Welcome to a new school year at Friends ‘n Fun!
Our mission is 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. This partnership is of great value to us and 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.
We all look forward to an exciting year and to all of the journeys ahead of us!
Janet, Jane & Katey
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.”
One of the pieces of our daily schedule is the time of the day when we gather the children together in smaller pods to share ideas, activities and experiences as we explore a shared focus. On M/W and T/TH we do this in “Small Group.” The children come together with a teacher who will remain their small group teacher for the year. It is a time when we put similarly aged children together. There are the 2 1/2 to 3 year olds; the pre-kindergarten aged children; and a crew who aren’t quite the youngest and not quite the oldest. Small Group topics are selected in a variety of ways. Sometimes we use a rich and relevant children’s book as an anchor for exploration; sometimes teachers sense that a particular topic may be helpful in connecting the children to the school and each other; other times (and our favorite) is when we see patterns emerge in the children’s play that cross ages and gender and call for a more in depth investigation.
Friday is the day we switch gears a bit and have what we call “Studio Discovery.” Teachers set up a “surprise” for the children as they take turns messing about with materials and experiences that invite discovery. The teachers observe and learn about each child’s approach to what is set before them. Sometimes it is an individual experience that encourages creativity, investigation or tactile experimentation and sometimes they are asked to work together to generate ideas and solutions to specific problems.
This Fall, along with our established friends, we have many new friends who are coming to a school for the first time ever, or who are unfamiliar with our school. The teachers have chosen the book “Owl Babies” by Martin Waddell as our jumping off point because it so beautifully illustrates the feelings children can have when leaving their families and trusting that they will come back. It also opens the door to learning about owls, the forest, and size differentiation. As always, the “journey” we take with this, and all topics, will be co-evolved in collaboration with the children. Their interests and input will help the teachers shape and guide the path we traverse.
We will begin our Studio Discovery explorations with experiences focusing on the physical and tactile nature of
“Scooping & Pouring/Pushing & Pulling.”
Stay tuned as our journeys begin to see what kinds of adventures await us on the path ahead!
We have been so very fortunate over the past 18 months to have successfully managed the pandemic and remain open without times of quarantine. That has been in large part due to the amazing efforts of all of our FnF families and their conscientious diligence in monitoring their families health and virus exposure so as to insure we are all as protected as possible. An exposure to Covid at FnF would likely result in a 10 day quarantine for the entire school. We appreciate everyones continued efforts and awareness.
The current public health order requires masking of children and adults inside FnF. We are remaining masked outside as well. This allows children to play and engage in a closer and more natural way. If it works for you to send a couple of extra masks to school we will help children trade out masks if theirs becomes wet during their day.
A way you can help us at home is to help your child with the recommended hand washing routine of: getting hands wet, applying soap, rubbing their hands with soap for 20 seconds outside of the water stream (singing the ABC song, happy birthday two times, or counting to 20 slowly), before rinsing the soap off and drying their hands.
Jane participates in a monthly Boulder County Public Health department (Child Health Promotion ) call and is in touch with the epidemiology team as any questions arise. We will communicate any changes in guidance/recommendations as we receive them.
We can all help take care of each other within our Friends’n Fun Community and safe guard the health of ourselves and those in our lives outside of school!
Drop off and Pick Up
We are so grateful to have our new neighbor, East Simpson Coffee Company, join us on our end of Simpson Street. With an additional business occupying our neighborhood, parking and access to school can be a bit squishy at times. There is a public parking lot right behind school that you can use should you encounter a really busy time. If you park there you can walk between FnF and the office building next to us to come around to the front.
This school year we have more children leaving at the 12:00 pick up time than we did last year. We want to be able to touch base with each of you and share something about your child’s day so we will be sending children out to greet their families a few at a time. After a couple of weeks, arrivals and departures usually smooth out as some people end up coming a bit earlier and later. If over time it still feels too congested we can think about staggering pick up times.
If there is a day where you will be later than expected or your child will not be attending please give us a call or email to let us know!