From the Principal’s Office
Summer has come to an end and another school year is upon us. We’d like to extend a warm welcome to our new families, and a sincere thank you to returning families and those that chose to spend their summer with us. We enjoyed making memories with your children!
We recognize that this is a busy time for many families and are using this month’s school newsletter to include reminders on school closures, communication, and more. Please read through this newsletter carefully, and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.
Lynette Stoker, Principal
Calendar of Events
September 2, 2019 Labor Day – Chesterbrook Academy Closed
September 8, 2019 Grandparents Day
September 11, 2019 Patriot Day (9-11 Remembrance Day)
September 20, 2019 Lifetouch Portrait Day
September 23, 2019 First Day of Fall
All payments are due on Friday preceding each week. A $25.00 late payment fee is assessed after 12 noon Monday, no exceptions!
To avoid a late fee, make your payment online through the Parent Portal, pay over the phone with credit/debit card, or consider signing up for Electronic Funds Transfer as a back-up. With EFT, if for some reason you forget to make a payment before 12 noon Monday (i.e. your child was out sick, you went out-of-town, etc..) your payment would be made electronically late Monday evening and you would not be charged a late fee.
Links 2 Home
If you’re not currently receiving photos and daily reports for your child you can easily change this by downloading the Links 2 Home app on your phone. Just type ‘Links 2 Home’ in the search bar for the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. After downloading Links 2 Home you can register with the same email address that you used to enroll your child in our school. Links 2 Home also allows you to leave drop-off notes for your child and notify your child’s teacher of absences. If you’re having issues accessing Links 2 Home please let us know.
School Picture Day
It’s time to get spiffed up for fall pictures! Lifetouch will be taking photos of all of our students on September 20th. Please send your student to school in the clothes you want them to wear for their photo. All photos will be taken before lunch and naptime to ensure optimal cuteness.
Love our school? Leave us a review!
In today’s connected world, many families turn to online reviews to learn more about schools for their children. That is why we are asking you to take a few minutes to visit our school profile on Yelp, Google or GreatSchools to share the wonderful experiences you have had with our school. Please let us know if you have any questions. Thank you!
For Parents and Teachers
Good nutrition and a balanced diet will help your child grow up healthy. Whether your kid is a toddler or a teen, you can take steps to improve nutrition and encourage smart eating habits. One of the best strategies is to have regular family meals. But it is not easy to take these steps when everyone is juggling busy schedules and convenience food, such as fast food, is so readily available. Family meals are a comforting ritual for both parents and kids. Children like the predictability of family meals and parents get a chance to catch up with their kids. Kids who take part in regular family meals are also more likely to eat fruit, vegetables, and grains, less likely to snack on unhealthy foods and less likely to smoke, use marijuana, or drink alcohol. In addition, family meals offer the chance to introduce your child to new foods and find out which foods your child likes and which ones he or she doesn’t. What counts as a family meal? Any time you and your family eat together-whether it’s takeout food or a home-cooked meal with all the trimmings. Strive for nutritious food and a time when everyone can be there. This may mean eating dinner a little later to accommodate a child who’s at sports practice. It can also mean setting aside time on the weekends, such as Sunday brunch, when it can be more convenient to gather as a group. kidshealth.org June 2004
Holiday Closures & School Year Calendar
Our school does not follow the local elementary school schedule as we are open more days per year. For the 2019-2020 school year the days we are closed are:
- Labor Day
- Veteran’s Day (Professional Development)
- Thanksgiving Day and the day after
- Christmas Eve (early dismissal 12:00 noon)
- New Year’s Day
- President’s Day (Professional Development)
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
You can access our school year calendar for a printable version to use as a reference 2019-2020 School Year Calendar
Provide the Ingredients
Some children are incredibly picky eaters, behaving as if there are only two or three edible substances in the whole world. Others seem to be natural-born gourmands, willing to try all sorts of new things and gobble up anything fit for human consumption. Of course, most children fall somewhere in between, wary of new things but willing to try, maybe, and probably less apt to fall in love with healthy foods as opposed to the many processed, sugary, salty choices at their disposal.
Ultimately, as caregivers, we want children to develop lifelong healthy eating habits. We also want them to grow up appreciating the wonderful variety of foods and flavors our world has to offer. But, as with most things in the early childhood environment, there is no single magical formula to make all children interested in eating. Or is there?
Well, no, there’s certainly no magic formula, but there is a very important factor to consider with nearly all young children if you want to promote healthy habits. In a word, that factor is…control!
