     Thanksgiving

December 25-29 & January 1    Winter Break (reopen Tuesday, Jan. 2nd)

January 15, 2018                Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

February 19, 2018                               President’s Day

March 28 – 29 – 30, 2018                    Spring Break

May 28, 2018                                   Memorial Day

Please watch Channel 9 News for notices of school closings or late opening times on days of extreme snow.  If you can, check Channel 9 News online for the most current updates, as the television has a delay time from when we called.  We will also post closures on the “Latest & Greatest” page on our website.

*******************************Welcome to Friends ‘n Fun.  We hope you enjoy your journey with us.

Janet, Jane, Katey  & Kara

June 2017 Newsletter

Dear Parents,

Welcome to all our families – new, continuing, and returning.  We have a wonderful group of children for our summer session and are enjoying getting to know one another.  A new mix of children always invigorates us with the possibilities of new interests, talents, and friendships.

We are excited as we plan for the upcoming summer months. Throughout the summer various activities will be set out each day with children of all ages in mind.  Teachers are always enthusiastic for our change in curriculum format for the summer.  Preparing activity centers for in-depth exploration based on interests rather than ages seems to allow for new creative energy and limitless ideas.

We are starting June off with WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?. We will be reading a variety of children’s books and asking small groups of children to tell us what they see as a “problem” in the storyline.  Each group will work together to come up with ways to solve the problem(s) the children identified…and then gather materials to see how they can put those solutions into action.  Critical and creative thinking, art, engineering, communication, working together – all of these areas of development, and more, will organically generate in the solving of problems.

It is always fun to watch and see how doing one thing sparks an idea or suggestion for something else.  We will continue to watch and listen to see what other interests children are talking about during play that might guide us on our adventures and explorations this summer.  As we plan our summer days, we will try to post activities on the front bulletin board for you to see what we are going to be up to these summer days.

We may take an occasional walk around the block or a walk to the rock park 5 blocks East of us on Simpson Street for a morning of outdoor activities.  We will always communicate with you to let you know if we will be planning to leave the building!

We hope you enjoy your summer with us.

~ Janet, Jane, Katey & Kara

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SUNSCREEN 

Feel free to apply sunscreen to children before they arrive at school. We have sunscreen and will reapply it throughout the day.  If your child needs a specific brand, please send it (labeled with your child’s name) and with a signed note indicating this is your preference. We use Banana Boat #50.

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Father’s Day “Breakfast Cafe”

Thursday, June 15 & Friday, June 16

We will have a breakfast cafe set up in the morning during drop-off for the children to spend some special time with their Dads.

We’ll have coffee & Santiago’s breakfast burritos for the Dads, and juice, fruit and a breakfast treat for the kids.

Come enjoy a special morning with your child(ren) before you head off to your day.

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Tornado Emergency Plans

June is typically our stormiest month – and we need to be prepared for any emergency.  We have emergency plans posted at the front door.  Should there be a tornado watch, where we are asked to seek shelter, we will take the children downstairs to our cellar where we have blankets, flashlights, water and stuffed animals.  You might need to have our cell phone numbers in case of such an emergency.  If you don’t have Jane or Janet’s cell phone numbers, let us know and we’ll give them to you.

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Vacation schedules

Please let staff know, when possible, of times that your child will not be attending.  This will help us in our staff scheduling, space availability for our friends from the school year to be able to come spend some time with us this summer, as well as letting children know when their special friends are returning after vacations.

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IMPORTANT DATES

Thursday/Friday  JUNE 15/JUNE 16                    Father’s Day Breakfast Cafe: We will                                                                                     have a “breakfast cafe” during drop-off                                                                                 time with Santiago’s Breakfast Burritos                                                                                 for the Dads

Tuesday, JULY 4                                                   Closed for Holiday

AUGUST 17/18                                                    Last days of Summer Session

AUGUST 21 – 25                                                 Friends ‘n Fun closed for cleaning,                                                                                       sprucing, prep, and planning for new                                                                                   school year.

AUGUST 28/29                                                  Beginning of Fall Session

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PLEASE REMEMBER TO SIGN YOUR CHILD IN & OUT EACH DAY IN THE SIGN IN NOTEBOOK

 

APRIL 2017 NEWSLETTER

Dear Parents,

Spring has sprung!  The landscape is greening up with pops of color waiting to be discovered and enjoyed.   My, how the children have all grown this school year – in so many ways beyond physically!  We love that we get to be a part of this with you.  Thank you for sharing your children with us.  We are honored that you have all been a part of Friends ‘n Fun this year.

“BEEP BEEP! I AM A ROBOT!”

The Robot Study was so much fun and resulted in so many experiences!

  Some of us built small “toy” robots; some of us made huge cardboard robots. Some of us learned about robots as machines and made “Twirl Bots” powered by battery packs; some of us made robot “costumes” and “became” robots. Some of us were photographed and transformed into robot puppets; some of us co-authored stories about robots. Some of us made real live movies about robots; some of us performed a robot themed puppet show. ALL of US  had  a wonderful time learning about robots and using our imaginations as we made robots come to life!

Our next adventure will involve HATS!! Some of you may want to stop by and do a little shopping at our well stocked HAT SHOP. There are lots of different styles to choose from!

Our millinery talents will be called in to play as  we design custom hats to suit our individual interests and personalities. We are certain that a Hat Fashion Show will be needed in order to display our creations.

We  also plan to use our hats in a theatrical production of the Mem Fox book THE MAGIC HAT.

We, as teachers, continue to be inspired by what is interesting and exciting to the children.  They have led us on some amazing journeys this year!

This newsletter has lots of dates for and information about upcoming events!  Keep reading for more news and dates!!!!

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FRIENDS ’N FUN’S ANNUAL

MOTHER’S DAY TEA

CALLING ALL MOMS!!!!

Wednesday May 10th and Thursday May 11th

Please be sure to attend this special event! Your child will be at your “beck and call” as he or she attends to your every need during our Mother’s Day Tea Party. Your child should arrive at school at their regular time so we can prepare for the school’s magical transformation. You are invited to return at 11:00 to enjoy tea and treats served to you by your children. Be ready to shed a tear or two!

Due to our limited space and the nature of this special celebration, siblings or other family members will not be able to attend. If you unable to come a substitute would help your child join the celebration.

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PLEASE TAKE NOTE OF THE SPECIAL DATES IN THIS NEWSLETTER AND MARK THEM ON YOUR CALENDARS…..

IMPORTANT DATES – SPRING & SUMMER 2017

May 10 and 11  (Wed/Thu)    Mother’s Day Tea – 11:00 – 12:00

                                              (depending on your child’s school schedule)

May 17 (Wed)                 End of Year Potluck Picnic  6:00pm to 7:30pm

                                        at La Monte Does Park.

                                      EVERYONE: Main Dish to share

                                                         AND

                                     Last name starts with A-M: Dessert

                                     Last name starts with N-Z: Salad

May 23/25 (Tues/Thurs)                Parent Teacher Conferences

                                                  Conferences will be held Tuesday and Thursday                                                                  afternoons/early evening. Conference sign up sheets will                                                      be posted in May.

May 25/ 26 (Fri)               Last Day of School

May 29 (Mon)                Memorial Day  School closed

May 30/31                    No school for children

         

June 1/2                         First Day of Summer Session

                                      Summer session runs from June 1st through August 18th.

July 4     Fourth of July Holiday  School closed

Aug 17/18               Last days of Summer Session

August 21-25                FnF Closed for Children

                                    For cleaning, organizing and planning for Fall 2017.

August 28/29                  Fall Session Begins

January 2017 Newsletter

Dear Parents,

Happy New Year!  It is so nice to have everyone back and ready to be having fun and learning and growing together again!

Thanks to everyone for creating a Tradition Branch.  It was joyful to be surrounded by so many families and having an opportunity to hear more about the traditions your family celebrates and values.  The children have fun looking for their own branches and recognizing branches that belong to their friends.  It is one of our favorite events, so thank you for sharing your time with us in a month that we know can be extra busy!

Also in December, our past parent and long time friend Bruce Kirschner, whose adult sons Paul and Sam attended Friends’n Fun as preschoolers, came to school to celebrate Hanukkah with us.  Bruce has been doing this with us for 20 years now!  He engages the children with his warm and funny personality and is always memorable. 

Our nighttime exploration is wrapping up this week.  We collectively worked to give our school a nighttime feel by creating a backdrop with stars and a nighttime hut to set the mood and prepare for a pajama day.  After our surroundings were enhanced, each group moved into individual studies that were of interest to the children in small groups.  Some children were interested in nocturnal animals. Owls were studied by some – the different types (so many!), their interesting behavior and their peculiar digestion process that results in owl pellets. Books were created along with adorable owls made cardboard tubes, stuffed owls and owl masks.  Bats were studied by a couple of groups in a variety of ways: we pretended to be bats and made bat ears and wings, made bat caves, used small photos of children dressed as bats and attached them to clothespins so they could hang upside down in bat caves, and played games to simulate echolocation.  Other nocturnal animals were also studied. Informative posters were created,  nocturnal animal pretend play was enjoyed and a varied assortment of nocturnal animal stuffies were stitched!

Additionally the nighttime study also lent itself to curiosity about light in the dark and day and night. Time was spent playing with lights in the dark and creating lanterns. A model of the day and night cycle was built to demonstrate the answer to the question “Why is it light here when it’s dark on the other side of the world?”.  The moon was another nighttime curiosity. Some of us looked at moon phases and learned how moon craters came about. One group decided a journey to the moon was needed.  They built a spaceship and created  the surface of the moon, complete with craters and moon rocks in preparation for the FnF Mission to the Moon! Children donned their spacesuits, got on their rocket and blasted off to explore the moon!!

We are beginning our transition to our next topic….. ROBOTS!  The children are starting to brainstorm ideas of things we could do and discover about robots and we are hoping to include a theatrical opportunity that will center around robots.  It is always exciting to delve into something new, never quite knowing where we will go on these journeys together.

We are also concluding our current Friday Studio Discovery in which we’ve been exploring artists (Paul Klee, Vincent Van Gogh, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, to name a few), materials (tempera paint, watercolor, collage, assemblage, oil pastels, acrylic) and gaining inspiration, and new words associated with art, from the artists and materials in our discoveries.

