From The Co-Presidents
June! I was sitting with Theo recently and we had the following little conversation.
Theo: Are you worried?
Me: No, I am not worried. Are you?
Theo: Yes, I am worried.
Me: Oh. Well, what are you worried about?
Theo: Teacher Debbie. And Teacher Joanne. And all the kids.
Me: Why are you worried about them?
Theo: Because… I just love them.
And then we hugged and giggled and life continued, but when I think of the culmination of this year at Child’s Play, I get it. Watching the kids grow individually and as cohorts has been awesome; getting to build friendships with families - awesome; wrapping up the last meetings - truly awesome! So a big final THANK YOU to you, your family, the teachers, the teachers’ families, and the entire Child’s Play community. We look forward to continuing friendships throughout the summer, and for years to come! Have a glorious summer and let’s keep in touch!
All the best!
Ray and Jenny
From The Toddler Class
The journey we are on since we came into this world is about finding who we are, what we like to do, what we are good at, and hopefully, figure out the way to pull it all together so that we may create a nice niche for ourselves in this world. When talking to my daughters about plans for their future, I explain to them how important it is to love the profession you choose. I chose teaching young children because I look forward to going to my job every day and feel appreciated for the work I do. So what will the FUTURE bring for my little friends? The word itself seems too big a word when thinking of the children in the Toddler Class. Yet, here they are, already on their way to finding it.
No doubt the children’s temperament, interests and aspirations will put them on different paths in the years ahead. Reflecting on the year, I see doctors, construction workers, firefighters, hairdressers, veterinarians, artists, princesses, super heroes and the most important and difficult job in the world - being a Mom or Dad! But for the time being, they are eleven children with much in common. In September, and throughout the year, we either needed to put on our brave faces and wave goodbye to our parents at the waving window or were much too busy to even notice. Each morning, we talk about what makes them happy, sad, worried, scared or surprised! They talk on cell phones, type on laptops and take care of babies. They read stories together and make snakes and caterpillars out of play dough. They paint together using their hands and explore a bit more until their arms are covered in paint. Parents and teachers could go to the house corner for a makeover, health check or a bite to eat all at the same time. We spend time playing together at the soil, sand and water table. They gather together at the snack table talking about where food comes from and the crunchy sound it makes. When I forget words in a song, they teach me to sing it the correct way! When I say the wrong word when reading a story they let me know about that too. We all hold hands and sing Ring-Around-The-Rosie and learn about colors and balance when we do The Bean Bag Boogie. Then there is the Golden Bag with picture blocks of mom or dad that we cannot wait to hold while learning about colors, letters, shapes and numbers. They comfort one another when a child is upset or missing mom or dad. They make sense, and learn about the world, as they watch little caterpillars transform into beautiful butterflies. Then, of course, we cannot forget about our train that the duty kid drives at the end of each morning...fast or slow, off to see their families and toys (NO TICKET, NO TRAIN!)
It is all about PLAY!! It is also about playing TOGETHER, NEGOTIATING play, using WORDS in every situation, HELPING each other, PRACTICING skills in ALL areas…As for the children, they know that they are now THREE, that they are BIGGER, that they can do MORE...BETTER...FASTER!
As it always does, the end of the year has come in the wink of an eye. This has been an amazing year, but it is time to say goodbye! My eleven little toddler friends are sweet, loving, kind, funny, curious and strong! These fine qualities will guide their friendships, their love of life and their many accomplishments.
Thank you Joanne, for a wonderful year together! I am so lucky to work with such a kind, loving person and friend. We make such a great team together and I am sad to say goodbye! You are an amazing teacher and your grandchildren are lucky to have you!
Our last days in the classroom will be about celebrating the summer birthdays, washing and storing materials for the summer and welcoming the beach season. And now it is time to say goodbye to Avery, Francesco, Beckett, Rah, Joey, Ellie and Chloe! You will truly be missed...please come back to visit. I would also like to say THANK YOU. To you, dear parents in the Toddler class, for your friendship, your support, your hard work on duty days and committees, your great sense of humor and for always seeing the best in every child! To our class rep and to the co-presidents, the Board, our co-op specialist (Sue) and the teachers for accomplishing many goals this school year. Thanks to Karen and Mona, for your friendship and laughs throughout the year! And of course, to the Toddler class - thank you for all the memories of our year together. Enjoy your summer!
From The Nursery Class
It has been a great year in the Nursery Class, it has gone by so quickly! We will be winding down gently towards the end of the year. Activities will center around how we have grown and changed, celebrating being four, welcoming summer, cleaning toys in the water table for the children next year and getting a taste of preschool. Lastly, we will be saying goodbye to our classroom and our year together.
