ECE Connection

January 27, 2023

Big picture

What's Inside?

Inside this edition you will find:

  • Director's Message
  • Upcoming Kindergarten Information Sessions
  • Parent Workshop Information, Friday, January 27th (Tonight!)
  • Directories for HOPES, Mile Square, and Wallace Preschool Wildcats
  • Weekly Site Updates
  • MT's 2 Cents
  • Nurse's Nook
  • Ms. Mara's Book of the Week
  • Upcoming Charity Volleyball Game
  • K-12 District Musical Information

Dear Early Childhood Families,

It is hard to believe that we just ended the last full week of January. The new year is flying by us already. Tonight, we have our evening session of our Parent Workshop at 5:30 at the Rue Building Conference Room. We hope to see you there! February is just around the corner and we have a few important dates to note. You can find them listed below.

Our HOPES and MSELC school day starts at 8:30 and dismissal is at 2:30. If you are going to be late dropping off in the morning or picking up in the afternoon, please make sure to call or email your family advocate. Their information can be found in the directories below.

As a friendly reminder, please remember to call your family advocate and let them know the reason for your child being absent no later than 9:15 am. If you can not call your family advocate, please email In your email, please state:

  • your child's name
  • provider
  • site
  • teacher
  • reason for absence
  • when we can expect them back in school

Important Upcoming Dates to add to your calendars:

Wednesday, February 15th, 2023 is the 100th day of school! More information will follow from your child's site.

Thursday, February 16th, 2023 we will be having a 1:00 PM dismissal. There are no Wrap services on this day.

Friday, February 17th, 2023 and Monday, February 20th, 2023 there will be No School. The Hoboken Public School District will be closed for Presidents Day.

Please continue reading below to see information for the upcoming Kindergarten Information Sessions, our Parent Workshop Information, Directories for HOPES, Mile Square and our Wallace Preschool Wildcats, Weekly Updates from each site, MT's 2 Cents, Nurse's Nook, My Book of the Week, Upcoming Charity Volleyball Game, and information on our K-12 District Musical. Have a wonderful weekend!

Kind regards,

Kimberly Mara

Director of Early Childhood Education

Kindergarten Information Sessions

Big picture

Parent Workshop, January 27th (Tonight!)

Please join us for an informative parent workshop hosted by the Hoboken Public Schools Early Childhood Education Programs' Preschool Intervention & Referral Specialists as we explore the long sought after question, "Why is my child behaving this way?" Practical strategies will be provided to help determine the causes of challenging behavior in young children, as well as strategies that teach children how to have their needs met in more appropriate ways.
Big picture

HOPES Directory

Big picture

Mile Square Directory

Big picture

Wallace Preschool Wildcats Directory

Big picture

What's Happening in Early Childhood?

Wallace Preschool Wildcats

In Ms. Allende’s class the students have been learning about the 4 Seasons of the Year. They listened to the book “Winter Is Here.” What season are we in now? What type of clothing do we wear in the winter? What can we drink to keep us warm? What are some games we can play in the snow? The students go over our word wall and talk about the different pieces of clothing that keep us warm. They have been incorporating math by having the students match the correct amount of snowflakes to the number on the mittens and decorated winter hats!!


This week Ms. Ashley and Ms. Christina's class read a book about the Lunar New Year. The students drew a picture and wrote a fact that they learned. A friend in our class brought in decorations and gifts for her friends!


Classroom 101 at Brandt celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday last week. After reading the book The Colors of Us by Karen Katz, the students created a poster by tracing their hands and painting them with different shades of skin colors. The students learned about being kind, equality, love, and acceptance of others.


This week in Miss Vania’s class, students read “It’s Mine!” by Leo Lionni. The students listened to a story about 3 frogs learning to share with one another during a great flood. Then, each student had the opportunity to be an author and illustrator and choose the next page of the story. Students used their prior knowledge from the story lab and drew the main characters and then with scaffolding, they were able to write a new message for the next line of the book. Some students portrayed the frogs hugging one another, having a picnic, and swimming together.