Our next series for Studio Discovery will be……MYSTERIES!  Only the teachers creating the experience will know what might unfold.  Aren’t you curious?!?!

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SHARE-A-GIFT and FOOD COLLECTION

The people at Share-a-Gift tell us that each year Friends ‘n Fun parents are one of the most generous group of contributors to their program.  This year our box was filled to overflowing 4 separate times…and our box was bigger than it was last year!

Thanks to all of you for your concern for others in need.

In an effort to offer additional support throughout the year we will continue to provide a food collection tub for shelf stable goods that we will donate to the Sister Carmen Community Center food bank.  The collection tub is on the front porch the first full week of each month.  Upcoming collection weeks: Feb 6-10, Mar 6-10, Apr 3-7.

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NOTE CARD FUNDRAISER!!!!!!

Thanks to all of you for your notecard orders. Your contributions raised $1300.  We hope that you and your families enjoy the amazing artwork created by your children. Thank you so much for your continued support and generosity!

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VALENTINE’S DAY–

Your children are invited to bring valentines for their friends on Monday, February 13th or Tuesday the 14th.  

For children of preschool age it is best to just have them write their names on the cards and leave the envelopes blank.  You can buy pre-packaged valentines or join them in making their own creations.

                                                  Bring 22 cards for the Monday group

                                                   and 22 cards for the Tuesday group.                                           

A Valentine snack sign up will be posted on the parent bulletin board closer to time.

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SNOWY WEATHER!!!!

We will notify 9 News if we will be closed due to bad winter weather. It sometimes takes awhile for schools to be listed on television but a listing pops up pretty quickly on their website, so check there as well. We will also post closures on our website on the Latest & Greatest page.  If you are not sure you are welcome to call Jane @ 303-775-1531 or Janet @ 303-818-4842.

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ENROLLMENT FORMS

You will be receiving questionnaires asking for your schedule requests for Summer 2017 and Fall 2017.  We appreciate your prompt return of these forms so we can begin our enrollment process.

PLEASE RETURN BY FEB 7th!!

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UPCOMING DATES TO BE AWARE OF:

Please mark your calendars and note the following dates

Monday/Tuesday, February 13th & 14th: Valentine’s Day

Monday, February 20th: Presidents Day – Friends ‘n Fun CLOSED

Wednesday-Friday, March 29th-31st: Spring Break – Friends ‘n Fun CLOSED

Wednesday/Thursday, May 10th & 11th:  Mother’s Day Tea (details closer to event)

Thursday/Friday, May 25th & 26th:  Last days of school

Share-A-Gift Toy Collection

We are proud to be participating in Share-a-Gift again this year. Share-a-Gift is an annual, all-volunteer, non-profit toy collection and distribution holiday project encompassing the Boulder Valley school area. Last year over 600 households (1600 boys and girls, ages birth to 14) received these community donations. To be successful, Share-a-Gift needs thousands of high quality, new and used toys, games, books, and puzzles. School collections are the biggest source of toys for Share-a-Gift. This collection allows children to meaningfully participate in gift giving by sharing their own gently used or new toys with less fortunate children in Boulder county. Toys may be dropped off in the Share-a-Gift box in our school beginning the Monday after Thanksgiving, November 28th, through Wednesday, December 14th. Friends ‘n Fun families have been one of their biggest donors in the past. Let’s see what we can do to continue this tradition of giving!dscf2961

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER NEWSLETTER 2016

Dear Parents,  

Wow! Time flies when you are having Fun! We have been busy exploring houses and home in so many exciting ways – building with blocks and magna tiles; playing with doll houses and furniture; drawing and painting; building with wood and cardboard; pretending to be at “home” with dress up clothes, food and dishes; and playing in kid sized cardboard houses. We have talked about the people who live in our homes with us and the love that is shared with each other there!

We are nearing the end of the Home and Houses study and after interviewing the children about what they might be interested in next, NIGHTTIME kept coming up SO……. NIGHTTIME it is! Teachers are excited about all of the twists and turns this focus can take, from dreams and pajama days to the science of night and day and nocturnal creatures that scurry about while everyone else is sleeping. Stay tuned to how this new area of study evolves!

Studio Discovery Fridays have been all about SOUND! Katey and Kara have been working with the children to identify different indoor, outdoor and recorded sounds. They have explored new vocabulary as they engaged in creating a Cacophony of sound as well as pleasing the ear with a beautiful Euphony! We visited the sound garden outside of the Center for Musical Arts and then made sound gardens of our own. Currently we are investigating sound and vibration.

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PLEASE be sure to read the newsletter carefully and mark your calendar for some exciting upcoming events  ______________________________________________________________

ANNUAL TREE OF THANKS – BY FRIENDS ‘n FUN FAMILIES –

We invite you to join us in creating a leaf to attach to the tree in our front yard. We will be sending home paper leaves and a few fun things to embellish them with. We would like you to work with your child and family to think about whom in your family, friends, neighbors and/or people in the community you are grateful to and why. Then please write a short note of thanks explaining this on the leaf, let the children decorate it, and then cover it (front & back) with the contact paper. Make sure your child’d name is on the leaf! Teachers will have ribbon at school for you to use to tie the leaves onto a wire we will have affixed to the tree. We are in the hopes that you and your children will take time to read the collection of leaves of thanks on our tree. We also hope that the community of walkers by in Lafayette might see and learn more about us as a community at Friends ‘n Fun.

SNOW DAYS

It’s that time of year again. Check Channel 9 News website when in doubt, or on the “Latest & Greatest” page on our website: www.friendsnfunchildrenscenter.com
FnF will be listed on 9news.com for school closings or we will be listed as a “late start.” We will make the decision to close based on the safety of all – children, parents and community. If you have questions on snow days please call Janet  or Jane. We’ll do our best to keep you informed. Thank you.

FAMILY TRADITIONS

The holiday season is upon us. It all begins with Halloween (from the children’s perspective) and rolls into Diwali, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Ramadan, Las Posadas, Christmas, multiple New Years’, and many other wonderful celebrations that honor special cultural and religious traditions. We join together with family and friends to enjoy this season.

We treasure all of the unique and distinctive differences and unifying similarities that make up our school community. This holiday season we would like to recognize all of our families.

On Saturday, Dec. 10th from 1:00-3:00 we have once again reserved the John M. Taylor Conference Center at Imagine! We would like to invite your family to join us to decorate a tree branch with photographs and small objects that represent special things about your family. We will provide an assortment of yarns, beads, wire, buttons, jewels, etc. – and a tree branch for each of you. You can bring photographs, small objects and your wonderful children. We will work together at Imagine! to create these beautiful branches. We will then bring them back to school to display for all to enjoy. The things you bring to embellish the branch should represent your family’s interests (biking, pets, skiing, etc.), as well as special celebrations.

We hope you can attend this gathering to get to know each other and share in an activity with your children to celebrate this special time of year. Drop by anytime between 1 and 3 and spend as much time as works for you that day.

We will post maps/directions to Imagine! on the bulletin board closer to the event date.

FUNDRAISER  

In December we will create note cards using your child’s artwork – easel paintings, watercolor paintings, self-portraits, collages, etc.  Packages of your child’s note cards, with envelopes, will be available to you at $12.00 per package of 8.  In the past families have sent them to grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc. for holiday gifts.  The money raised goes to help purchase art supplies at Friends ‘n Fun.  Watch the parent bulletin board for additional details.

This is our ONLY fundraiser of the year and it typically brings us about $1000 for use in our supply budget. We hope you can support us and enjoy this celebration of your children’s efforts. Thank you for your continued support of our small program.

SHARE-A-GIFT

We are proud to be participating in Share-a-Gift again this year. Share-a-Gift is an annual, all-volunteer, non-profit toy collection and distribution holiday project encompassing the Boulder Valley school area. Last  year over 600 households (1600 boys and girls, ages birth to 14) received these community donations. To be successful, Share-a-Gift needs thousands of high quality, new and used toys, games, books, and puzzles. School collections are the biggest source of toys for Share-a-Gift. This collection allows children to meaningfully participate in gift giving by sharing their own gently used or new toys with less fortunate children in Boulder county. Toys may be dropped off in the Share-a-Gift box in our school beginning the Monday after Thanksgiving, November 28th, through Wednesday, December 14th.   Friends ‘n Fun families have been one of their biggest donors in the past.  Let’s see what we can do to continue this tradition of giving!

IMPORTANT DATES !!!!!!!!!!!

Nov. 16-17 – Tree of Thanks leaves to be sent home.  Return to us anytime from the 21st on, and help your child attach them to our tree so our neighborhood community can enjoy.

Nov. 24-25 – CLOSED for Thanksgiving Holiday

Dec. 10 – FnF Family Traditions Workshop – 

  Imagine! John M. Taylor Conference Center

  1665 Coal Creek Drive, Lafayette

  1:00 – 3:00 PM

Dec. 26 – Dec.30    – FnF Closed. We will be closed from Monday,

                      Dec. 26th through Friday, Dec. 30th. We will reopen on 

Monday, January 2, 2017.

Nut Allergy

Dear Families,

One of our friends at school has a serious nut allergy and we would like to ask you to avoid bringing nuts to school.  Thanks for helping all of us take good care of him!

Janet, Jane & Katey

September 2016 Newsletter

Dear Parents,

Welcome to a new year at Friends ‘n Fun. Our mission is to help you to provide your child with experiences that are filled with adventure, exploration and discovery. We want to be in collaboration with you as we work together to support your child as he/she grows and develops during these exciting early years of childhood. We encourage you to let us know of any concerns or questions that you may have throughout the school year.

Teachers at FnF realize that parents know their children better than anyone. It is you who have seen them smile their first smile; it is you who celebrated their first words and first steps; it is you who have nursed them through illness and accidents, and it is you who continue to encourage, support, comfort and love them. Thank you for sharing your children with us and know that we take the trust you have extended us very seriously. Please always feel free to “chat” with us about the day’s events.

We are all looking forward to an exciting year and all of the journeys ahead of us.

This newsletter has a lot of information regarding upcoming events and getting started in our program. PLEASE take time to read it and make notes on your own family’s calendar so that your family does not miss out on important dates, etc.