Over the past few weeks we have been exploring insects & talking about the different jobs of people around us. We had our visit to the fire station, where we talked about fire safety, tools and the different parts of the fire truck. The firefighter dressed in her uniform and gave us a high five and another firefighter slid down the fire pole many times.
One morning last week, I asked the children to tell me what they learned in class this year. This way, next year, I can share the same experiences with the new children! Here are their responses:
Gabe: I like to paint, enjoyed playing in the house corner and with puzzles
Eitan: Not to put toys in my mouth
Quinn: How to build a castle
Nora: To make play dough
Leo: To draw all sorts of things
Wyatt: To play with toys
Ethan: Play in whatever center you want and build a lot of stuff
Eowyn: To play at all the centers just like Ethan
Theo: Playing monster trucks
Scarlette: About making pictures, making Legos too and puzzles and books
You You: Singing Twinkle Little Star in English
Noah: To play nice and I learned how to play planned
Esme: I learned math
Cordelia: How to clean up
As you read these responses, you realize that the year-ending is “bittersweet!” We have had some good times and have great memories, but there were also times when we missed our mom and dad. Now it is time to move on to bigger and better things in the preschool class and look forward to our new friends and experiences next year!Another thing I realize through my conversations with the children is that if children can make friends and play, play, play, they will love school and learn. Good thing that our philosophy is children learn through play! That is one of the things I like best about our program. The children come to school and play all day, but the learning that takes place is amazing. They are learning math, science, social studies, literacy, language etc….and are enjoying themselves in the process. Most importantly they are learning all those social/emotional skills that are so vital at this age and throughout our adult lives. I’m not quite sure how I feel about the year ending, but as you all know...I LOVE summer! I will miss my Child’s Play family during the break but I am looking forward to going to the beach, vacationing and camping.
Over time, I have observed how some children learn to be more assertive and help teach others to better control themselves. This year, I saw some children come out of their shells by others reaching out to them. I noticed children challenging themselves on the playground and in our classroom. I saw all children work (and they will continue to work) on recognizing their own feelings, and those of others, in order to make the best of a situation. The children are learning that emotions keep us moving through life and keep us appreciating its meaning and its wonders. It is called growing up!
For now, the joys of summer are here, and then the wonders of preschool with Mona and Karen, or on to new experiences and new schools. Goodbye to Gabe, Eitan, Micah, You You and their families. Thanks for all your hard work in and out of the classroom and for giving me the opportunity to play and learn with your children! Please come back to visit. To those children who are returning to Child’s Play; I will continue to see you grow in the preschool class next year!
And so it is time to say goodbye, but also thank you. Thank you Joanne for all your hard work and another fun year together. We make a great team and I enjoy working with you. I am very sad that you are leaving, but happy for your new experience as a grandparent. Child’s Play will not be the same without you! Thank you to Mona and Karen for a great year of laughs and friendships. To Audrey and Norman, thank you for sharing your knowledge and talents with us. To the Board, our wonderful co-presidents, our co-op Specialist, Sue, for your support through this Bright Stars school year. To you, dear parents, for all your hard work on committees and on your duty days, for your support of the children and the teachers and for bringing out the best in every child. Thank you for your great kids!
To the children of the Nursery Class, thank you for all the good memories and for making my job the best job in the world! To all, have a relaxing, beautiful summer.
Butterfly, butterfly...Fly, fly away....From the Preschool class
Where has the year gone? It seems like a blink of an eye ago we were starting our year and now we’re so close to the end. And what a year it has been….twenty individuals came bursting into preschool all with their own needs and desires, likes and interests, and very different personalities. What a cast of characters!!
They are the masters of expression – just one look says a thousand words. Oh those looks: there’s the scrunched up nose (I’m thinking, I’m thinking/ah yes, the wheels are turning); the twinkle in the eye and sly smile (oh gosh, what is this child cooking up now??); the glaring eyes (watch out everybody); the eyes upward/tap the chin (hmmm…..a new idea is brewing); the HEL-LO! (4 going on 14/duh, get a clue); the furrowed brow/determined (I will master the monkey bars); the ear to ear grin (wow, I did it!); the head down/arms crossed (I am not a happy camper/I didn’t get my way); the warm, gentle, sympathetic look (awww, are you ok? to a sad, hurt, etc. friend) to name just a few. What a group of personalities – they are strong, intense, witty, dramatic, passionate, loving and absolutely lovable. Karen and I had our work cut out for us - Some days our heads were spinning trying to keep one step ahead of them. But oh, what fun it has been…….every day is a new adventure and laughter is always a part of our day. How many people are lucky enough to say this about their jobs??
