Cub Connection February News

Gerner Family Early Education Center

Sharing love throughout the month of February

With the month of February comes a time to reflect on our loved ones as Valentine's Day approaches and to think of all the wonderful memories we have with them. I read an article recently that challenged my thinking of how to share love with others for the whole month (and beyond) and not just focus on the first 14 days leading up to Valentine's Day. A fun activity with the family may be to brainstorm ways that each member of the family could show love to others within and outside your immediate family. Maybe you could create a calendar, make a list to check-off, or pull ideas out of a box each day - what fun you could have! Here is a link to get your brainstorm started: Share the Love

In this edition of the Cub Connection, you will find details for all the events throughout the Gerner community this month as well as district updates to help you stay connected.

Thank you for being a part of our growing community! We are so glad you are here!


Ms. Rachel Ward
Coordinator of Early Education Programs

Important Gerner Information

Mark your calendars for the following important dates!

Please plan to participate in upcoming events at Gerner:

  • February 1st - 5th - Chiefs Spirit Week
  • February 12th - Friendship Parties Celebrations for all classrooms
  • February 15th - No school for ECSE/BF/Horizons classrooms

  • March 1st - Gerner PTA Meeting 6:00 PM (link is below)
  • March 1st - 5th - Dr. Seuss Week (spirit days will be included)
  • March 26th - April 2nd - No School for ECSE/BF/Title 1 - Spring Break
  • April 1st - 2nd - No School for Tuition Preschool - Spring Break

Run It Back Spirit Week

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Boxes Study and Imagination

We are currently in the middle of our Boxes study with our Creative Curriculum focus as a building. Boxes are functional and full of play possibilities. Boxes are open-ended. Children like to put things in them and dump things out. They like to make special play spaces in boxes; they make spaceships one day and castles or caves the next. Gifts often arrive in boxes. Boxes contain the food people eat. Children also see adults using boxes regularly. They see people delivering boxes, opening boxes, and packing and stacking boxes. They see people in trucks picking up boxes and carrying them away.

This study shows how to use children’s interests in boxes to explore important social studies and science concepts, as well as integrate skills in literacy, math, technology and the arts. As children study boxes, they will develop oral and written language skills and use number concepts, geometry, and measurement. They can have opportunities to draw, write, construct, and invent.

A recent article in KC Parent magazine highlights the power of creativity with simple things. It is the perfect connection with our learning topic. You may choose to read the article, The Power of Imagination, and engage with creative thinking with your child. Enjoy!

Tuition Preschool Enrollment for 2021-2022

Enrollment for the Summer 2021 and Fall 2021-22 Tuition Preschool program will begin in the spring. Specific dates have not been identified at this time. All enrollment will go through Infinite Campus again this year, you will be able to access this through the Parent Portal. Current families will have the opportunity to share their interest in continuing or returning to the program before it opens to the general public. Specific dates will be coming soon!

Super Cub Expectations

On a daily basis you can hear a reference to our Super Cub Expectations to help all cubs make the best decisions while at Gerner!

  • Be Ready,
  • Be Safe, and
  • Make Good Choices

When a staff member "catches" a student demonstrating any of the expectations, a Super Cub Paw (paired with verbal praise for specific behavior) is given to the student. The student will place the paw on a class bulletin board to contribute to a class celebration. When paws are earned, classes have been marking a Super Cub cape on a visible bulletin to visually see the success in each class. .

Safety Drills - Practice to be Prepared!

It is important that students know how to respond to emergency situations that could occur at Gerner. Students and staff will participate in a variety of safety drills every month throughout the school year. Staff handle the drills delicately in order to help students understand the seriousness of the process, yet not make students feel afraid.

For the month of February we will practice our monthly fire drill:

  • Fire Drill: The goal for this drill is to quickly exit the building and account for all students in case of a fire inside the building. We practice this drill each month we are in school.

If you ever have questions regarding the processes for drills, please contact your classroom teacher.

Park Hill Star Awards

Do you know of a Park Hill Star? Is there someone at your child's school that you would like to nominate for a Park Hill Star award? The Park Hill Star award is presented monthly to a Pre-K or elementary teacher, a secondary teacher and a support employee. Anyone can nominate an employee for this award by using the Park Hill Star nomination form. The form will ask you to share how your nominee demonstrates our district values of continuous improvement, high expectations, integrity, visionary leadership and student focus.

