January 20, 2017

Hello Parkside Families,

We have had a fun week at Parkside!  Our preschool classrooms had their first visit to Fields 4 Kids on Wednesday!  We heard many stories from the kids when they returned from their first visit that included how much fun the school bus ride to how much they loved playing with the balls and playing games with MJ, who is the director at Fields 4 Kids (and a past parent).  We are looking forward to spending the upcoming months at Fields 4 Kids!

Playground and weather reminder:  This week the weather was warm enough for the kids to play outside, but there were days this week that were noticeably cooler than others.  Please make sure to bring in outerwear that is appropriate for your child to play outside with, which includes a winter jacket, snow pants, boots, thick mittens, and hats.  We do go outside if the FEELS like temperature is 15 degrees or above from the Preschool classrooms and the FEELS like temperature for infants and toddlers is 20 degrees and above.  You may have also noticed that the playground is quite wet outside with some of the melting and wet snow we received, it is important to check your child’s spare clothes in their cubby daily.  Each child should have at least two pairs of pants, 2-3 pairs of underpants, two pairs of socks, and two pairs of mittens.  If you have any questions about going outside or about winter clothing please check with your child’s teacher or stop by the office.

Project Approach:  Attached to your child’s curriculum this week are questions from their teacher asking for you to give us some information about your hobbies and activities you have during the winter months.  This questionnaire will help us to plan for our curriculum for the month of February, which is “Winter in Maine”.  We also encourage you to talk with your child’s teacher if there is a hobby or activity that you would like to share with the class.

Emergency contact numbers and contact changes:  If your contact number has changed or the number we have listed on our contact list is incorrect please stop by the office to notify us!  Thank you for your help!

*Tuesday, February 14th: Valentine’s Day/Friendship Day!  We will plan a day of celebrating all of the friendships we have at Parkside!  We will have a list of all of the kids in the classroom on the back of your curriculum next week.  If you plan to bring in valentines, please make sure every child in the classroom receives one.  Usually the rooms younger than Yellowstone age do not participate in bringing in Valentine’s.  We allow the children to open their own cards but the best part will be when they come home where their parents can read the cards with them!

Reading with your child:  As you may know, literacy in our classrooms is very important to us.  I know as a parent, I have tried to carry this into our home. This article was on the Raising Readers Facebook page, “10 Things You Can Do to Raise a Reader.” This article provided me some more ideas on reading with my daughter, I hope it provides you with some too!  I also found that this website is very informational too.  You can find this article at:

10 Things You Can Do to Raise a Reader

By: Reading Rockets

Parents are a child’s first teacher, and there are many simple things you can do every day to share the joy of reading while strengthening your child’s literacy skills.

  • Read from day one. Start a reading routine in those very first days with a newborn. Even very young babies respond to the warmth of a lap and the soothing sound of a book being read aloud.
  • Share books every day. Read with your child every day, even after he becomes an independent reader.
  • Reread favorites. Most children love to hear their favorite stories over and over again. Rereading books provides an opportunity to hear or see something that may have been missed the first time, and provides another chance to hear a favorite part.
  • Send positive messages about the joys of literacy.Your own interest and excitement about books will be contagious!
  • Visit the library early and often. Public libraries are great resources for books, helpful advice about authors and illustrators, story times, and more. Make visiting the library part of your family’s routine.
  • Find the reading and writing in everyday things. Take the time to show your child ways that adults use reading and writing every day. Grocery lists, notes to the teacher, maps, and cooking all involve important reading and writing skills.
  • Give your reader something to think and talk about. There are many different types of books available to readers. Vary the types of books you check out from the library, and seek out new subjects that give you and your reader something to think and talk about.
  • Talk, talk, talk. A child’s vocabulary grows through rich conversations with others. No matter your child’s age, narrate what you’re doing, talk in full sentences, and sprinkle your conversations with interesting words.
  • Know your stuff. Parents don’t need to be reading specialists, but it is important to understand the basics about learning to read.
  • Speak up if something doesn’t feel right. Parents are often the first ones to recognize a problem. If you have concerns about your child’s development, speak with your child’s teacher and your pediatrician. It’s never too early to check in with an expert.

Look for new books and authors that your child may enjoy.
Organize an area dedicated to reading and writing tools.
Visit the library
Encourage your child to talk about what he’s read.

Talk to your child, and sprinkle interesting words into your conversation.
Offer a variety of books to read.

Read with your child every day.
Expand your home library to include magazines and nonfiction.
Ask questions if you’re concerned about your child’s development.
Decide to raise a reader!

Enjoy your weekend,

Jen V.