July 31, 2020
Hello Parkside Families!
What a hot week it was! Our kids had so much fun in the water and on the playground! The mud kitchen and water trough helped to create some cool and messy play while we also used the hose to cool off or make some really cool moats near the swing set!
In this week’s blog I have included information regarding policies that will be different beginning this Monday, August 3rd, the “We’ve Got Your Back” campaign, equipment fee update, as well as a couple of captions of what our play philosophy was like in action this week.
Beginning on Monday all of our families will be required to fill out a form validating each child is symptom free, all family’s members are symptom free and no one has traveled outside of the approved states. Parents, there will be two clipboards at the table to complete the form. My other suggestions, is to take a handful and complete as much as you can each morning before dropping off. These forms will also be on our website, but we must have a paper copy of it at drop-off so that our staff can document your child’s temperature and initial it as well. In the new Parkside COVID-19 protocols it discusses this new form as well as all of the procedures we are expecting our families to follow as well as what our staff is doing for your child throughout the day. We will update these protocols when needed, but that these modified protocols will be what we follow until further notice, therefore please make sure to read this document carefully.
We have been saying this since March, but 2020 certainly does not feel like any other year. I especially feel this way when Penquis C.A.P reached out to us announcing their “We’ve Got Your Back Campaign” was beginning! This year is even more important for the kids in our community to have the supplies they need, especially when there is a chance they may be learning from home where they will need to have these supplies rather than them being available to them at school. You can donate anything from backpacks, notebooks, pencils, markers, rulers, crayons, etc! Beginning Monday, August 3rd we will have a pop-up school bus with a container to place any school supplies you would like to donate to this awesome campaign! We will collection donations through Thursday, August 13th! Thank you in advance for your generosity!
You may remember about a year ago, no I’m just kidding; it was only in April I announced that we were not going to charge the equipment fee, but to extend it to September. I have been thinking and examining this plan and feel that it would be best if we suspended for the remainder of the year. Therefore, we will not have an equipment fee this year and the next one will be next May. I feel that although some things are becoming a bit more normal, there are others that are still very much affected by either the past months of COVID or will be affected if anything changes in September. It makes much sense to wait until next year to plan for the equipment fee.
I may have told you that I am reading a book called “Lisa Murphy on Play”. The book has been entertaining, educational but also has brought back so many fond memories of my childhood. Lisa Murphy talks about her first day of preschool in great detail, which allowed me the time to think of my great two years of preschool. Yes, I had two years…my mom tells me it was because I wasn’t mature enough for kindergarten and I couldn’t use scissors (which I still continue to struggle with sometimes). My two years of preschool was the best! I had big wheels to ride around in the basement, a huge sandbox, art easel with clothes lines to dry my paintings on and so many toys! Although the toys were awesome- do you know what was even better than the toys? My teacher, Mrs. Lyford! Oh, did I just love her…in fact I still adore her! I still have the feeling of being a little girl when I see her because she looks directly into my eyes and makes me feel like I am the only one she wants to see. Wow! What an experience I hope everyone has! In Lisa Murhphy’s book, she talks about having a “crystallizing moment”. This is a period of time that can have a lifelong effect on us. As I reflected on the crystallizing moments I realized it wasn’t an extravagant event or an item that cost a lot of money- it was from a feeling I got from a wonderful person who showed me with her eyes that she was happy to see me as I climbed up the long driveway to walk into her basement for preschool. Mrs. Lyford was the first person who cared for me outside of my family. When I wake up in the morning to get ready to greet you when you arrive at Parkside, I want the same exact feeling to be given to you and especially your child. My love and the message that says “I am so happy you are here today” is what I long to provide always.
On a very different note, I thought I would finish my blog with a funny story about Abby. In Lisa’s book, she discusses how adults stomp out children’s creativity and exploration because we direct them how children should play. I myself, struggle with this as well. Not so much while I’m at Parkside, but for Abby. So, the story goes as this:
On Saturday, Abby met me at Parkside as I was finishing up a tour. I was standing with the family and she was coming in through the backdoors. As she got closer to us, I could see blue on her legs, arms and hands. I immediately had a sense of embarrassment, not only because I wasn’t sure what this family would think but we had to go to Sam’s Club to pick up the Parkside groceries, so many others could see her as well. Fast forward to Saturday night: I was getting ready for bed when I picked up by toothbrush and there was the same color blue that was on Abby was on my toothbrush. I was so mad and thought “How could she be so irresponsible? She is 8 years old.” The next morning, I asked Abby about the blue on my toothbrush. Her answer was, I wanted to see if I could prank you and change your teeth blue.” Immediately, all of my harsh feelings rushed from me and I laughed. How come we take our world so seriously that we forget to think like a child thinks? This is a challenge that I have for myself, and maybe it is one you can have as well. Moving forward my goal is to lose the expectations of how play should look and get down and play and enjoy more often. Our world is busy, our world is stressful, but when we play and laugh, we are showing our best selves to our kids.
If I haven’t mentioned this before, the book “Lisa Murphy’s on Play” is not just a book that is great for educators, it could be an awesome read for parents. I highly recommend it if you would like to learn more about this philosophy and how it can roll into routines at home. My last part of the blog is to discuss what our play philosophy looks like in real life: it looks like our Yosemite kids saw a butterfly on the playground and then making butterfly food to make to bring out later. It is about Big Sur having many July birthdays and the kids wanting to talk about birthdays so the teachers spontaneously adding flour, cinnamon and baking powder, added baking pans to the dramatic play and made birthday cards. It’s about talking about the birds that the kids see when dropping off and learning about the kind of bird they are and what kinds of food they eat. All of these activities help to provide meaningful and educational interactions and lessons to our classroom. As always, I welcome you to write with any questions!
Enjoy your weekend,
July 31, 2020