Early Learning Center News

L. Daniel Hutto Early Learning Center at FSDB

A Montessori Environment Where Young Children Explore, Learn and Create

February 2021
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Dates to Remember

Feb. 15 - NO SCHOOL - President's Day

Mar. 12- NO SCHOOL Teacher Workday

Mar. 15 - 19 NO SCHOOL - Spring Break

Mar. 22 - return to school

April 5 - NO SCHOOL

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Dear ELC Families,

Kindness Counts. Nice Matters. Do Good Things.

These are the themes in the ELC during the month of February.

The children are reading books about kindness and sharing. They are identifying emotions and talking about feelings. They are making and sharing goody bags with staff on campus.


With your support for the 3rd Annual ELC Great Kindness Challenge, the children are proudly sharing their acts of kindness that you are documenting and sending in on the hearts we sent home. They beam with pride when their hearts are shared with the class and put on the bulletin board. We hope to achieve at least 100 acts of kindness during the month of February. Thanks to those of you who have shared your children's acts of kindness at home. We love knowing that your children are so helpful and kind at home.... please keep the hearts coming!

Let your child's teacher know if you need more hearts!

We will continue celebrating kindness throughout the month. Watch Facebook and Transparent Classroom for more information about our activities.

Thank you,


Kindness Matters.....

Sharing, making friends, paying attention, expressing emotions and dealing with challenges successfully are critical to lifelong learning, success and happiness. Current research regarding social skill development in early childhood has shown that a strong social and emotional foundation helps boost children's learning and academic performance. When children are able to manage their emotions, get along with others and persevere through challenges, their minds are free to concentrate on learning new things from parents, teachers and peers.

Research also shows that children who enter kindergarten with good social and emotional skills may be more likely to attend college, earn a degree, and enjoy stable employment prospects later in life. Also, strong social and emotional skills at kindergarten entry help to lower children's risk of mental health problems in adulthood.

Social-emotional skills can be taught. In the ELC, our mixed-age Montessori classrooms provide the children opportunities to learn from peers which has strong effects on academic, interpersonal and social development. Everyday, children are naming and discussing emotions, reading books with social emotional themes, talking about right and wrong, identifying good choices, encouraging saying please and thank you, and showing ways to help each other. Our school psychologist is teaching weekly lessons on social skills to our DHH PreK class.

Activities such as the Great Kindness Challenge help teach our children about kindness. We ask that in February, and every month, you continue to encourage kindness and talk about feelings with your children.

Thank you for sharing your children with us,

Gail, Aimee, Becca, Brooke, Delia, Karen, Laura, Mackenzie, and Shawnna

Montessori Moments

4 Child Milestones that Help Children Become Kinder Adults

*from Parents.com 10/7/2020

Age 3
Children Understand Why Feelings Happen

While infants can perceive other people’s emotions by 6 months, it isn’t until well into toddlerhood that a kid’s actual acts of kindness start to emerge. Why? Because they’re still learning cause and effect. “By age 3, they’ve figured out that certain events make someone feel a certain way,” says Dr. Matthews. “They know that if someone doesn’t get a cookie they want, they feel sad or angry, and if they do get the treat, they feel happy.” Help solidify this connection by labeling emotions your child experiences and explaining why they might feel that way: “You’re happy because you wanted to go outside, and now here we are!”

Age 4-5

Intentional Kindness Ramps UP

During this period, your child strengthens what’s known as the theory of mind, or the ability to grasp their own mental state and that of others. In addition, big, exciting connections are being made in brain areas responsible for social awareness. One result of this perfect storm of neurology? Your child starts to show kindness consistently. Researchers from the University of Virginia found that after being given a stash of stickers, most 3-year-olds won’t share with another child—but most 4-year-olds will. “Around age 4, kids make a mental shift,” says Maysa Akbar, Ph.D., author of Beyond Ally and a licensed psychologist with the Yale Child Study Center. "They want to engate in a more meaningful way, and you see more sharing, holding hands and hugging." when you witness your child being kind in these ways, really celebrate it.

Age 5-6

Children Grasp the Idea of Community

Compassionate acts don’t occur just between individuals; they are also done to benefit a group. At this age, your kid might be more eager to do things like clear the table so the family can head to the couch for movie night. “Feeling like an important member of a group helps kids feel valuable, which leads them to act more kindly,” says Dr. Matthews. Encourage this by giving them little chores starting from as young as age 2; even having them put a single toy away is groundwork. This age is also when your child becomes more adept in showing appreciation. “You’ll notice them speaking in a kinder tone, saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ more consistently,” says Dr. Akbar. As always, you’ll want to reinforce that good behavior to keep it coming.