To start off multicultural week, Ms. Kate and Ms. Denise’s Classroom 005 at Connors read Elmer's Walk on Monday! In the story, Elmer, a colorful patchwork elephant, strolls through the jungle trying to point out the beauty of the jungle. However, all of his friends are too busy to stop and enjoy it with him. Elmer finally finds another elephant who is a little different to enjoy the world with him. The class talked about how Elmer looks different than the other elephants; and how beautiful he is because he is different. They also talked as a class about celebrating differences in each other; external and internal. After reading the story, the students used many cut out construction paper and tissue paper pieces to create their own Elmer the Elephant.


In Jubilee 102 the class is celebrating Multicultural Week. To start the week off, the students listened to the story “The Skin You Live In” by Michael Tyler, which delivers an important message of social acceptance to our young readers. This book contains vivid illustrations that display a variety of diverse cultures. The class was inspired and created their own self-portraits! Each child was able to create a self-portrait based on how they see themselves. Each and every one of the students did such a wonderful job and demonstrated how truly unique they are!


The students in Rue 004 participated in Multicultural week. The students are exploring all of the many different cultural foods, clothing, as well as traditions. They also learned how to say hello in many languages include French, Japanese, Spanish, Chinese, and Hindi. Namaste everyone! These differences are what makes us special and unique.

Rue Mile Square

In Rue room 102, the message of the day was "We are going to write the letter "D ". The students wrote the letter "D" formation and said the sound. The students read the Book "Detective Dog and the Disappearing Doughnuts" written by Valerie Garfield. After reading the story students said the letter "D" sound and then had to tell a "D" word they heard in the story
Big picture

St. Francis

What a great way to bring in the Year of the Rabbit! In room 401, Mile Square Early Learning Center located at the St. Francis, the students celebrated Chinese New Year with a Mystery Visitor, Xin. The students began by reading the book called, Dragon Dance written by Joan Holub. This book was a great way to introduce the customs of Chinese New Year. After reading Dragon Dance, students learned the importance of the color red as well as the Chinese character Fu and it’s meaning. The Chinese Character Fu means happiness, blessings, and good luck. The students were given a coloring sheet of “Fu” to enjoy at home as well as a yummy cookie treat. Next, students learned about the red envelope tradition. During Chinese New Year, red envelopes stuffed with money are given to family and friends to symbolize good wishes and luck for the New Year ahead. Mystery Visitor, Xin, brought in red envelopes stuffed with stickers instead of money for the class. The students participated in a fun game that allowed them to toss a sand ball onto the envelopes. Whichever envelope was closest to the sand ball belonged to that friend. The students also learned how to say Happy New Year and thank you in Mandarin. Happy Chinese New Year!


On Magical Monday, the students did some of their own magic in room 109 with a crayon-resist activity using watercolors. The students drew on white paper with white crayons. Then they painted with watercolors on top of their drawings and watched as their crayon markings magically appeared.

MT's 2 Cents

A Message from the Master Teachers!

We continue to use this month to honor and celebrate Dr. King’s work in searching for peaceful solutions to end racial injustice and inequality. At its core, his mission was to advocate for a truly inclusive nation fueled by his belief that all people should be treated with fairness, equality, love and respect. We want to provide you with some ways you can foster inclusiveness with your children in your day to day, to reinforce the discussions occurring in school, at home.

Model inclusive behavior- Not to place added pressure, but parent’s really are a child’s first teacher and children learn how to act and interact with others by observing our words and actions. It's crucial for us to be the type of person we want our children to become. Celebrate differences, use respectful language when talking about people from all backgrounds, and avoid reinforcing stereotypes. If you treat all people with kindness and respect, chances are your child will too.

Build Self Esteem and Empathy-Nurture your own positive self image. Studies show that children with high self-esteem are more likely to be accepting of others. Rather than following the crowd, they’ll stand up for what they believe is right. Give your children opportunities to feel capable and competent. Show through both words and actions that they are loved and valued. Teach your children empathy by having natural discussions about feelings and noticing the feelings of others.

Be Prepared to Answer Questions- Talk about diversity openly and casually, so children don't get a sense that there is something negative or uncomfortable about being different. If you don’t have an answer or are not sure, don't be afraid to say it. Revisit the conversation when you have the facts and can discuss it in an age appropriate manner that the child can understand.

Prepare for Various Scenarios

Your child refers to differences as “weird”...

Sometimes, your child’s question might be about something they perceive as “weird.” For example, your child might say, “Why do some people talk weird?”