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September’s Journey –

The beginning of a new school year presents us with an opportunity to see ourselves not only as individuals but also as a part of something bigger: a family, a school setting, a community.

“A child is born a first time, and then, through the long and difficult process of constructing his identity, it is as if he is born again. In this process, he gives himself a face, a body, gestures, movement, speech, thought, feelings, imagination, fantasy; in short, the awareness of being and the means of expressing his “me-ness” which is absolutely essential for becoming autonomous and distinguishing ourselves from other people and things – people and things we live and interact with and from which, little by little, we draw most of the raw material with which we create our own identity. To recognize ourselves and to be recognized. But a child’s most sought-after goal is to recognize himself in others, and to find in others (objects and the natural world as well) parts of himself.”

                                                                                                           ~Loris Malaguzzi

We will begin our year with a focus on “Home: A Very Special House.” It is our intention to explore with the children the idea of Home – the space you share with your family, and House – the dwelling you and your family live in. We will look at our own homes and houses at the beginning and then intend to look at different styles of houses that families in different parts of the world call home. We ask that you send a photo (smart phone photos are good) of the front of your house to our email address. We will then print out the images for the children to use as we develop activities and projects. We would love to begin using the photos next week so if it is possible to receive them by Friday the 2nd of September that would be great! fnfcc@comcast.net

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Greetings & Goodbyes –

Entering the school environment is a transition time and the most significant one of the day. Children and parents enter the school with multiple needs and feelings. There can be enthusiasm, excitement, anxiety, sadness, confusion and frustration – just to name a few. Teachers see their role at this time as facilitators of the morning transition. We make ourselves available to hold a child during a tearful or joyful good-bye, receive and transfer information from and to parents, reassure everyone that things will be okay, and help children connect with activities, materials and each other when they are ready. Parents tend to feel more comfortable going off to start their day once their children are engaged in an activity. On the other hand, most children are preoccupied with the process of transitioning from home and parents to school and teachers. They are really not ready to begin something until the transition is complete. Once the parent has driven away, they are ready to look around and spend some time thinking about where they want to start. Please speak with teachers if you would like support with your morning transition.

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LITTLE REMINDERS – Here are a few things we want to remind you about:

Read your Parent Handbook – it’s full of useful information. If you need a new one let us know.

Please sign your child in and out each day in the notebook on the white shelf at the front door.

Check your child’s cubby box daily and take home the things they have worked so hard on and treasure.

Please notice exactly where your child hangs his/her coat. There will be 2 children sharing a coat space during each preschool session. Please be respectful of your “coat cubby mate!”

Please bring an extra change of clothes for your child to keep in his/her cubby. Please label them.

Ask any of us about what we did during the day. Sometimes a clue from you will help spark your child’s memory and they’ll be able to tell you all sorts of things about their day at FnF.

Backpacks – We have so very little space in this building that we are unable to store backpacks at school. The children share the coat hanging spaces and backpacks make it difficult to hang up coats.

Snacks – there is a calendar at the front bulletin board for you to sign up to bring a healthy snack for the entire school (21 children.) This is a great way to participate and help your child feel a part of the school. We try to serve healthy snacks to the children in single service form, as we do not have a licensed food preparation kitchen. When Birthday time comes, please feel free to bring a special snack for your birthday child. If you should choose to provide cupcakes, try to send the mini sized ones, as full size cupcakes are too much snack for young children.

Check the parent board and front door for posted information.

We will have book orders on the front door from time to time. Please feel free to take them if you are interested. They are usually fairly inexpensive and make great gifts. Orders usually take 3-4 weeks to come in.

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END OF DAY

Friends’n Fun’s day has several schedule options. Teachers plan a variety of experiences for the groups of children who are scheduled for specific time frames. It can be confusing to all if there is an unrequested time overlap. Please help us with this by picking up your child at your scheduled end of day. If you would like to add to your schedule speak with Janet or Jane and we can plan for your child’s participation.

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HEALTH FORMS – The State of Colorado requires us to have a recent physical for each child at FnF. This physical must be updated annually. Please be sure that by September 12, 2016 we have documentation of this exam. Jane will let you know if you are missing any paperwork. Your cooperation is appreciated. RETURNING FAMILIES: Licensing requires the permissions page of your child’s paperwork to be initialed and dated annually. Jane will try and catch you at the beginning or end of the day to review and sign.

MEDICATIONS – A form MUST be completed by your doctor each time he/she prescribes ANY medications to be given to your child while in our care. This includes prescriptions and over the counter meds. Please ask Jane or Janet for the medications form and have your physician complete this form and return to school with the medication(s), as we will not be able to administer any medications without it. THANKS!

WATER BOTTLES -Our nurse consultant, who keeps us up to date on so many things and helps make sure we’re on top of current information regarding children’s health, has recommended that we do not allow water bottles. Water bottles left in the cubbies, or even the refrigerator, are tempting to many children. There is a chance a child may take a drink from someone else’s water bottle and this can lead to spread of germs. Some people may also add something to their children’s water bottle that may be unsafe for another child to have (examples: vitamins; fruit juices to which other children may be allergic). Children have ready access to our water fountain whenever they need a drink and we work with the children on the best way to drink from the water fountain and sanitize it several times a day.  Thank you for your help in trying to contain the spread of germs.

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CLASS LIST WITH CONTACT INFORMATION – we are working on this and will make sure everyone has a copy once it’s ready!

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UPCOMING EVENTS-

Mark your calendars and watch the Parent Bulletin Board for more specifics regarding these dates.

Wed. Sept. 7 (3:30 – 6:30) & Thur. Sept.8 (3:30 – 6:30)

PARENT-TEACHER FALL CONFERENCES – watch the parent bulletin board for a sign-up sheet to schedule a 15 minute conference with your child’s small group teacher.

Wed. Sept.14 POTLUCK PICNIC – an all school, all family event held from 6:00 pm-7:30 pm at LaMont Does Park in Lafayette on South Boulder Road. Watch the parent board for more information.

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FRIENDS ‘N FUN SCHOOL CLOSINGS FOR 2016 -2017

September 5, 2016      Labor Day

November 24 – 25, 2016         Thanksgiving

December 24-31 January 1        Winter Break (reopen Monday, Jan. 2th)

January 16, 2017           Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

February 20, 2017           President’s Day

March 29 – 30 – 31, 2017           Spring Break

May 29, 2017         Memorial Day

Please watch Channel 9 News for notices of school closings or late opening times on days of extreme snow. If you can, check Channel 9 News online for the most current updates, as the television has a delay time from when we called. We will also post closures on the “Latest & Greatest” page on our website.

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Friends ‘n Fun has pursued the study of the internationally renowned philosophy of early childhood education that has been cultivated over the past 50 years in the Reggio Emilia community in northern Italy. We continually integrate this philosophy with our own- weaving them together to beautifully and holistically address the needs of our own unique community. There is so much to learn.

Janet, Jane, Katey, Jamie & Kara

July 2016 Newsletter

Dear Parents,

We are having such a busy and wonderful Summer!

We started June off with PUPPETS. Our puppet adventures so far have included: THE THREE LITTLE PIGS with STICK PUPPETS; OUTER SPACE with FINGER PUPPET ALIENS AND ASTRONAUTS; and the ZOO with Zoo Animal SOCK PUPPETS. The beautiful scenery for our puppetry performances were collaborative creations. Children worked together to paint planets, stars and solar systems on black fabric. They also created a giant Zoo backdrop using cardboard, oil pastels and paint.

Now we are ready to explore SHADOW PUPPETS. We will be looking at light, darkness and how the combination helps us form shadows. We will be making a variety of shadow puppet theaters as well as a few different styles of puppets.

Exploring different techniques for making puppets, interacting with peers and their puppets, designing backdrops and sets, and formulating stories for puppet performances has kept us very busy!!

We look forward to seeing where the rest of our summer adventures take us.

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A NOTE FROM HONOR:

Dear Friends’n Fun families,

I have made the tough decision to move back to Northern California to be closer to my family. This was not an easy decision because of all the great children and families that I had a chance to work with this year. My plan is to continue to teach preschool in a Reggio-inspired school in the Bay Area.

I will truly miss each and every one of you. My last day will be Friday, August 5th.

Sincerely,

Honor Fairman

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We have enjoyed having Honor with us this past year. The contribution of her thoughts, ideas, and perspective have enriched and enhanced our school community. We wish her all the best in her life and next professional adventure!! Thank you Honor for sharing your kind and gentle spirit and Early Childhood Education professionalism with all of us!!

For those of you who were with us in the 2014-2015 school year, you probably remember Kara Beard who was a part of the FnF teaching team for the previous five years. She has spent the past year teaching in South Korea and will be returning to the states this fall….and to Friends ‘n Fun. We are SO fortunate to have her rejoin us and look forward to being inspired by her international teaching adventure.

Kara will return to FnF the last week in September. A very recent past parent, Kellan’s mom Jamie Parker, will be filling in for the month between the end of Summer session and Kara’s return. Jamie has been involved in the Early Childhood and the Education fields in many capacities and has subbed for us a bit this past school year. We are so grateful that she will be available to help us bridge this gap.

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JOIN US FOR POPSICLES WITH HONOR

Friday, August 5th

2:30pm – 3:30pm

at Friends ‘n Fun

As we say goodbye and bid her best wishes!

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IMPORTANT DATES

Friday AUGUST 19        Last day of Summer Session

                            AUGUST 22 – 26            Friends ‘n Fun closed for cleaning, sprucing,        prep and planning for new school year

AUGUST 29                Beginning of Fall Session

June 2016 Newsletter

Dear Parents,

Welcome to all our families – new, continuing, and returning. We have a wonderful group of children for our summer session and are enjoying getting to know one another. A new mix of children always invigorates us with the possibilities of new interests, talents, and friendships.

We are excited as we plan for the upcoming summer months. Throughout the summer various activities will be set out each day with children of all ages in mind. Teachers are always enthusiastic for our change in curriculum format for the summer. Preparing activity centers for in-depth exploration based on interests rather than ages seems to allow for new creative energy and limitless ideas.