Age 7-8

Children Learn to Put Others First

As children get older, their acts of kindness grow more sophisticated, but this is the last real childhood milestone, and it involves the trickiest task of all. It’s one thing to be kind when it costs nothing, but it’s harder to overcome your own disappointment or sadness to be good to someone else. That’s why this milestone doesn’t usually happen until age 7 or 8 (thanks to the maturing of the frontal lobe that occurs then).

A classic example: being able to congratulate a kid who beat you in a game. As in so many instances, this is where it’s key for parents to model what they’d like to see. “Your kids are watching,” says Dr. Akbar. “If they see you being generous even when it’s difficult to do so, they will be more likely to mimic the behavior.” So the next time your kid beats you at checkers, make a show of being a good sport. You’ll all win in the long run.

Join the ELC Facebook Group!

If you are on Facebook - please join our ELC Facebook group!

The ELC posts cute pictures of cute kids doing cute things.


FSDB posts notices to keep you aware of all of our FSDB Parent Classes and other activities.

If you would like to join the group, click the link below. Also, if you have not done so already, please like and follow the main FSDB Facebook page.

ELC Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/groups/fsdbearlylearningcenter

FSDB Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/fsdbk12

Transparent Classroom

Do you want to know why Xander is spelling is name and which Montessori material he is using to spell it? What else can he do with that same material? If the answer is YES - make sure you are signed up for Transparent Classroom. The teachers are posting photos of your children working, descriptions of the lessons taught, messages from teachers.....and so much more.....Please go to the ELC website https://sites.google.com/fsdbk12.org/early-learning-center/home. for more information or click the transparent classroom link here: www.transparentclassroom.com. Watch for the lessons below to show up in your child's activities! Once you are in Transparent Classroom, you are able to click on the links you are sent of your children working to learn more about the lessons they are completing.
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ELC Parents are CHAMP!


YOU are all AMAZING!

Thank you for keeping your children home when they are sick, for picking them up quickly when you are called and for making sure they follow healthy habits like hand washing and mask wearing.

Kindness is everywhere - even in the bathroom!

Today, in the bathroom, a new student was trying to wash his hands. An older student stood next to him and pointed at each picture of the handwashing sequence to show him what to do. When the younger student needed soap, the older student pumped some into his hands. Then, the older student pulled out two paper towels and handed one to the younger student.

Your kids are so AMAZING!

Keep it up parents - you are doing a terrific job and we thank you for all that you do!

Please click here for a detailed explanation of the ELC/FSDB Wellness Policy and please contact Gail with any additional questions or concerns.

ASL Resources for Black History Month

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Parent Engagement Workshops

Mark your Calendars!

The next Parent Engagement Workshop is April 23.

Braille Classes

FSDB Parent University will be offering Braille classes for FSDB families starting in January. All classes will be held via Zoom on Wednesdays from 4-5 p.m. All skill levels are welcome! Please contact your teacher if you are interested in attending.

Class Schedule

  • Jan 20 – Alphabet Letters
  • Feb 17 – Alphabetic Word Signs
  • Mar 24 – Strong Contractions
  • Apr 21 – Strong Group Signs
  • May 26 – Strong Word Signs

For more information, contact:

April Wallace, Braille Specialist

Phone: 904-827-2355


ASL Classes

FSDB Parent University is hosting two virtual sign language classes for FSDB families starting in January and continuing weekly through March. Beginner (ASL I) and intermediate (ASL II) classes are available via Zoom. Please contact the teacher if you are interested in attending.

Beginner Class (ASL I)

Day: Thursday, 4:00-5:00 p.m.

Dates: Jan. 7, 14, 21, 28 | Feb. 4, 11, 18, 25 | Mar. 4, 11

Link: https://bit.ly/3igMrJr

For more information, contact Janelle Berry via email at berryj@fsdbk12.org

Intermediate Class (ASL II)

Day: Monday, 4:30-5:30 p.m.

Dates: Jan. 4, 11, 25 | Feb. 1, 8, 22 | Mar. 1, 8

Link: https://bit.ly/3ltsno7

For more information, contact Sonia Garcia-DeKnight via email at garcias@fsdbk12.org

Contact Us:

ELC Office

PH or Text: 904-827-2835

VP: 904-201-4529

Health Care Center

PH: 904-827-2410

VP: 904-201-3910


PH: 800-992-8747

Vaill Hall (Dorm)

PH: 904-827-2806

VP: 904-201-4461

Parent Services

PH: 904-827-2212

VP: 904-201-4527

Campus Police

PH: 904-827-2315

207 San Marco Avenue,

St. Augustine, FL, USA


ELC Webpage

ELC Facebook Group