School for Young Children

Inquiring Minds May 2019

School for Young Children at the University of Saint Joseph

From the Director: Sue O'Donnell

Thank you to all of the families who helped make this year’s auction a fun evening and huge success! Preparations for the Auction event take place over many months. We are fortunate to have so many families volunteer to assist with finding a caterer, decorating, organizing classroom creations and soliciting silent/live auction items. The night comes together so smoothly with participation from many people! Melissa Bowman and Stephanie Dominello certainly deserve an incredible amount of thanks! They spent many hours focused on organizing and preparing for this event – Thank you both!

A few different items were not purchased during the Auction event. The items will be placed on a table in the hallway for review and sale. If you are interested in any of the items, please connect with any of the office staff. A check for the sale of the item can be made out to University of Saint Joseph.

Please take a moment to read the article below related to car idling and emissions. Turning off our cars when parked at SYC or anywhere can make a difference within our immediate environment! At SYC we talk to children about taking care of our planet – and this is one way we adults can easily model this practice. Thanks

We are so happy for Isaura Almeida who cleans our school! Isaura has been working hard during the past few months to prepare for her citizenship test. This week she officially became a US citizen! If you happen to see her in the hallway at the end of the day - please reach out and congratulate her!

May Events

Staff Appreciation Week

Monday, May 20th, 7:30am to Thursday, May 23rd, 5:30pm


PAC Meeting

Wednesday, May 22nd, 7-8pm

SYC Conference Room

Family Conference Day/ NO PRESCHOOL and BACKPACK

Friday, May 24th, 7:30am-4:30pm


Families will sign up with their child's teacher for a conference time. There will be no preschool or backpack held on this day.

Memorial Day/SYC Preschool and Backpack CLOSED

Monday, May 27th, 7:45am


Happy Memorial Day! No Preschool or Backpack held today.

Family Picnic

Friday, May 31st, 5:30-7pm

Taylor's Field

Join SYC families on Taylor's Field to celebrate the end of the school year. Bring your dinner and a blanket or chair to sit on.

An ice cream truck will provide treats for all!

(raindate for the picnic is June 6)

Save our Planet!


An SYC Family recently shared some concerns about idling cars in the parking lot at drop off and pick up. Idling cars produce dangerous emissions, reducing the air quality (even inside) and jeopardizing the health of everyone walking around, particularly that of children and toddlers who walk at tailpipe level and inhale up to 60% more dangerous gases and particulate matter from vehicle exhaust, relative to height and body size. Additionally, it needlessly contributes to climate change. It is actually against CT state law to idle for more than 3 minutes.

USJ Campus Safety patrols our school and parking lot. Officers will approach cars that are idling and will ask that you turn the car off.

In the spirit of Earth Day and the care that all should be taking to protect our earth, we are asking parents to turn off their engines in the parking lot.

For more information, please check out the CT DEEP website,

Thank you

Going Beyond the Playground: Math, Science, and Outdoor Fun!

Going outside for a walk or to a local park to play are great ways to help your children learn! In addition to spending time at the playground, take time to explore: do you see trees to count, neighbors to greet, or street signs to read?

Here are some ideas for playful learning that will help you make the most of your family’s time outdoors.

Street sign scavenger hunt

While walking through the neighborhood, invite your child to look at and identify signs, like Stop and No Parking. Talk about them. This helps children understand that written words and symbols have many important purposes: to keep us safe, to help us work together, and to spread essential information. Try prompting your child’s thinking with questions like, “What signs do you see? I wonder what clues help us figure out what the signs say.” Work together to identify the colors, letters, and numbers on different signs!

Science on the hill

Hills are such fun for rolling, running, and exploring. Did you know that hills are also great for learning science concepts and vocabulary? Try this in the park with your child: collect different nature items (pinecones, pebbles, sticks) and test whether they roll down a hill. Use words like faster, slower, speed, weight, mass, and slope as you experiment. Children also love to roll their bodies down hills!

Help your child be a noticer

Practice noticing numbers, letters, and other details as you explore outdoors. Encourage your child by saying and doing things like these:

  • “I see numbers on this sign! I see the number three. I wonder what it means” and “What other numbers can we find on our walk, and what do they tell us?”

  • “I see some footprints going across the ground. I wonder who made them. Where are they going?” Create a story together about the footprints!

  • “I spy with my little eye . . . a cloud shaped like the letter O! What do you see?”

    Identify the parks and other outdoor spaces in your neighborhood

    Sometimes the most magical places are just around the corner. Websites like can help you identify nearby parks. Even the tiniest spaces can hold magic for you and your family!

NAEYC Message in a Backpack April 2019


Please apply sunscreen to your child before arriving to school each day.

In order for SYC staff to apply sunscreen to afternoon Backpackers, parents must fill out the Sunscreen Authorization Form.

Forms can be found in the Main Office.

Please label all sunscreen bottles clearly with your child's first and last name.

Our New Mud Kitchen!

We recently used some fundraising funds to purchase a Mud Kitchen and Sensory Table for outdoors. Thank you very much to our wonderful families for their generous support of SYC and the children!


This year’s Spring Fling auction fundraiser was a huge success! It was a great night for all. Beautiful spring décor consisting of lights and flowers, along with drinks and amazing pizza provided by Chunky Tomato’s Pizza Truck made this a great night. Thank you to everyone who volunteered their time and efforts to put together such a wonderful event, as well as to everyone who donated and bid on items. The auction wouldn’t have been so successful without the amazing parent community we have here at SYC.

There is still so much to look forward to in the last months before summer vacation.

This month, we will begin our spring service project where we will collect summer reading books to give to children in need. Stay tuned for more updates on how to get involved and contribute.

Our SYC family day at the Yard Goats game will be Sunday, May 19th. We have sold about 100 tickets, with more still available for purchase until this Friday, May 3rd. We are looking forward to a fun day at the park to together, and to see one of our SYC children throw out the first pitch!

Family Conference Day is Friday, May 24th and preschool and backpack will be closed. The school will also be closed on Monday, May 27th for Memorial Day.

Staff Appreciation Week is May 20-23. It’s a chance to show our teachers and staff how valued they are and how much we appreciate all that they do for our children. More details to come.

Our SYC family picnic will be on Friday, May 31st on Taylor’s Field. Come celebrate the end of the school year with all of your SYC friends, and enjoy sweet treats from the ice cream truck!

The next and last PAC Meeting of the year is scheduled for May 22nd at 7pm. As always, we would love your input and we hope to see you there!

Melissa Bowman & Stephanie Dominello, PAC Co Chairs

Summer Camp 2019!

Sessions 1 and 3 are FULL!

We have limited spots in Sessions 2 and 4.

Find a brochure and registration form in the Main Office.

Please contact Jackie with any questions, 860.231.5569

2019-2020 Registration Forms

The registration forms for 2019-2020 will be mailed home at the end of May. Please fill them out competely and return to the Main Office by July 9th. If your child will be having a physical exam later than July 9th, please send in all forms and hand in the physical exam form after your child's appointment.

Please note, children will not be able to start school on Aug 29th if all paperwork has not been filled out completely and handed in.

Looking Ahead...

  • June 11: Last day of Preschool and Backpack
  • June17-28: Camp Session1