Willow Parent Bulletin #16

December 10, 2021

Walking in the Willow Wonderland...

Our classrooms are abuzz with activities. I love asking our wildcats what they learned during the day. I'm often told, "We just had fun!" It always brings a smile to my face since I know the day was jam packed with learning. This week's gallery of pictures will be at the bottom so you can better appreciate your child's environment.

Don't forget that next week is Spirit Week. We went with a winter theme, so of course it's supposed to be in the 50's next week! A little farther down, you will also find information on what your wildcat's day will look like in the event school gets canceled for inclement weather.

Once the real winter arrives, please be sure your child is properly dressed. Students are outside during the day unless the temperature/real feel is below 20 degrees. If there is actual snow on the ground, students will need to have boots and snow pants to be able to leave the blacktop areas to play.

Once the weather changes, please allow more time for your morning commute. With all of our small people, it will take a little longer. We need your help to make sure everyone is safe. Please stay in line. It makes dropping off a little slower, but significantly safer.

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Inclement weather ("snow day")

Since our wildcats do not take devices back and forth each day, work for them on an inclement weather day will come home prior in the form of a choice board. This will give direction in what types of activities your child can do during the day at home to continue to build on their school skills, while also allowing him/her/you some freedom in deciding on the activities. When the choice boards will be coming home, we will send you an email so you know to check the book bag.

That morning you will get an e-blast from us, too. It will have a quick survey for you to complete with your wildcat's name, teacher, and a place to indicate whether or not your child completed his/her choice boards. This is what we will use for attendance for the day.

Your child's teacher will be available via email. He/she will have "office hours" from 9-11:30 AM and again from 12:15-2:15PM.

Book Blurb: "Ambitious Girl"

Ambitious Girl, written by Meena Harris, niece of Vice President, Kamala Harris, is an empowering story for young girls to help them, inspire them and guide them to rethink how words can be used to rise to the challenge and not be defined by how people think you should react. Ambition is a powerful word. Marissa Valdez illustrates this story wonderfully, using words throughout the story, simply defining them within the illustrations. This "ambitious" story can be found at the Homewood Public Library.

FREE Mental Wellness Services

To continue our efforts toward addressing the need for restorative practices, access to mental wellness services and reducing chronic absenteeism/truancy, the Cook County Southland Juvenile Justice Council, in partnership with Midwest Family & Community Resources, is providing access to FREE Mental Wellness services until June 30, 2022.

This is an opportunity for the mental health pandemic we have all been facing to be addressed regardless of ability to pay. Individual, Family & Group counseling is available, in person, virtually or hybrid.

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Rental assistance available now

The Illinois Rental Payment Program provides financial assistance for rent up to $25,000 to income-eligible Illinois renters and their landlords who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Both renters and landlords can apply for assistance beginning Monday, Dec. 6, 2021 through Jan. 9, 2022. Learn more about the program and how to start your application at www.illinoishousinghelp.org.

Homewood Library Author Visit

Homewood Library is hosting a Virtual Author Visit for this month's Cookies & Comics Meetup on Dec 16 @ 6pm!

Teenage author, Saida Woolf will chat with us about her book Soulstream and about creating comics.

Participants who register by Monday Dec 13th can pick up 2 free cookies to munch on during the event.

Register Here : http://il.evanced.info/homewood/lib/eventsignup.asp?ID=15318&rts=&disptype=&ret=eventcalendar.asp&pointer=&returnToSearch=&num=0&ad=&dt=mo&mo=12/1/2021&df=calendar&EventType=ALL&Lib=&AgeGroup=&LangType=0&WindowMode=&noheader=&lad=&pub=1&nopub=&page=&pgdisp=

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Homewood Science Center Opportunities

STEM Saturdays at 18022 Dixie Highway

Drop in from 10am-1pm / FREE

NEW Activities!:

Nano / Early Math Counts Activities / Children's Book Inspired Making and Tinkering / Imagination Playground / Dinosaur Bones / LEGO / and MORE!


Dec 11/ Birds on the Move, Forest Preserves of Cook County

Dec 18/ Animals of the North Pole, Dawn Barksdale, DVM, USDA

Homewood Science Center will not be open for STEM Saturdays on Dec 25 & Jan 1.


Tuesday Dec 28/ 10 am - 1pm

Thursday Dec 30/ 10 am - 1 pm

Jan 15/ Space Science Saturday, Juliet Crowell, University of Chicago


December 9 at 7pm / Children's Emotional Wellness / Virtual

Liz Smith, owner of Serendipity Yoga and Wellness and elementary school educator, will share the importance of introducing mindfulness practices to children.

Discussion will center on defining mindfulness, how mindfulness impacts the brain and a variety of techniques to support self-regulation, healthy emotional development and stress management.

Liz will leave participants with practical information to support children from a young age in discovering the power of mindfulness.

Register now!

Gallery of photos:

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Dec 13-17: Spirit Week (see above)

Dec. 17: EARLY RELEASE at 1:35- lunch will be at the regular times

Dec 17: winter parties 9-10AM

Dec. 20- Jan. 3: Winter break

Jan. 4: Students return to school

Jan 10-14: STAR testing

Jan 17: NO SCHOOL- in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday

Feb 1: EARLY RELEASE at 11:40AM

Feb 14: Valentine's parties 9-10AM

Feb. 21: NO SCHOOL- Presidents' Day