We are starting June off with PUPPETS. We will be busy creating a cornucopia of different types of puppets with a variety of materials, doing puppet shows for each other, exploring puppet theater ideas, and who knows what else! It is always fun to watch and see how doing one thing sparks an idea or suggestion for something else. We will continue to watch and listen to see what other interests children are talking about during play that might guide us on our adventures and explorations this summer. As we plan our summer days, we will try to post activities on the front bulletin board for you to see what we are going to be up to these summer days.

We may take an occasional walk around the block, a walk to Pioneer Elementary School’s playground, or a walk to the rock park 5 blocks East of us on Simpson Street for a morning of outdoor activities. We will always communicate with you to let you know if we will be planning to leave the building!

We hope you enjoy your summer with us.

                                  ~ Janet, Jane, Katey & Honor

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REQUEST: We are always collecting items for our shelves and projects.

We are currently looking for the following:

  • Paper (any old letterhead lying around – we’ll use it!)
  • Envelopes Wood & Metal – scraps and interesting pieces of wood and metal (nuts, bolts, washers, old keys, tin cans – anything of that nature)
  • Cardboard tubes – from toilet paper or paper towels

Watch the front door for additional requests as we continue to plan out our summer activities.

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SUNSCREEN

Feel free to apply sunscreen to children before they arrive at school. We have sunscreen and will reapply it throughout the day. If your child needs a specific brand, please send it (labeled with your child’s name) and with a signed note indicating this is your preference. We use Banana Boat #50.

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Tornado Emergency Plans

June is typically our stormiest month – and we need to be prepared for any emergency. We have emergency plans posted at the front door. Should there be a tornado watch, where we are asked to seek shelter, we will take the children downstairs to our cellar where we have blankets, flashlights, water and stuffed animals. Please let us know if you need Jane & Janet’s cell phone numbers in case of such an emergency.

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Vacation schedules

Please let staff know, when possible, of times that your child will not be attending. This will help us in our staff scheduling, space availability for our friends from the school year to be able to come spend some time with us this summer, as well as letting children know when their special friends are returning after vacations.

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IMPORTANT DATES

Thursday/Friday JUNE 16/JUNE 17                  

Father’s Day Breakfast Cafe: We will have a “breakfast cafe” during drop-off                            time with Santiago’s Breakfast Burritos for the Dads

Monday, JULY 4

Closed for Holiday

AUGUST 18/19

Last days of Summer Session

AUGUST 22 – 26

Friends ‘n Fun closed for cleaning, sprucing, prep and planning for new school year.

AUGUST 29/30

Beginning of Fall Session

March 2016 Newsletter

Dear Parents,

Happy almost Spring! It is such a delight to see the crocuses and tips of tulip leaves peeking out around the edges preparing us for the upcoming explosion of color!

Our exploration of “The Art of Pretending” was joyful, engaging and entertaining. There were Dinosaur Digs resulting in a Dinosaur Museum, becoming airplanes flying in the front yard, riding on airplanes, and writing stories that then were acted out. Children’s imaginations and pretending were engaged and used to their fullest! The children enjoyed the culminating experiences of “Petville” and “Castles, Knights, Princesses, Dragons and Horses”. It was a delight to see them add to what had been set up for them as they arrived in the morning: a veterinarian that would also take care of pet owners ailments and a cash register added to the room with the royal clothing made it into a shop that sells those clothes. These children are always thinking and so creative!

An extra special thanks go to Chip Persons and Erin Wright (Rory’s parents) for sharing their acting talents and expertise with us on the last day of pretending. They led us in acting exercises that Chip uses with his college students at CU Boulder. They helped us think about every step that is involved in a task (example: waking up and brushing your teeth) and what movements you might do to clearly convey what it is you are doing without using words. We also broke into small groups of 4 to 5 children and one adult. We worked together to become one object – an airplane! It was exciting to see how each group came together and created an airplane with their bodies by standing or lying down and positioning arms, legs, bodies, heads in different ways. We had so much fun and the children are still talking about how they worked together to become airplanes! We know the pretending isn’t over (as some children have told their parents) – it never is! It just won’t be our school focus.

If you haven’t already heard about it from your child, our next area of exploration is “Deep Sea”! We are doing this in honor of Adam who has been with us for three years and has not wavered in his devotion to all things “Deep Sea”. When we asked all the children what they thought of the topic and what they might be interested in, we couldn’t write fast enough to keep up with the thoughts/ideas/suggestions as they flowed at circle. Waves, submarines, sea creatures, sea plants, mermaids, the Mariana Trench, scuba diving, coral, sharks, whales, dolphins…..the list is far more extensive than this! Only a week into this exploration and we are feeling the hum of excitement around the “Deep Sea” and are looking forward to where this new journey will take us.

This newsletter has lots of dates for upcoming events in the couple of months! Keep reading for more news and dates!!!!

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FRIENDS ‘N FUN FOOD SHARE

We love the community we are in and were touched by everyone’s generosity with the Share-A-Gift collection.

We want to continue to give to our community and have settled on the idea of having an on-going food/dry goods collection that we would contribute to the Sister Carmen food bank. They are in need of donations year round. Thanks to Cassidy’s mom, Sam, for the suggestion of a standard time frame that occurs monthly!

There will be a tub on the front porch for one week each month (typically the first week of the month) where your family may contribute as it works for you. We will post a reminder on the front door the week prior. We’ll try to update everyone with the amount donated on a regular basis.

~~ Because we’d like to start this, and this newsletter is late, we’ll have the container on the front porch next week for March only. ~~

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FRIENDS ‘N FUN BOOK CLUB

We have selected The Preschool Years: Family Strategies That Work – From Experts and Parents by Ellen Galinsky and Judy David as our book.

Please let us know by FRIDAY, MARCH 11TH if you would be interested in reading this book and then joining us for a discussion on WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20TH (time to be determined).

Friends ‘n Fun will order books for those that are interested and then you can purchase the book from us. We’ll search for the best prices we can!!!

We look forward to the opportunity to connect with you around this book.

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FAMILY SURVEYS

Thank you to everyone for completeing and returning the Family Survey. We had an incredible return rate and appreciate you taking the time to fill those out for us!

If you have any questions, thoughts, or ideas that have come to mind, please don’t hesitate to let us know. We always welcome your thoughts and insights in guiding us all in our work together.

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SNOWY WEATHER!!!!

It’s hard to believe we’re still including this, but spring weather can be unpredictable! We will notify 9 News if we will be closed due to bad weather. It sometimes takes awhile for schools to be listed on television but a listing pops up pretty quickly on their website, so check there as well. We will also post closure on our websites Latest & Greatest page. If you are not sure you are also always welcome to call Janet or Jane @ 303-775-1531.

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PLEASE TAKE NOTE OF THE SPECIAL DATES IN THIS NEWSLETTER AND MARK THEM ON YOUR CALENDARS…..

IMPORTANT DATES – SPRING 2016

March 23, 24, 25                            SPRING BREAK

May 4 and 5 (Wed/Thu)                Mother’s Day Tea – 11:00 – 12:00

                                                      (depending on your child’s school schedule)

Calling all moms! Please be sure you attend this special event. Your child will be at your “beck and call” for part of this day. Bring your child at their regular time. And then you will return at 11:00 to enjoy tea and treats served by your children. Details will be posted in late April. Due to our limited space and the nature of this special celebration, siblings or other family members will not be able to attend. If you are unable to come a substitute would help your child join in the celebration.

May TBA                                 Parent Teacher Conferences

Please watch the parent bulletin board for a sign up sheet to attend a conference on one of the listed days. Conferences will be 20 minutes each.

May 25 (Wed)                        End of Year Potluck Picnic

At La Monte Does Park.  Details to follow.

May 30                                  Memorial Day  school closed

May 27 (Fri)                           Last Day of School

June 1 & 2                            First Day of Summer Session

                                            Summer session runs from June 1st through August 19th

July 4                                   Fourth of July Holiday  school closed

August 22-26                      FnF Closed for Children 

for cleaning, organizing and planning for Fall 2016

August 29/30                      Fall Session Begins

January 2016 Newsletter

Dear Parents,

Happy New Year! It is so nice to have everyone back after the break and ready to be having fun and learning and growing together again!

Thanks to everyone for creating a Tradition Branch. It was joyful to be surrounded by so many families and having an opportunity to hear more about the traditions your family celebrates and values. The children have fun looking for their own branches and recognizing branches that belong to their friends. It is one of our favorite events, so thank you for sharing your time with us in a month that we know can be extra busy!

Also in December, our past parent and long time friend Bruce Kirschner, whose adult sons Paul and Sam attended Friends’n Fun as preschoolers, came to school to celebrate Hanukkah with us. Bruce has been doing this with us for 19 years now! He engages the children with his warm and funny personality and is always memorable. The table full of children playing dreidel inspired other children to become dreidels themselves – children found a clear and safe space and began to sing the dreidel song and spin. It is always fun to see what inspires everyone.

Our next journey will lead us to more deeply explore “The Art of Pretending”. Pretending is a natural and important part of the work and learning that children engage in. Pretending supports: language development, symbolism, the ability to come up with a variety of ideas, give and take with peers, empathy, and creativity…to name a few!

We have begun this journey in a variety of ways with our small groups; pretending to be animals; playing charades; figuring out how to convey what it is we are pretending to be by using movement, sound, expression; creating an environment that makes us feel more like what we are pretending to be; coming up with new ideas about how to use something in a new/different way to add to our pretend play; talking about how ideas are shared while pretending with friends; pretending to be people who fix a variety of things from broken plates to people. This is just the beginning!! As always, we are looking forward to seeing where this journey leads us and we continue to be in awe of what the children share with us along the way.

Be sure to look at our wall of quotes to see what your child had to say about pretending as we began to dabble in and explore “The Art of Pretending” in December.

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SHARE-A-GIFT

The people at Share-a-Gift tell us that each year Friends ‘n Fun parents are one of the most generous group of contributors to their program. Again this year our box was filled to overflowing 3 separate times…and our box was bigger than it was last year!

Thanks to all of you for your concern for others in need.

In an effort to offer additional support throughout the year we are thinking of providing a food collection box for dried goods that we can periodically donate to the Sister Carmen food bank. Would you be interested in participating in this type of on-going opportunity to give to our community?

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NOTE CARD FUNDRAISER!!!!!!

