2021.10 Newsletter

Dear Families,

Fall in New Mexico is such a special time, and our preschool is a perfect place to delight in all the colors and joys of the season.  We are all enjoying our outdoor curriculum and nature experiences.  And soon we will be seeing hot air balloons in the sky around us!

We started the year learning about our school, ourselves and connecting with each other.  We hope you like the Friend, Friend Book!   We have a larger version of this book at preschool and the children love it.  Having a book at home will help you and your child learn everyone’s name and strengthen our home-school connection.

During the month of October, we are studying emotions.  It is important for children to learn to identify and express a wide range of feelings, while also understanding that others have feelings, too.  We will introduce emotions to the children with the book, The Color Monster by Anna Llenas.  It has striking pop up illustrations of a colorful mixed-up monster.  Five different feelings are described through color in a developmentally appropriate way.    We will extend the children’s knowledge and understanding of emotions throughout the year.

We are including the Ages and Stages Questionnaire, ASQ-3 and ASQ Social Emotional with this newsletter.  You will need to complete these two questionnaires with your child and return them to us by October 18th.  We score each questionnaire and use the information as we create our curriculum.  The results of this development questionnaire will be discussed during our Family Conference.

Our Halloween Party is on Thursday, October 28 from 9:00 to 11:45. Everyone will be scarecrows! Laurie has designed the costumes and will be making a scarecrow costume with each child.  We do not allow costumes from home because young children are sometimes unable to understand the difference between reality and fantasy and can become frightened.  During the Halloween Party we will have a variety of fun games and activities.  Each child will get a small bag of prizes at the end of the day.

We are also excited to invite our Preschool Families to this Halloween event!  More info will come.

SOTV Preschool Trunk or TreatWhen: Sunday October 24, 2:00 to 4:00Where: SOTV Back Parking Lot & PlaygroundThis event is being co-sponsored by Shepherd of the Valley Church Outreach, Project Shine and Children’s Education teams for La Luz Families, SOTV Preschool families and SOTV families.

Our educators participated in a professional development training, Developing Empathy with Young Children:  Intentionally Creating a Compassionate Culture in our Preschool.  Building an understating of what others are feeling encourages tolerance and acceptance of others and can reduce the likelihood of bullying. Teaching social emotional skills and empathy is incorporated in all aspects of our program.  We first outlined the many ways we currently integrate social emotional/empathy development and then created an action plan to further help children develop empathy.  Research shows that children as young as 6 months old have been shown to have a clear preference for toys that reflect helping rather than hindering.  When we help others, we often experience what has been called the “Helpers High” as endorphins are released in the brain.  We are providing more opportunities for children to be helpers and caretakers. We used multiple resources for this training.  Here is one article we used.  https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/why_we_should_teach_empathy_preschoolers.

Family Conferences are scheduled for THURSDAY, November 11. There will be a sign-up and more information later.  We appreciate the time spent with each family during our conferences.  Building a relationship with each child and family is a critical foundation for learning.  It is an important element of our preschool philosophy.  There will be no school on this day.

There is a chill in the air and that means it is time for jackets.  Please remember to clearly label your child’s jacket, hat, mittens, and everything!  It is also time to change the clothes in your child’s cubbie. Every child needs extra pants, tops, undies, and socks that are labeled.

We want to remind families that it is important to pick up your child on time.  A fee will be charged for late pick up.

We received a generous gift and have purchased over $5,000 in exciting quality items from Community Playthings.  Extending our classroom outside connects children with the natural environment and we are continually improving our playground environment.  We hope to receive everything by the end of October.

These items include:

  • Arbor to provide an outdoor retreat for reading books and quiet activities, or dramatic play
  • Sandbox Storage Shelf to provide a durable solution to storing and organizing the abundant assortment of sand toys and loose parts in our playground. This will enable children to learn valuable cleanup and organizational skills.
  • Small Table Set to put manipulative and other activities on.
  • Small truck set and two stools for our inside space.

We will be closed Thursday, October 7 for Fall Break, Thursday, November 11 for Family conferences and November 22-26 for Thanksgiving.

Cherish our New Mexico Colors!

Holly and Laurie

Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.