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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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