Thanks to all of you for your notecard orders. Your contributions raised $1260.00. After expenses, we have $900.00 for our arts and supplies fund. We hope that you and your families enjoy the amazing artwork created by your children. Thank you so much for your continued support and generosity!

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VALENTINE’S DAY–

Your children are invited to bring valentines for their friends on Wednesday, February 10th or Thursday, February 11th. We chose these days so everyone can participate.

For children of preschool age it is best to just have them write their names on the backs and leave the envelopes blank. You can buy pre-packaged valentines or join them in making their own creations.

Bring 22 cards for the Wednesday group and 22 cards for the Thursday group.

A Valentine snack sign up will be posted on the parent bulletin board closer to time.

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SNOWY WEATHER!!!!

We will notify 9 News if we will be closed due to bad winter weather. It sometimes takes awhile for schools to be listed on television but a listing pops up pretty quickly on their website, so check there as well. We will also post closures on our website on the Latest & Greatest page. If you are not sure you are welcome to call Jane or Janet.

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ENROLLMENT FORMS

By the end of the month, you will be receiving questionnaires asking for your schedule requests for Summer 2016 and Fall 2016. We appreciate your prompt return of these forms so we can begin our enrollment process.

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HOLIDAY CLOSURE DATES

Please mark your calendars and note the following dates Friends ‘n Fun will be closed in observance of the upcoming holidays and Spring Break:

Monday, January 18th: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Monday, February 15th: Presidents Day

Wednesday-Friday, March 23rd-25th: Spring Break

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FINAL THOUGHTS

These are two quotes that are inspiring us in our “Art of Pretending”:

            Whenever children say “Let’s pretend,” a new landscape of possibilities for   learning is revealed. When children pretend, they try on new feelings, roles and ideas. They stretch their minds along with their imaginations.   – Curtis & Carter

“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.”   – Albert Einstein

NOVEMBER 2015 NEWSLETTER

Dear Parents,

Wow! Time flies when you are having Fun! We have been busy exploring faces in a variety of ways – masks, sketches, painting, clay, playdough – who knew there were so many ways to look at your children’s beautiful faces?!?! It has been fun to watch children use the wall of faces to find their faces, their friend’s faces and then to try and match parts of the faces with the pictures on the wall…or to create a silly face out of different pieces! This has been such a delightful time of discovery as children have studied faces in depth. Thanks to everyone for being so quick to get us a set of your child’s clothing to make their doll/soft sculpture! They are coming along and soon you will see even more “children” at school, and we’re sure they will all seem somewhat familiar to you.

Studio Discovery Fridays has been all about CARDBOARD! Corrugated cardboard, to be more specific. Has your child pointed out corrugated cardboard to you at home or out in the world? We have loved exploring cardboard – what can you do with it? Will it hold water? How does it look inside, between those two brown flat sheets that look like paper? What does it feel like be inside of a box? How can we make it something everyone can play with? Check next week for the creation we’ve been working on for quite awhile using the drill and twine. Brought to you by your Corrugated Cardboard Construction Crew!

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      PLEASE be sure to read the newsletter carefully and mark your calendar for some exciting upcoming events ______________________________________________________________

SNOW DAYS

It’s that time of year again. Check Channel 9 News website when in doubt, or on the “Latest & Greatest” page on our website.  FnF will be listed on 9news.com for school closings or we will be listed as a “late start.” We will make the decision to close based on the safety of all – children, parents and community. If you have questions on snow days please call Janet (303-818-4842) or Jane (303-775-1531). We’ll do our best to keep you informed. Thank you.

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ANNUAL TREE OF THANKS – BY FRIENDS ‘n FUN FAMILIES –

We invite you to join us in creating a leaf to attach to the tree in our front yard. We will be sending home paper cut in the shape of leaves and a few fun things to embellish your leaf. We would like you to work with your family to think about whom in your family, friends, neighbors and/or people in the community you are grateful to and why. Then please write a short note of thanks explaining this on the leaf, let the children decorate it, and then cover it (front & back) with the contact paper. Make sure your child’d name is on the leaf! Teachers will have ribbon at school for you to use to tie the leaves onto a wire we will have affixed to the tree. We are in the hopes that you and your children will take time to read the collection of leaves of thanks on our tree. We also hope that the community of walker-bys in Lafayette might see and learn more about us as a community at Friends ‘n Fun.

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FAMILY TRADITIONS

The holiday season is upon us. It all began with Halloween (from the children’s perspective) and has rolled into Diwali, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Ramadan, Las Posadas, Christmas, multiple New Years’, and many other wonderful celebrations that honor special cultural and religious traditions. We join together with family and friends to enjoy this season.

We treasure all of the unique and distinctive differences and unifying similarities that make up our school community. This holiday season we would like to recognize all of our families.

On Saturday, Dec. 12th from 1:00-3:00 we have once again reserved the John M. Taylor Conference Center at Imagine! We would like to invite your family to join us to decorate a tree branch with photographs and small objects that represent special things about your family. We will provide an assortment of yarns, beads, wire, buttons, jewels, etc. – and a tree branch for each of you. You can bring photographs, small objects and your wonderful children. We will work together at Imagine! to create these beautiful branches. We will then bring them back to school to display for all to enjoy. The things you bring to embellish the branch should represent your family’s interests (biking, pets, skiing, etc.), as well as special celebrations.

We hope you can attend this gathering to get to know each other and share in an activity with your children to celebrate this special time of year. Drop by anytime between 1 and 3 and spend as much time as works for you that day.

We will post maps/directions to Imagine! on the bulletin board closer to the event date.

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FUNDRAISER

In December we will create note cards using your child’s artwork – easel paintings, watercolor paintings, self-portraits, collages, etc. Packages of your child’s note cards, with envelopes, will be available to you at $12.00 per package of 8. In the past families have sent them to grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc. for holiday gifts. The money raised goes to help purchase art supplies at Friends ‘n Fun. Watch the parent bulletin board for additional details.

This is our ONLY fundraiser of the year and it typically brings us about $1000 for use in our supply budget. We hope you can support us and enjoy this celebration of your children’s efforts. Thank you for your continued support of our small program.

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Share-a-Gift

We are proud to be participating in Share-a-Gift again this year. Share-a-Gift is an annual, all-volunteer, non-profit toy collection and distribution holiday project encompassing the Boulder Valley school area. Last  year over 600 households (1600 boys and girls, ages birth to 14) received these community donations. To be successful, Share-a-Gift needs thousands of high quality, new and used toys, games, books, and puzzles. School collections are the biggest source of toys for Share-a-Gift. This collection allows children to meaningfully participate in gift giving by sharing their own gently used or new toys with less fortunate children in Boulder county. Toys may be dropped off in the Share-a-Gift box in our school beginning the Monday after Thanksgiving, November 30, through Wednesday, December 16th. Friends ‘n Fun families have been one of their biggest donors in the past. Let’s see what we can do to continue this tradition of giving!

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IMPORTANT DATES !!!!!!!!!!!

November 18 -19        Tree of Thanks leaves to be sent home on the 18th & 19th.  Return to us anytime from the 23rd on and help your child attach them to our tree so our neighborhood community can enjoy.

November 26-27         CLOSED for Thanksgiving Holiday

December 12              Friends ‘n Fun Family Traditions Workshop at Imagine! John M. Taylor Conference Center – 1665 Coal Creek Drive – Lafayette       1:00 – 3:00 pm

December 24 – Jan 2    CLOSED for Winter Holiday.  We will be closed from Thursday, Dec. 24th through Friday, January 1, 2015.  We will reopen on Monday, January 4, 2016.

SEPTEMBER 2015 NEWSLETTER

Dear Parents,

Welcome to a new year at Friends ‘n Fun. Our mission is to help you to provide your child with experiences that are filled with adventure, exploration and discovery. We want to be in collaboration with you as we work together to support your child as he/she grows and develops during these exciting early years of childhood. We encourage you to let us know of any concerns or questions that you may have throughout the school year.

Teachers at FnF realize that parents know their children better than anyone. It is you who have seen them smile their first smile; it is you who celebrated their first words and first steps; it is you who have nursed them through illness and accidents, and it is you who continue to encourage, support, comfort and love them. Thank you for sharing your children with us and know that we take the trust you have extended very seriously. Please always feel free to “chat” with us about the day’s events.

We are all looking forward to an exciting year and all of the journeys ahead of us.

This newsletter has a lot of information regarding upcoming events and getting started in our program. PLEASE take time to read it and make notes on your own family’s calendar so that your family does not miss out on important dates, etc.

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September’s Journey 

The beginning of a new school year presents us with an opportunity to see ourselves not only as individuals but also as a part of something bigger: a family, a school setting, a community.

“A child is born a first time, and then, through the long and difficult process of constructing his identity, it is as if he is born again. In this process, he gives himself a face, a body, gestures, movement, speech, thought, feelings, imagination, fantasy; in short, the awareness of being and the means of expressing his “me-ness” which is absolutely essential for becoming autonomous and distinguishing ourselves from other people and things – people and things we live and interact with and from which, little by little, we draw most of the raw material with which we create our own identity. To recognize ourselves and to be recognized. But a child’s most sought-after goal is to recognize himself in others, and to find in others (objects and the natural world as well) parts of himself.”                                                                                                     – Loris Malaguzzi

We will begin by looking with “new eyes” – seeing each other as we are now and learning how to appreciate and support each other as we expand our sense of selves in the days to come. The teachers have chosen the concept of “identity”, and specifically “a portrait of self” as a place to begin.

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Greetings & Goodbyes – Entering the school environment is a transition time and the most significant one of the day. Children and parents enter the school with multiple needs and feelings. There can be enthusiasm, excitement, anxiety, sadness, confusion and frustration – just to name a few. Teachers see their role at this time as facilitators of the morning transition. We make ourselves available to hold a child during a tearful or joyful good-bye, receive and transfer information from and to parents, reassure everyone that things will be okay, and help children connect with activities, materials and each other when they are ready. Parents tend to feel more comfortable going off to start their day once their children are engaged in an activity. On the other hand, most children are preoccupied with the process of transitioning from home and parents to school and teachers. They are really not ready to begin something until the transition is complete. Once the parent has driven away, they are ready to look around and spend some time thinking about where they want to start. Please speak with teachers if you would like support with your morning transition.

