Early Education Newsletter

Spring 2021

Dear Early Education Families -

Spring is finally here! As we are nearing the end of the school year, we are reflecting on the growth that your children are making. These early years of development are so important for the little ones that you love. Thanks for letting us join you in the journey. Here’s to a warm spring, new outdoor adventures to take, and many achievements to celebrate.

Sincerely, The Early Education Team

Take Home Tips : Literacy Edition

The year is winding down, but your child’s learning is just beginning! Take advantage of their natural curiosity by supporting them with the skills they will soon need to learn to read! It’s simple - here’s a summary of 6 pre-literacy skills you can easily support your child to develop:

  • Print Motivation - Kids need to know words are important! Demonstrate the importance of reading and writing in your home by letting them see you read and write, engage them in making lists, and making reading material available throughout your home.

  • Narrative Skills - Storytelling is a natural tendency for young children! Help them develop their 3-part stories (first, next, last) by practicing storytelling often. Tell the story about visiting a grandparents home, your visit to the park, or a special outing for ice cream!

  • Print Awareness - Point out writing and symbols in your environment as often as you can. What does that sign mean? What does your clothing tag say? What does the recipe say to do next? You can find words and symbols just about everywhere.

  • Vocabulary - You can enrich your child’s vocabulary by being curious about new words and their meaning, using a broad range of words to describe something, expanding on children’s observations with additional details, and learning about words together. As they are learning to read, they are more likely to recognize and have experience with the words they read.

  • Letter Knowledge - Learn about the shapes and constructs of letters by forming them out of play dough, sticks, and shapes. What is the name of that letter? What sound does it make in words? Then, think of words that have that letter sound at the beginning, middle, or end.

  • Phonological Awareness - What’s that sound? You can train your child’s brain to become aware of the sounds they hear in their environment so they can later hear the sounds that make up words. On your next walk through the neighborhood, how many sounds can you count?

  • Learn everything you can about what young children need as a foundation to learn to read. Watch this for an overview and take notes on the handouts that go with it. To request a printed, copy, just ask!

Health and Wellness : Vaccination Guide

COVID-19 vaccines may be available to you and your family. Please see below for more information if your family is interested in vaccination

Parenting : Hands-on and Tech Free

We recently shared our program’s technology position statement. We are committed to offering resources to help you limit screen use for you and your family. As you go tech free at home, here are a few spring ideas to get you interacting, having fun, and away from screens:

  • Spring Scavenger Hunt - There are endless items that you can spot this spring. Set out on a nature walk and make a list of all the fun things you find. Are the bugs out yet? Do you hear any frogs? Did you find evidence of animal prints in the mud?

  • New adventure - Chances are, there are a few places in the county you haven’t been to yet. Check out Spruce Hill Park, Chippewa Park, or even the trails on the Woodland Complex this weekend for a new outdoor adventure! Take your time and explore as a family.

  • Construction Zone - Using natural materials to create something new is a great way to encourage your child’s imagination and problem-solving skills. Collect grass, rocks, sticks and tree parts, mud, and leaves to see what you can come up with!

  • Collecting & Connecting - Encourage collecting and sorting with the nature items you find. Sort rocks in egg cartons when you visit the beach; Put leaves in small to large order when you find them in the park; Start a shell collection when you swim at the beach. Reflect on what makes these items alike and different? Which one is your favorite?