Sprout Family Services

Winter 2014 Newsletter

Welcome to the Sprout Newsletter. We are off to a busy year and want to share with you all the exciting news, events and opportunities. Enjoy!

Babies on Parade

The Sprout Playgroups were warmly welcomed at the Senior Center for a morning of caroling. The carolers sang from beautifully bound books made by Playgroup Coordinator, Marjorie Scholl with covers featuring the children's artwork. The most touching part of the event was the response they received from the seniors as they looked down at the small spirited toddlers, sparking memories from their youth.

Sprout Family Spotlight

Thank you to our first Sprout Spotlight Family Brie, Jeff and daughter Sophie:)

How did your family become engaged with Sprout?

Just before our daughter was born, a friend told us about the weekly playgroups. We thought it sounded like a good opportunity to meet other parents with similar-aged kids so we gave it a try when our daughter was 3 weeks old. We loved it so we kept coming back, and through the playgroups we learned about and became involved in many other Sprout services.

Length of time involved with Sprout?

Since November 2011

Benefits to your family?

The biggest benefit has been meeting other parents and kids and making friends (both adult and child). When our daughter was less than a year old, the playgroups functioned as a valuable chance to talk to other parents with similar-aged kids. As our daughter has grown, the playgroups are now a great opportunity for her to play with her friends - without any siblings at home, our daughter really benefits from the interaction with other kids. And now she is almost two, it is so much fun to watch her develop friendships with kids and staff. Another big benefit of Sprout has been exposure to the resources that exist for families with small children in Homer. Through Sprout we became involved in dance class, the imagination library, and home visits, all things that our family really enjoys.

Programs you utilize? e.g. home visiting, Little Boppers, playgroups, Lending Library, Imagination Library, community events, etc.

We regularly participate in playgroups, Little Boppers, home visits and Imagination Library, and on a few occasions have used the Lending library.

Favorite Sprout program? e.g. home visiting, Little Boppers, Lending Library, etc.

It is a toss up between the Imagination Library and Little Boppers. Our daughter loves to read and is thrilled when the new book arrives every month, so the Imagination Library has been such a great resource for us. She also loves the Little Boppers dance class, it is always the highlight of her week and Natalie does a great job with the little kiddos. The rest of the week she dances around the house like a maniac, showing off all her moves she learned in class, we even had to get some of the same songs to play at home!

Fun fact about your child?

Sophie has the first curly hair in our family in three generations.

It's a BOY!

Congratulations to Sprout Speech Language Pahthologist Jeffrey Vonrekowski and his wife Kate who welcomed their new little Sprout , baby Samuel!

FUNctional Play Ideas from the O.T.

1.) GET MESSY – Letting children dig in and get dirty with a variety of textures, materials and foods provides vital sensory input for the development of their sense of touch and feel.

IDEAS: play dough, sand bins, rice bins, water play, art projects with glue, fabric massages, body stickers, spaghetti O (or any food) paintings, finger paint (with real finger paint or other food/liquid substances), and shaving cream mirror play… but most of all GET CREATIVE (ANYTHING HAS TEXTURE and can be FUNctional)

2.) ReFINE Your Skills – Encourage fine motor play with TWO hands with the manipulation of small objects to build your childs dexterity and pre-writing skills. Watch Choking Hazards PLEASE!

IDEAS: play dough with tools, stringing beads, ripping and folding paper, cutting with scissors or pretend utensils, scribbling while holding the paper with the opposite hand, clothespins/paper clips, legos and k’nex type toys, peeling stickers and puzzles while laying on your stomach.

3.) Kids Zone – While it is incredibly important to let your child use up ALL that energy, it is vital to provide a structured and safe environment to do so.

IDEAS: couch cushion mountain (in an empty, furniture free area), mattress trampoline on the floor, filled laundry bin races, blanket tug of war, wheelbarrow walks, mini obstacle courses, and stair climbs.

Sprouts on the Go Fundraiser Thank YOU

Thank you to all the wonderful businesses that hosted the donation collection jars for our Sprouts on the Go Fundraiser as part of our efforts to raise funds for a Sprout vehicle allowing us to serve more families from the Head of the Bay to Ninilchick. Thanks to all who tossed in a few coins to gas up our tank. A big thanks to Fritz Creek General Store, Barbs Video, Homer Saw and Cycle, Homer Hounds, NAPA, Healing Hands Massage, Homer Bookstore, Northwind, Kbay Café, Harbor School of Music, Gear Shed, Bagel Shop, Far Out Café, Vida’s Thai, Damselfly, Grog Shop, Spenard Builders Supply, Cougar Football, Alibi and Alice’s for your support. In conjunction with a generous grant from the Rasmuson Foundation and private donors, WE MET OUR GOAL!

Winter Carnival Imagination Library FLOAT

Saturday, Feb. 8th, 11:30am

Homer High School Parking Lot

Come join us on the Imagination Library Float in the Winter Carnival. We will be having a good old hoedown theme and do some square dancing in the streets! Bring out those cowboy hats, boots and bandanas! Families and kids can ride on the float, walk or stroll. We will meet up in the Homer High School parking lot at 11:30am. Look for the trailer with all the hay bales and cowgirls, cowboys and special guest appearance. The more the merrier! Please email tahagge@hotmail.com for more information.

Sprout Weekly Playgroups

Come Out and Play! Join us for playing, singing, dancing, learning and having FUN! Great opportunities to share and learn about your child's development and connect with other parents.


3rd Monday @ Sprout

5:30-7pm: Expectant parents & parents with newborns

January 27th Group: Learn about Babies on Track and early literacy tips for babies.


Tuesdays @ Sprout

10-11am: 1 year olds (toddlers)

11-12am: 2 year olds (walkers)

2-3pm: Babies (crawlers)


Thursdays @ Chapman School

9:25-10:25am: 0-5 year olds


Sundays @ Off the Wall Studio

10:30am-11:15am: 0-5 year olds

Visiting Speech Therapist

We are proud to welcome Jennifer Black, Speech-Language Pathologist. Jennifer will be here at Sprout through Friday, March 7th. She is visiting from Fort Myers Florida. She specializes in bubbles, laughter, play and communication developtment. Please give Sprout a call if you have questions or concerns regarding your child's speech and language development or if you would like to meet Jennifer.

Office Closures

The Sprout Office will be closed the following days:

Monday, February 17th in observance of President's Day

Monday March 10th-Friday March 14th for Spring Break