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LITTLE REMINDERS – Here are a few things we want to remind you about:

  • Read your Parent Handbook – it’s full of useful information. If you need a new one let us know.
  • Please sign your child in and out each day in the notebook on the white shelf at the front door.
  • Check your child’s cubby box daily and take home the things they have worked so hard on and treasure. Please notice exactly where your child hangs his/her coat. There will be 2 children sharing a coat space during each preschool session. Please be respectful of your “coat cubby mate!”
  • Please bring an extra change of clothes for your child to keep in his/her cubby. Please label them.
  • Ask any of us about what we did during the day. Sometimes a clue from you will help spark your child’s memory and they’ll be able to tell you all sorts of things about their day at FnF.
  • Backpacks – We have so very little space in this building that we are unable to store backpacks at school. The children share the coat hanging spaces and backpacks make it difficult to hang up coats.
  • Snacks – there is a calendar at the front bulletin board for you to sign up to bring a healthy snack for the entire school (22 children.) This is a great way to participate and help your child feel a part of the school. We try to serve healthy snacks to the children in single service form, as we do not have a licensed food preparation kitchen. When Birthday time comes, please feel free to bring a special snack for your birthday child. If you should choose to provide cupcakes, try to send the mini sized ones, as full size cupcakes are too much snack for young children.
  • Check the parent board and front door for posted information.
  • We will have book orders on the front door from time to time. Please feel free to take them if you are interested. They are usually fairly inexpensive and make great gifts. Orders usually take 3-4 weeks to come in.

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END OF DAY

Friends’n Fun’s day has several schedule options. Teachers plan a variety of experiences for the groups of children who are scheduled for specific time frames. It can be confusing to all if there is an unrequested time overlap. Please help us with this by picking up your child at your scheduled end of day. If you would like to add to your schedule speak with Janet or Jane and we can plan for your child’s participation.

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HEALTH FORMS – The State of Colorado requires us to have a recent physical for each child at FnF. This physical must be updated annually. Please be sure that by September 25, 2014 we have documentation of this exam. Jane will let you know if you are missing any paperwork. Your cooperation is appreciated. RETURNING FAMILIES: As required by licensing, we are required to have you initial/date the permissions page of your child’s paperwork. Jane will try and catch you at the beginning or end of the day to review and sign.

MEDICATIONS – A form MUST be completed by your doctor each time he/she prescribes ANY medications to be given to your child while in our care. This includes prescriptions and over the counter meds. Please ask Jane or Janet for the medications form and have your physician complete this form and return to school with the medication(s), as we will not be able to administer any medications without it. THANKS!

WATER BOTTLES – Our nurse consultant, who keeps us up to date on so many things and helps make sure we’re on top of current information regarding children’s health, has recommended that we do not allow water bottles. Water bottles left in the cubbies, or even the refrigerator, are tempting to many children. There is a chance a child may take a drink from someone else’s water bottle and this can lead to spread of germs. Some people may also add something to their children’s water bottle that may be unsafe for another child to have (examples: vitamins; fruit juices to which other children may be allergic). Children have ready access to our water fountain whenever they need a drink and we work with the children on the best way to drink from the water fountain and sanitize it several times a day. Thank you for your help in trying to contain the spread of germs.

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CLASS LIST WITH CONTACT INFORMATION – we are working on this and will make sure everyone has a copy once it’s ready!

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UPCOMING EVENTS-

Mark your calendars and watch the Parent Bulletin Board for more specifics regarding these dates.

Wed. Sept. 9 POTLUCK PICNIC – an all school, all family event held from 6:00 pm-7:30 pm at LaMont Does Park in Lafayette on South Boulder Road. Watch the parent board for more information.

Tues. Sept. 29 (2:00 – 4:30) & Wed. Sept.30 (4:00 – 6:30) PARENT-TEACHER FALL CONFERENCES – watch the parent bulletin board for a sign-up sheet to schedule a 15 minute conference with your child’s small group teacher.

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FRIENDS ‘N FUN SCHOOL CLOSINGS FOR 2015 -2016

September 7, 2015                                      Labor Day

November 26-27, 2015                               Thanksgiving

December 24-31 January 1                        Winter Break (reopen Monday, Jan. 4th)

January 18, 2016                                        Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

February 15, 2016                                      President’s Day

March 23-24-25, 2016                               Spring Break

May 30, 2016                                             Memorial Day

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Please watch Channel 9 News for notices of school closings or late opening times on days of extreme snow. If you can, check Channel 9 News online for the most current updates, as the television has a delay time from when we called.

Phone numbers – If something should come up during off school hours call:

Janet 303-818-4842             Jane 303-775-1531

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“THE HUNDRED LANGUAGES OF CHILDREN”

Friends ‘n Fun has pursued the study of the internationally renowned philosophy of early childhood education that has been cultivated over the past 50 years in the Reggio Emilia community in northern Italy. We continually integrate this philosophy with our own- weaving them together to beautifully and holistically address the needs of our own unique community. There is so much to learn.

Following is a poem from the book – THE HUNDRED LANGUAGES OF CHILDREN, pg. 293.

If I can

     ask my own questions,

     try out my ideas,

     experience what’s around me,

     share what I find;

If I have

     plenty of time for

     my special pace,

     a nourishing space,

     things to transform;

If you’ll be

     my patient friend,

     trusted guide,

     fellow investigator,

     partner in learning;

Then I will

     explore the world,

     discover my voice,

     and tell you what I know

     in a hundred languages.

******************************Welcome to Friends ‘n Fun. We hope you enjoy your journey with us.   Janet, Jane, Kara & Honor

July 2015 Newsletter

Dear Parents,

What a great start to our summer we’ve had! We started June off with WOOD AND METAL AND WIRE. With wood and metal we made beautiful sculptures, Kalimbas and musical shakers, and machines fueled by our imaginations. We made sailboats out of rounds of logs, complete with stick masts and colorful sails that were hand stitched on to the mast. Everyone had the opportunity to use real woodworking tools: hammers and nails, hand saw and hand drill. We finished this experience with stick and wire mobiles, as well as really looking at where all of our wood comes from…trees! We did bark rubbing, sketches of trees on our playground, and studied bark up close by looking at pieces of bark through magnifying glasses and sketching what we saw.

Now we are ready to explore WEATHER. We will spend our first week talking about all kinds of weather and watching the daily weather report to catch hints of things that meteorologists talk about when reporting. Next we’ll be exploring a variety of weather types in as many ways as we can think of. In our explorations we will be thinking about: wind, rain, clouds, moisture, hail, sleet, weather in different climates and extreme weather. Check the front bulletin board regularly to see what we have planned!

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A NOTE FROM KARA:

Dear Friends’n Fun families,

I am embarking on a new adventure, to teach English to kindergartners in South Korea this fall. I will truly miss all of you and will be leaving a big piece of my heart here at Friends’n Fun.

My last day will be Friday, July 31st. Please keep in touch!

With love and gratitude,  Kara.   (kara.nicole.beard@gmail.com)

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Don’t forget we will be closed on Friday, July 3rd in observance of July 4th!!!

June 2015 Newsletter

Dear Parents,

Welcome to all our families – new, continuing, and returning. We have a wonderful group of children for our summer session and are enjoying getting to know one another. A new mix of children always invigorates us with the possibilities of new interests, talents, and friendships. We are excited as we plan for the upcoming summer months. Throughout the summer various activities will be set out each day with children of all ages in mind. Teachers are always enthusiastic for our change in curriculum format for the summer. Preparing activity centers for in-depth exploration based on interests rather than ages seems to allow for new creative energy and limitless ideas. We are starting June off with WOOD AND METAL. We will be busy creating sculptures with wood and metal, building with blocks outside and who knows what else! It is always fun to watch and see how doing one thing sparks an idea or suggestion for something else. After we’ve exhausted our interests in wood and metal we will be exploring WEATHER. We will continue to watch and listen to see what other interests children are talking about during play that might guide us on our adventures and explorations this summer. Check the front bulletin board to see what we have planned for our days together. We may take an occasional walk around the block, a walk to Pioneer Elementary School’s playground, or a walk to the rock park 5 blocks East of us on Simpson Street for a morning of outdoor activities. Watch the front door for notes regarding when we might leave the building. We hope you enjoy your summer with us.

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REQUEST: We are collecting scraps and interesting pieces of wood and metal (nuts, bolts, washers, old keys, tin cans – anything of that nature). Watch the front door for additional requests as we continue to plan out our summer activities. Please help us with our supplies and bring us your discards!

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SUNSCREEN – Feel free to apply sunscreen to children before they arrive at school. We have sunscreen and will reapply it throughout the day. If your child needs a specific brand, please send it (labeled with your child’s name) and with a signed note indicating this is your preference. We use Banana Boat #50.

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EXTRA CLOTHING FOR SUMMERTIME Summer sun and hot days mean we will get wet, to stay cool. Please leave a change of clothing for your children in their cubbies. Also, please send a swimsuit to leave at school. Please label your child’s swimsuit in case there are others that have a same or similar style!

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Father’s Day “Breakfast Cafe”

We will have a breakfast cafe set up in the morning during drop-off time for the children to spend some special time with their Dads. We’ll have coffee & Santiago’s breakfast burritos for the Dad’s, and juice, fruit and donut holes for the kids. Come enjoy a special morning with your child(ren) before you head off to your day.

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Tornado Emergency Plans June is typically our stormiest month – and we need to be prepared for any emergency. We have emergency plans posted at the front door. Should there be a tornado watch, where we are asked to seek shelter, we will take the children downstairs to our cellar where we have blankets, flashlights, water and stuffed animals. You might need to have our cell phone numbers in case of such an emergency. They are: Janet – 303-818-4842 Jane – 303-775-1531

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Vacation schedules

Please let staff know, when possible, of times that your child will not be attending. This will help us in our staff scheduling, space availability for our friends from the school year to be able to come spend some time with us this summer, as well as letting children know when their special friends are returning after vacations.

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IMPORTANT DATES

Thursday/Friday JUNE 18/JUNE 19        Father’s Day Breakfast Cafe: We will have a     “breakfast cafe” during drop-off time with Santiago’s Breakfast Burritos for the Dads

Friday, JULY 3         Closed for Holiday Friday

AUGUST 14              Last day of Summer Session

AUGUST 17 – 21      Friends ‘n Fun closed for cleaning, sprucing, prep and planning for  new school year.

