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 & Kate
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, 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 facets 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.
Every August the teachers come together around a thought, idea or focus that anchors and guides the upcoming school year’s work. As always, we seek to create opportunities for problem solving, collaboration and creativity. We hope to do this in a manner that reflects compassion, kindness and caring for each other and our ideas. We hope to communicate with the children in a manner that supports deeper thinking, not right or wrong answers to closed questions. We encourage you to share in this way of thinking.
We are beginning our small group explorations anchored by the children’s book, HELLO, MY NAME IS RUBY, by Philip C. Stead. 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 journeys start and will be excited to see how it grows and evolves. Stay tuned………..!
Studio Discovery Friday is all about Wheels! We thought of all the different things that have wheels— cars, bikes, scooters, skateboards, helicopters, airplanes, trains, trucks and wagons. We rolled all different kinds of shapes down ramps to find out that wheels need to be circles in order to roll. After looking closely at a bicycle, tricycle and scooter, we found out wheels need axles to roll. “Wheels and axles work together”. Next up, we are going to delve into how we can make the wheels go fast or slow. Our wheel investigation has just begun so there’s a lot more to find out.
We hope to uncover many surprises on our Fridays throughout the year!
Drop off and Pick Up
With East Simpson Coffee Company, joining our neighborhood, parking and access to school can be a bit squishy at times. There is a public parking lot behind FnF on E. Geneseo & Public Road 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 and come around to the front for drop off, or through the back gate off the alley and onto the playground for pick up.
If there is a day where you will be later than expected or your child will not be attending please give us a call at 303-666-5111 to let us know.
We like to check in with you after your child has been attending FnF for a few weeks to hear more from you about your child and to answer any additional questions that may have come up . We will be scheduling conferences in October (dates are still to be determined). The conferences usually take about 15 minutes and you are welcome to bring your child/children if you wish. Your The conferences will be scheduled with your child’s small group teacher and each of us will connect with you to arrange a time.
The scheduled Fall conference secures an opportunity to chat together but we want you all to feel free to talk with us whenever a question or thought comes up!
We have been so very fortunate over the past three years 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 family’s health so as to insure we are all as protected as possible. In an effort to continue to work together around health, we request all families do a symptom check before they leave home each morning. The Colorado Department of Public Health resource “How Sick is Too Sick” outlines the guidance we follow for all illness, including COVID.
An additional way you can help us is to help your child(ren) practice the recommended hand washing protocol at home: wetting hands; applying soap; rubbing hands with soap for 20 seconds outside of the water stream (singing the ABC or Happy Birthday song two times, or counting to 20 slowly); rinsing the soap off and drying hands.
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!
We so appreciate everyone’s continued efforts and awareness!!!!!!
BITS & PIECES
HEALTH FORMS– The 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 FORM– Licensing requires the permissions page of your child’s paperwork to be signed and dated annually. Jane will catch you to have you sign/date the permission form for this year, even if you signed it earlier in 2023. It is easier to have everyone on the same signing schedule!
INFORMATION CHANGES – Please let Jane know if there are any changes to your family’s: 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 & BACKPACKS
Our nurse consultant has recommended no water bottles at school, and space for backpacks is extremely limited – especially when winter gear starts sharing the hanging space. Thanks for understanding.
BEST WAY TO CONTACT YOU DURING YOUR CHILD’S SCHOOL DAY –
We are now required by state licensing to have this specific information on your child’s enrollment paperwork. Jane will be sending an email out very soon to request this information. Please respond as soon as possible so that we are in compliance.
E X T R E M E W E A T H E R C L O S U R E
In the event of extreme weather there are a couple of ways you can
find out if Friends ’n Fun will be closed. If Boulder Valley School District
cancels school, Friends ’n Fun will also be closed. We will email you as soon as
we have that information and will post it on our Facebook page, too. BVSD
sometimes opts for a delayed start – we will not do a delayed start. It is up to your
family to decide if you will bring your child in a little later, or if you will choose to
stay home. Please let us know if you decide to keep your child home!
In addition to sending an email and posting on our Facebook page, we also list our
closing on Channel 9 News. Their online closure listings are more quickly updated
than the scroll on their TV channel.
FRIENDS ‘N FUN IMPORTANT DATES FOR 2023-2024
August 28, 2023 Fall Session begins
September 4, 2023 Labor Day (closed)
November 23 – 24, 2023 Thanksgiving (closed)
December 25 thru Jan. 1st Winter Break (closed) Reopen Tues., Jan. 2nd
January 15, 2024 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (closed)
February 19, 2024 Presidents’ Day (closed)
March 27 – 28 – 29, 2024 Spring Break (closed)
May 27, 2024 Memorial Day (closed)
May 31, 2024 Last Day of school year
“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,
partner in learning;
Then I will
explore the world,
discover my voice,
and tell you what I know
in a hundred languages.