But like our caterpillars, these children have grown…..from very egocentric fours to kind, caring, confident fives ready to take on the world. We’ve watched them grow and change through the year. They are artists (of every kind and medium), builders, scientists (we’re experts at polymers, growing seeds and caterpillars), explorers, athletes (you get very agile playing Dungeon Tag and Fishy, Fishy Cross My Ocean), musicians, innovative chefs, energetic singers (who cares if they’re a little off key?), dancers (they really “bust a move” on Audrey days), aerospace engineers (we’ve had sooo many types of space craft built and have spent the year flying off to space.
The lessons we’ve tried to teach have been well learned. We watch as they help each other, nurture each other and respect each other. Those who were quiet and shy found their voice; those that were sort of “prickly” have softened and enjoy the company of others; those who were “take charge/must be in control at all times” have learned that others can also lead and it’s quite alright; and they’ve learned that it is more fun sharing and playing with others than trying to have everything to yourself but no one to play with (well, most of the time :). Big steps at a young age….maybe some grown-ups could learn from these children!
What have I learned from this group? That twenty preschoolers can all be so different, but at the same time, so alike – they work their way into your heart – a silly look, a shy smile, a hug around the neck, an infectious laugh or two and they’ve got you hooked – leaving an imprint all their own. I also learned something from each of them:
Charlotte - that with great determination you can accomplish anything
Tallulah – in order to create a great masterpiece at the easel you must not only cover the paper with paint but every inch of your hands as well
Camilla – to do great things takes time and patience
Skyla – to sing like no one is listening and dance like no one is watching
Anthony – a kind heart and sweet personality is the making of a good friend
Alice – that being independent and not following the crowd is a really admirable quality in life
Leo – that a vivid imagination can be fabulous and a bit scary, too
Lina – a smile is infectious and will make you new friends where ever you go
Mary – that approaching every day with a smile and a skip to your step makes for a great adventure
Sam – that you can never ask too many questions in life
Roan – that just about anything can be created from Legos
Ruby – to have a friend be a friend….and people definitely want to be your friend
Joey – that having fast feet, fast legs certainly earns a guy respect
Henry – there’s something about an impish smile that makes everyone take notice …and smile, too
Ashton – that humor is an essential part of each and every day
August – that you can never have too many treasures
Rylan – that several hugs a day are much needed by everyone
EllaMae – in quiet determination lies great strength
Kieran – to always stop and smell the flowers, look for little creatures …there is beauty in nature
Will – a man of few words has lots to say
Just like our caterpillars that morphed into butterflies, it’s a time of transition and change: It can be hard for children (and sometimes for adults as well) to let go of the familiar and soar on to new adventures, but we’re working on it. It’s fun and exciting to grow and change but scary, too…the unknown always is. Karen and I are feeling protective and reluctant to let them go, but we know we must. As hard as it will be, we know that they are ready. It reminds me of the saying “The most important things you can give children are roots and wings”. We hope the roots they’ve grown at Child’s Play will always be supportive, keeping them strong and providing a good foundation; and the wings will take them to new places and adventures – to be confident, self-motivated learners with a thirst and love to know more but to be kind, caring friends and people. Our wish is that school will always be as joyful and exciting an adventure as we hope it has been for them here at Child’s Play.
I’d like to thank everyone for a super year. One of the great rewards of working in a co-op is working with you as a partner in your child’s education. We’ve enjoyed the special projects, stories and activities you’ve shared with us and we hope you’ve enjoyed your time in the classroom as well. Thank you to Jenny and Ray for your great leadership, Sue for all the “behind the scenes” work you do every day, Grace for your support as Class Rep, and to the Board and CP community for making Child’s Play what is it – a truly unique, wonderful school. Audrey – thanks for another fabulous year of musical memories.
To our great staff – thank you for all your hard work and commitment to continually make our educational program the best it can be. Joanne, thank you for being a part of this family for the past six years. You are truly going to be missed – our kiddos have been so lucky to have you in their lives. We expect many visits with those grandbabies!!
To my twenty fabulous “butterflies”: we’ve formed wonderful friendships, shared fabulous experiences and you’ll always have a special place in my heart. Now you are ready to soar…..but I hope those “wings” will bring you back to your “roots” so we can see how much you’ve grown. Have a wonderful summer and keep on soaring!
Love……Mona & Karen