AUGUST 24             Beginning of Fall Session ___________________________________________________________________

Conferences and Potluck Picnic

Don’t forget to sign-up for a Spring Parent Teacher conference!  This is when we get to come together and celebrate your child and the year they’ve had at school.  You will receive your child’s portfolio at this time.

Sign-up is on the front bulletin board for Thursday May 20th, Wednesday May 28th, and Thursday May 29th.

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End of Year Potluck Picnic at LaMont Does Park

Wednesday, May 20th from 6-7:30pm

Everyone please bring a main dish and:

Last name begins with: A-M Salad

Last name begins with: N-Z Dessert

March 2015 Newsletter

Dear Parents,

Happy almost Spring! It is such a delight to see the crocuses peeking out around the edges preparing us for the upcoming explosion of color! Our “trip” to Ghana has kept us warm through the frosty and snowy months of January and February. With the amazing support and resources provided us by Adjei and Kari Abankwah (Asante’s parents) our school journey was enriched by dancing and singing with Adjei, African drumming with Nii Okai Aryeeteh, and the dramatic story telling of Akaramah Cofie. The children have learned the traditional Ghanaian children’s songs Kye Kye Kule and Bambaliba and they made their very own drums. We then explored beautiful Kente cloth, creating our own versions of this gorgeous art form. We learned about Adinkra symbols and their significant meanings. Some of us printed cloth with them, used them for storytelling or created our own, assigning them a special meaning. We are now ending this incredible experience with storytelling based on the traditional Ghanian story figure , Ananse the Spider. We hope to come together as singers, drummers and storytellers this Wednesday and Thursday in a culminating celebration of our West African adventure!

Our deepest thanks go out to Adjei, Kari and Asante for sharing this beautiful part of their history and lives with us!

Throughout the course of a school year teachers watch and listen to themes that emerge in the children’s play. We observe for themes that cross age and gender and are sustained over time. This year from September through the present the children have been deeply focused on “super powers.” Over the years we often hear and see play revolving around super heroes. A bit of a shift from past years is the constant conversation about “powers.” Boys talk about it, girls talk about it, three year olds, four year olds and five year olds talk about. The teachers have often avoided a direct connection with this play, cautious about the challenges that may present when “good versus bad” actions get physical. This year we have decided to take it on in response to the children’s extreme interests. We will, however, be careful and intentional as we explore the idea of a “super power” and what that really means for the children. We will begin with thinking about what a “super power” is and then, in conjunction with the children, see where this next journey takes us! The new journey will begin following Spring Break!

PS: Studio Discovery Fridays will be shifting focus as we set up an incubator in hopes of hatching ducklings! Stay tuned……….

This newsletter has lots of dates for upcoming events in the next couple of months!

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 REMINDER Teachers are working away on each child’s portfolio to present to you at the May conference. The portfolio fee which assists us in the cost of production materials was due in November. Please check your records and turn your payment in so we can keep the ball rolling! Thanks!

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SNOWY WEATHER!!!! It’s hard to believe we’re still including this, but spring weather can be unpredictable! We will notify 9 News if we will be closed due to bad weather. It sometimes takes awhile for schools to be listed on television but a listing pops up pretty quickly on their website, so check there as well. We will also post closure on our websites Latest & Greatest page. If you are not sure you are also always welcome to call Janet @ 303-818-4842 or Jane @ 303-775-1531.

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IMPORTANT DATES – SPRING 2015

Please note these on your calendars!

March 25, 26, 27    SPRING BREAK

May 6 and 7           Mother’s Day Tea – 11:00 – 12:00 (depending on your child’s                                                                                       school schedule)

Calling all moms! Please be sure you attend this special event. Your                                                                child will be at your “beck and call” for part of this day. Bring your child at their regular time. And then you will return at 11:00 to enjoy tea and treats served by your children. Details will be posted in late April. Due to our limited space and the nature of this special celebration, siblings or other family members will not be able to attend. If you are unable to come a substitute would help your child join in the celebration.

May TBA             Parent Teacher Conferences

Please watch the parent bulletin board for a sign up sheet to attend a conference on one of the listed days. Conferences will be 20 minutes each.

May 20 (Wed)    End of Year Potluck Picnic at La Monte Does Park. Details to follow.

May 25              Memorial Day. School closed.

May 28 – 29       Last Day of School

June 1 and 2     First Day of Summer Session

                          Summer session runs from June 1st through August 14th.

August 17-21   FnF Closed for Children for cleaning, organizing and planning for Fall 2015

August 24/25   Fall Semester Begins

January 2015 Newsletter

Dear Parents,

Happy New Year!  It is so nice to have everyone back after the break and ready to be having fun and learning and growing together again!

We had great fun with bear stories and studying bears during November and December.  We were busy working on costumes, sets and performances as each small group readied a bear storybook to act out. We then shifted to studying real bears.

Janet’s little ones acted out Bears in Chairs and Bears in the Bath; Jane’s groups performed Tiptoe Joe and The Three Bears; Kara’s crews performed Corduroy and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt; and Katey’s fine actors put together Bear Snores On and Bear Feels Sick. Following the plays each of the groups explored research books about real bears and focused on an area of interest. There were bear dens and trees for bear climbing; there were bear puppets and hand sewn stuffed bears; there were child authored and illustrated bear stories and books, both fiction and factual; there was even an actual representation of an 8 foot Alaskan brown bear!

We guess it’s time to let bears begin their hibernation now that winter is in full swing!

It is also time to embark on our next journey.

This past summer Asante Abankwah’s family approached us with an invitation to share their family heritage. Asante attends school on MWF. Asante’s father Adjei originates from the West African country of Ghana. Adjei was a lead dancer and choreographer with the Ghana National Dance Ensemble and has performed internationally. The family has offered their resources and support to guide us through an exploration of Ghana culture, art, dance, music and storytelling. They have been participants and among the organizers of the BaoBao Festival for the past 11 years. The festival is presented during the week of March 1st through 7th.

We are excited by their invitation and will begin this study by learning about the music, dance, art and unique storytelling of Ghana. We hope to culminate our experience around the time of the BaoBao Festival with our own interpretation of Ghana storytelling. Asante’s parents Adjei and Kari plan to assist us with guest visitors who will teach us about dance, drumming and storytelling. We look forward to this new journey and hope you will too! Feel free to visit the BaoBao Foundation website at www.baobaofoundation.org.

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NOTE CARD FUNDRAISER!!!!!!

Thanks to all of you for your notecard orders. Your contributions raised $1250.00. After expenses, we have $900.00 for our arts and supplies fund. We hope that you and your families enjoy the amazing artwork created by your children. Thank you so much for your continued support and generosity!

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SHARE-A-GIFT

The people at Share-a-Gift tell us that each year Friends’n Fun parents are one of the most generous group of contributors to their program. This year alone the box was filled to over flowing 3 separate times! Thanks to all of you for your concern for others in need. In an effort to offer additional support throughout the year we are thinking of providing a food collection box for dried goods that we can periodically donate to the Sister Carmen food bank.

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VALENTINE’S DAY– Your children are invited to bring valentines for their friends on Wednesday, February 11th or Thursday the 12th. We chose these days so everyone can participate. For children of preschool age it is best to just have them write their names on the backs and leave the envelopes blank.  You can buy pre-packaged valentines or join them in making their own creations.

Bring 22 cards for the Wednesday group and 22 cards for the Thursday group.

A Valentine snack sign up will be posted on the parent bulletin board closer to time.

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SNOWY WEATHER!!!! We will notify 9 News if we will be closed due to bad winter weather. It sometimes takes awhile for schools to be listed on television but a listing pops up pretty quickly on their website, so check there as well. We will also post closures on our website on the Latest & Greatest page. If you are not sure you are welcome to call Jane @ 303-775-1531 or Janet @ 303-818-4842.

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ENROLLMENT FORMS

By the end of the month, you will be receiving questionnaires asking for your schedule requests for Summer 2015 and Fall 2015. We appreciate your prompt return of these forms so we can begin our enrollment process.

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HOLIDAY CLOSURE DATES Please mark your calendars and note the following dates Friends ‘n Fun will be closed in observance of the upcoming holidays and Spring Break:

  • Monday, January 19th: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Monday, February 16th: Presidents Day
  • Wednesday-Friday, March 25th-27th: Spring Break

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WORDS TO SHARE………………………….

Our past parent and dear friend Bruce Kirschner, whose adult sons Paul and Sam attended Friends’n Fun as preschoolers, has come to school for the past 18 years to celebrate Hanukkah with us. He engages the children with his warm and funny personality and is always memorable. He joined us once again this year and last week he sent us a lovely quote by Fred Rogers that he wanted to share along with a wish for a good 2015 to all!

“At the center of the universe is a loving heart that continues to beat and that wants the best for every person.  Anything we can do to help foster the intellect and spirit and emotional growth of our fellow human beings, that is our job.  Those of us who have this particular vision must continue against all odds.  Life is for service.”   Fred Rogers

December 2014 Newsletter

Dear Parents,   Wow! Time flies when you are having Fun! We were off and running after Halloween as we dove into an assortment of bear stories. Each of the small groups has been preparing a story to act out as a play and we are just about ready for the performances! Katey’s M/W group is performing Bear Feels Sick and her T/TH group will perform Bear Snores On. Jane’s M/W group is performing TipToe Joe and the T/TH crew is doing their unique version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears (Goldilocks is replaced by Tigers!) Kara’s M/W kids will perform We’re Going On A Bear Hunt and her T/TH pals A Pocket For Corduroy. Janet’s little ones on M/W are performing Bears in The Bath and T/TH are performing Bears On Chairs. Following the bear plays we will continue to study bears and learn more about them. Studio Discovery Fridays has also made a change. The children will be exploring variations on SNOW, ICE and WATER. PS. Thank you to Gus Condon’s parents, Natalie and Jason, for providing us with all of those pumpkins that we thoroughly enjoyed for Fall and Halloween!!!!!!

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SNOW DAYS It’s that time of year again. Check Channel 9 News website when in doubt, or on the “Latest & Greatest” page on our website! FnF will be listed on 9news.com for school closings or we will be listed as a “late start.” We will make the decision to close based on the safety of all – children, parents and community. If you have questions on snow days please call Janet (303-818-4842) or Jane (303-775-1531). We’ll do our best to keep you informed. Thank you.