Explain, “Well, they might be from somewhere else and have an accent. Or they could be speaking in a different language. That doesn’t make them weird, just different.” Emphasize to your child that there is no “normal” and “weird” or “us” and “them.”

Your child uses inappropriate terms when discussing differences…

Gently correct them and provide a better alternative. Avoid judgment or reprimands. Your child wants to learn and is simply being inquisitive, not coming from a place of prejudice or cruelty.

Your child asks about differences in public...

Sometimes, our children also ask about differences in public. This can be uncomfortable, but children often don’t understand social norms and are unaware they’re being impolite.

Apologize for your child if necessary. Then provide a simple and positive response like, “Yes, the world is a very big place and not everyone looks like you. Our differences make the world more interesting.”

When you’re back in the car or at home, provide more in-depth information if needed. You should also teach your child that asking questions about other people in public can be hurtful. Say, “If you have a question, you can ask Mom or Dad later and we’ll talk about it.”

Expose Children to Diverse Experiences and People

Diverse experiences and people normalize differences for children. Exposure and education, teach children to celebrate the diversity that enriches our world. It increases understanding and removes the confusion, fear, or “otherness” that often leads to prejudice. Some experiences you may want to consider are the following:

  • Visit museums and cultural institutions.

  • Attend cultural events in your area.

  • Give your children opportunities to be around people from diverse backgrounds.

  • If possible, travel to new and different places.

It’s also very important to actively push past your comfort zone so children understand that there’s no “right way” or “normal way” to be. We often live in neighborhoods or belong to social circles of people who look like us, believe in similar things, have similar jobs and incomes, etc.

When you’re at home, you can also engage in the following activities:

  • Choose media that actively represents and celebrates diversity.

  • Select dolls of varying races and ethnicities.

  • Buy a globe so you can talk to your child about the many different places in the world.

  • Read books that explore other cultures and ideas.

  • Read stories about interesting people and role models from different and diverse backgrounds.

Emphasize Similarities

It’s also important to emphasize similarities, while teaching about differences. You can explain to your child that although people are different, we all share the experience of being human. For our very concrete preschoolers this may just mean explaining that we all have a body, we all need clothing to be warm and food to nourish our bodies. We can follow up by discussing our social emotional needs, like we all need love, we all feel happy,sad, scared, angry, want to make friends and have fun. We have to remind children it’s the way we treat others and the choices we make that are far more important. A great book I used when my children were small to reinforce this was “Whoever You Are” by Mem Fox.

Read Books That Celebrate Differences

When in doubt use a book, I find that when I struggle explaining a topic to children I can always use a good book to help me guide the conversation. Here are a few other great books to continue to help you foster inclusiveness.

We hope you find some of these tips helpful. After all, it really does begin with us as parents and it is so important for those of us who are tasked with the job of raising tiny humans to not ignore and instead teach them to recognize, honor, respect and appreciate all the colors and cultures that make our world so beautiful.

Nurse's Nook

Physicals and Immunizations

Preschool students need a new physical every year. Physicals will expire one year from the date on the Universal Health Record (Ex. If your child’s Universal Health Record is dated 10/15/2021, it will expire on 10/15/2022). Please be prompt in scheduling yearly physicals and give all updated physical/immunization forms to family advocates.

Ms. Mara's Book of the Week

Another Friday, and another favorite book of Ms. Mara's.

Never Let a Unicorn Scribble! by Diane Alber is a hilarious story about a little girl who gets a pet unicorn. Find out what happens when she decides to let her unicorn try out crayons and scribble. Do you think she really had a pet unicorn? Read to find out!

Big picture

Upcoming Charity Volleyball Game, February 3rd at 6:00 PM

Big picture

K-12 District Musical Information

For our students in Kindergarten in the Hoboken Public Schools, they have the opportunity to try out for our fabulous District Musical. I know that our Pre-K students are too young to try out for it now, but as they continue on in their education, I wanted our families to be aware of one of the amazing opportunities your children will have as they continue their education in our Hoboken Public Schools. The theater program holds a very special place in my heart and I hope you will come out and see the show in May.
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture


In the Early Childhood Program we operate using an upward communication procedure. If you have any questions, concerns, etc. please refer to the chart linked below when sending an email. When in doubt, please send your email to your child's Family Advocate and he/she will escalate it to the appropriate person.