If you would like to nominate an employee from Gerner, please use the link below.

Park Hill Star Award

Literacy Link

Math and Literacy - The Perfect Pair

Looking for engaging ways to weave math into the day? You might find just what you’re looking for in your home or local library. Many children’s books are perfect for introducing and reinforcing math concepts. Read aloud the books described here and then invite your child to explore the math concepts further. Children will love counting like pigs, measuring like inchworms, and making comparisons.

Pigs Love Potatoes, by Anika Denise. Illus. by Christopher Denise. 2007. Everyone loves potatoes—especially the pig family and their neighbors. One by one Mama adds potatoes to the pot so there will be enough for everyone. Children can count along as they enjoy this delightful rhyming story.

Think of all the things your child can count. Can your child count the different types of shoes in your household with laces? How many forks should be set on the table so that everyone has one at dinner time?

Inch by Inch, by Leo Lionni. [1961] 1995. To avoid being eaten, an inchworm measures a robin’s tail. So begins the story of the inchworm who measures a flamingo’s neck, a toucan’s beak, and a heron’s legs before finally escaping when measuring the nightingale’s song. Use this classic book to introduce the concept of measurement.

Encourage your child to measure objects around your home. They can use both standard measuring tools (rulers and yardsticks) and nonstandard measuring tools (for example, pieces of yarn, hands, feet, shoes, unit blocks, or paper clips). How many inches long is the inchworm book? How many unit blocks long is your child's bed?

More, Fewer, Less, by Tana Hoban. 1998. Using this wordless book, children explore photographs of everyday objects and familiar animals grouped together in interesting ways—by color, size, or texture. For example, one page shows a pile of wrecked cars. The children can decide, Are there more green cars than yellow? More dark green or light green?

Offer an assortment of items to your child and then compare. Provide colorful buttons, cookie cutters of varying shapes, blocks of varying sizes, and so on. Let your child group these objects. Then ask questions to focus thinking on whether there are more, fewer, or less. Are there more red buttons or blue buttons? Which shape cookie cutters are there the fewest of? Are there more large blocks or small blocks?

Important Family Information

Parents as Teachers

Let's be honest, parenting is hard work! There are days we feel like rock stars and other days where we don't know what to do. Our Parents as Teachers program is available to all Park Hill School District families with children ages 0-5 to support families. Our Parent Educators work with families to support the growth and development of children during this critical stage in life.

Parent Educators support families in four critical areas:

  • Home Visits (virtual right now)
  • Developmental Screening
  • Connection Events (virtual right now)
  • Community Resource Connections

This is a wonderful program available to support the whole family. If you are interested in learning more about the Parents as Teachers program and how to enroll, please visit our school website and/or contact the school today!

PTA Information

The Gerner Family PTA helps to make many school activities possible for our students and families. To stay current on the happenings of the Gerner PTA, like our Facebook page.

The PTA has already begun planning for our Spring Fling Fundraiser. We have typically hosted a spring carnival-like event with a silent auction. We will be conducting a virtual auction this year and need your help!

  • If you have a local business or home-based business AND would like to donate services or products for our auction, please email April Setser at or call the office at 816-359-4601. We are collecting items now to create a variety of options to make this years event a success!!

Gerner PTA Meeting

Monday, March 1st, 6pm

This is an online event.

A link to our zoom meeting is below.

Gerner PTA Meeting Link

Parent Corner

Have you visited our "Parent Corner" recently? Over the course of the year, articles and resources will be posted to support the parenting process.

As the days are dreary and too cold to get outside, sometimes ideas are desired to help out children plug in to activities without being plugged in to electronics. Please take a moment to read an article, Go To Non-Screen Options for Dark Winter Days. The author suggests a number of ideas that engage kids in productive play with items that are already in your homes. I always appreciate a reminder to think of opportunities around the house (sand fun, play dough, cutting, etc.) to suggest when my daughter asks for the tablet or my phone while I'm engaged in house work and hope this is helpful to you.

Park Hill School District News

February Menu

Each month's menu for our Tuition Program will be uploaded to the Park Hill School District's Food Service website. Please see February's menu below:
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Gerner Family Early Education Center

Caring Staff ~ Quality Instruction ~ Purposeful Learning