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ANNUAL TREE OF THANKS – BY FRIENDS ‘n FUN FAMILIES – We invite you to join us in creating a leaf to attach to the tree in our front yard. We will be sending home paper cut in the shape of leaves and a few fun things to embellish your leaf. We would like you to work with your family to think about whom in your family, friends, neighbors and/or people in the community you are grateful to and why. Then please write a short note of thanks explaining this on the leaf, let the children decorate it, and then cover it (front & back) with the contact paper. Make sure your child’d name is on the leaf! Teachers will have ribbon at school for you to use to tie the leaves onto a wire we will have affixed to the tree. We are in the hopes that you and your children will take time to read the collection of leaves of thanks on our tree. We also hope that the community of walker-bys in Lafayette might see and learn more about us as a community at Friends ‘n Fun.

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FAMILY TRADITIONS The holiday season is upon us. It all began with Halloween (from the children’s perspective) and has rolled into Diwali, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Ramadan, Las Posadas, Christmas, multiple New Years’, and many other wonderful celebrations that honor special cultural and religious traditions. We join together with family and friends to enjoy this season. We treasure all of the unique and distinctive differences and unifying similarities that make up our school community. This holiday season we would like to recognize all of our families. On Saturday, Dec. 13th from 1:00-3:00 we have once again reserved the John M. Taylor Conference Center at Imagine! We would like to invite your family to join us to decorate a tree branch with photographs and small objects that represent special things about your family. We will provide an assortment of yarns, beads, wire, buttons, jewels, etc. – and a tree branch for each of you. You can bring photographs, small objects and your wonderful children. We will work together at Imagine! to create these beautiful branches. We will then bring them back to school to display for all to enjoy. The things you bring to embellish the branch should represent your family’s interests (biking, pets, skiing, etc.), as well as special celebrations. We hope you can attend this gathering to get to know each other and share in an activity with your children to celebrate this special time of year. Drop by anytime between 1 and 3 and spend as much time as works for you that day. We will post maps/directions to Imagine! on the bulletin board closer to the event date.

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FUNDRAISER In December we will create note cards using your child’s artwork – easel paintings, watercolor paintings, self-portraits, collages, etc. Packages of your child’s note cards, with envelopes, will be available to you at $12.00 per package of 8. In the past families have sent them to grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc. for holiday gifts. The money raised goes to help purchase art supplies at Friends ‘n Fun. Watch the parent bulletin board for additional details. This is our ONLY fundraiser of the year and it typically brings us about $1000 for use in our supply budget. We hope you can support us and enjoy this celebration of your children’s efforts. Thank you for your continued support of our small program.

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IMPORTANT DATES !!!!!!!!!!! Nov. 18-19 – Tree of Thanks leaves to be sent home on the 18th and 19th. Return to us anytime from the 21st on, and attach them to our tree so our neighborhood community can enjoy. Nov. 27-28 – CLOSED for Thanksgiving Holiday Dec. 13 – FnF Family Traditions Workshop – Imagine! John M. Taylor Conference Center 1665 Coal Creek Drive, Lafayette 1:00 – 3:00 PM Dec. 24 – Jan. 2 – FnF Closed. We will be closed from Wed. Dec. 24th through Jan. 1, 2015. We will reopen on Friday, January 2, 2015.

Orientation Evening

Tuesday, September 16

4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Teachers will be available from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. to informally share further information about the school and answer any questions that may have come up following your child’s first few weeks. We encourage you to check in with the small group teacher to let us know specific information about your child’s interests and needs so we can better plan for his/her school experience. Please return the questionnaire to share additional information about your child with us.

Due to the limited amount of space available, this will be for parents only.

Fall Potluck Picnic

Join us on Wednesday, September 10th from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at LaMont Does Park for our Fall Potluck Picnic.  It’s a fun way to meet other families, reconnect with those you haven’t seen in awhile, and enjoy a variety of foods at the same time!

A – M bring Main Dish and Dessert

N – Z bring Main Dish and Salad

Friends ‘n Fun will provide plates, napkins, plasticware and drinks.

We hope to see you and your family there!

End of Summer & Beginning of Fall Sessions

Our Summer session is beginning to wind down.  We’ve had so much fun exploring birds and have been delighted to hear how the enthusiasm has carried on beyond Friends ‘n Fun’s walls.

Our last day for Summer will be Friday, August 15th.  The week of August 18th, Friends ‘n Fun will be closed and the teachers will be busy getting ready for the new school year…we will be using the time for planning, staff development and preparing the school.

Fall 2014 session begins the week of August 25th and we look forward to seeing everyone then!

End of the Year Potluck Picnic – Wed., May 28th

Join us on Wednesday, May 28th at LaMont Does Park

6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Please bring the following:

EVERYONE: Main Dish (regular size)

Last name starts with A-M:  Dessert (regular size)

Last name starts with N-Z: Salad (regular size)

Friends ‘n Fun will provide beverages, cups, plates and plasticware.

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We look forward to celebrating an incredible school year with our amazing families!   We hope to see you all there.

Spring Parent-Teacher Conferences

Join us to celebrate your child’s growth and experiences at school this year and receive their portfolio.

Please sign up on the Parent Bulletin Board (by the front door) for a time to meet with the teachers. If the options do not suit your schedule, please talk with Janet or Jane to work out an alternate option.

We look forward to seeing you and celebrating your child!

MOTHER’S DAY TEA!

Wednesday, May 7th or Thursday, May 8th

10:30 – 11:30

Calling all moms!  Please be sure you attend this special event.  Your child will be at your “beck and call” for part of the morning.  Bring your child at their regular time.  Then you return to enjoy tea and treats served to you by your child at 10:30.

Due to our limited space and the nature of this special celebration we can only accommodate enrolled preschoolers.  Siblings or other family members will not be able to attend.  We hope that you understand and if you can’t make it, we can talk about who might be able to come so your child feels they are a part of our Mother’s Day Tea.

See you then!

Summer & Fall 2014 Enrollment

We are now in the process of finding out from our current families to see what their needs are for the upcoming summer and fall.  Current families, please return your request form by Friday, February 14th.  

Once we know where our openings are, we will begin to contact families who have visited and asked to be on our wait list for upcoming openings.

If you are interested in our preschool, please contact us and schedule a time for you and your child to come visit us to see if Friends ‘n Fun.  We’d love to meet you!

Valentine’s Day Feb. 12 & 13

Your children are invited to bring valentines for their friends on Wednesday, February 12th or Thursday the 13th.  We chose these days so everyone can participate.

For children of preschool age it is best to just have them write their names on the backs and leave the envelopes blank.  You can buy pre-packaged valentines or join them in making their own creations.

Bring 21cards for the Wednesday group and 22 cards for the Thursday group.

Come Visit us at Mountain Kids on Feb. 1st

Janet & Jane will have a table at Mountain Kids 10th Birthday Celebration.  We’ll have some examples of the things we do at Friends ‘n Fun and be available to answer any questions you might have.  Other events will be happening at Mountain Kids for kids and families to enjoy as well.

We will be at Mountain Kids from 12:30pm – 2:30pm on Saturday, February 1st.

474 S. Taylor Ave., Louisville

Visit Mountain Kids website at www.mountain-kids.com/louisville for more information about all the events they will have happening.

We hope to see you there!

Winter Holiday Closure Dates

Friends ‘n Fun will be open on Monday, December 23rd.  We will then be closed for the holiday from December 24th through January 1st.  We’ll see you again starting on Thursday, January 2nd.

We wish everyone Happy Holidays and look forward to seeing you in 2014!

Tradition Branches on Dec. 14th

On Saturday, Dec. 14th from 1:00 – 3:00 pm, we would like to invite your family to join us to decorate a tree branch with photographs and small objects that represent secial things about your family.  We will provide an assortment of yard, beads, wire, buttons, jewels, etc., and a tree branch for each of you.  You can bring photographs, small objects and your wonderful children.  The things you bring to embellish the branch should represent your family’s interests (biking, pets, skiing, etc) as well as special celebrations.  We will work together at Imagine! to create these beautiful branches.  We will then bring them back to school to display for all to enjoy.

Address: Imagine!  John M. Taylor Conference Center

1665 Coal Creek Drive, Lafayette  80026

We hope to see you and your family there!

 

SONG REQUEST: Sitting in My High Chair

Verse 1:

Sitting in a high chair.

Whose chair?  My chair.

Sitting in my high chair banging my spoon.

Bring on the carrots, bring on the peas.

Won’t somebody come and feed this baby, please.

(Repeat first 3 lines)

Bring on the butter, bring on the bread.

Won’t somebody come and get this baby fed.

(Repeat first 3 lines to end)

Make up more rhymes of your own!

NOW ENROLLING FOR SUMMER AND FALL 2013!

We are now enrolling for both Summer and Fall.  Beginning in September, there will be an option to enroll for an 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Monday/Wednesday/Friday in addition to the current schedule choices.  Extended hours are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.; 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. for lunch bunch; and/or 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. on all days.

SUMMER 2013:

MWF       8:30 – 12:00     $409.50/mo

T Th        8:30 – 12:00     $312.00/mo

M thru F   8:30 – 12:00    $720.00/mo

LUNCH BUNCH

MWF    12:00 – 1:00     $97.50/mo

T Th      12:00 – 1:00     $65.00/mo

Extended Hours  8:00-8:30 and/or 1:00 – 1:30     $7.50/hr

FALL 2013

MWF       8:30 – 12:00     $430.00/mo

MWF       8:00 – 3:00      $785.00/mo

T Th        8:30 – 12:00     $328.00/mo

M thru F   8:30 – 12:00    $758.00/mo

LUNCH BUNCH

MWF    12:00 – 1:00     $104.00/mo

T Th      12:00 – 1:00     $70.00/mo

Extended Hours  8:00-8:30 and/or 1:00 – 1:30     $8.00/hr

HOLIDAY BREAK~

Don’t forget!  Friends ‘n Fun will be closed December 24, 2012 through January 1, 2013.  We will be back on Wednesday, January 2, 2013.

Happy Holidays!