And, in a way, it is a bit like a magic formula, at least for certain food marketers. Perhaps Oscar Mayer, creator of the LunchablesÂ® brand, was the first to really hit on it. Whether a Lunchable represents a healthy meal choice is perhaps a matter of opinion, and we are certainly not here to endorse any particular product. However, Lunchables are relevant because of how and why they were created.
One day in the 1980s, a market research team at Oscar Mayer was tasked with developing a new product for children’s lunches. After all sorts of tests and trials, their final product actually turned out to be quite simple: crackers, cheese, and turkey (or ham), plus a little treat, really no different from anything parents weren’t already putting in lunch bags.
Lunchables have since evolved, but the basic formula remains the same. It all comes down to presentation. With ingredients compartmentalized in neat little stacks, children everywhere were fascinated and eager to try. As an adult, you probably don’t think it’s that cool to put cheese on a cracker, but for young children, the opportunity to arrange their food provides opportunity for decision-making and various forms of play (including constructive, expressive, and dramatic, but hopefully not too much physical).
Consider the Lunchable concept next time you decide to bring children into the culinary environment. Instead of giving them a recipe or a bunch of choices, try providing the ingredients and let them take it from there. Remember: presentation and portions are important. Make it fun and interesting and you may be surprised at the great things they’re willing to try!
ChildCare Education Institute July Newsletter Volume 8, Issue 7
From the Education Department
Focus on Wellness: Healthy Eating Habits
A new school year has begun! As you may know, we’ve recently enhanced our Links to Learning curriculum to add more dimension and depth to our programs, including a greater focus on instilling healthy living habits at an earlier age. We will be working with the children to learn about the concept of healthy foods, and we will be discussing the importance of a balanced diet.
Recent studies show a slight decrease in obesity rates among preschool children; however, roughly 9% of all preschoolers are still overweight or obese. While diet is only one contributor to childhood obesity, it is critical that healthy eating is encouraged at home.
We all know the familiar battle of trying to get our children to try new foods, eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, and branch out beyond the familiar favorites of macaroni and cheese and chicken nuggets. Below are four ways in which you can begin to lay the foundation of healthy eating with your child.
Set an example. Young children love to mimic their parents’ actions. By modeling good eating habits, your child will learn to make wise food choices as well. Dine with your child and show him the variety of foods you are eating. When rushing out the door, grab healthy snacks such as an apple or granola bar.
Allow your child to be involved. Allow your child to assist in age-appropriate cooking to learn how different foods are prepared. In many instances, children will sample new foods if they feel that they contributed to the preparation.
Offer a variety of foods. Get in the habit of serving your child small portions of whatever you are eating. Celebrate when your child tries new healthy foods by saying, “You’re a big boy, just like Daddy!” Add a new vegetable to a favorite soup or a new fruit atop a favorite cereal. This approach allows your child to experiment with new foods while taking comfort from familiar foods.
Make food fun. Present foods in creative ways, such as cutting them into different shapes, arranging the ingredients in funny faces, or serving fruits and vegetable with a yogurt or dip.
Continue to promote experimentation and positively recognize any attempts to try new things. Encourage your child to try different foods, but never demand that he eat something as punishment. Don’t be discouraged if progress is slow in the beginning. Picky eating is very common and is generally a temporary phase. In the long run, your child will learn to take satisfaction from balanced meals prepared with love, and will acquire healthy habits for life.
— Lauren Starnes, PhD- former Director of Early Childhood Education
Principal: Mrs. Lynette Stoker
Asst. Principals: Mrs. Shari Hale, Mrs. Nikki Crowell
Infant Classroom: Ms. Shelby London, Ms. Emily King
Older Infant/Toddler A Classroom: Ms. Rena Haire
Toddler B Classroom: Ms. Briana Monroe, Ms. Sylvia Messer
Beginner Classroom: Ms Scottie Willis, Ms. Taylor Faulkner
Intermediate A Classroom: TBA
Intermediate B Classroom: Ms Bethany Therrell
Pre-K Classroom: Ms. Melissa Killian
Pre-K 2 Classroom: Ms. Kim Harrelson
Floater/Substitute Ms. Tabitha Hawn, Ms. Suzanne Scott
The son of a friend shares a birthday with my husband, so I can easily remember it. This morning I texted both mother and son, and in her birthday remembrance remarked that I was sure she couldn’t believe he is 18 today.
He is a high school senior, busy making plans for the university that he will attend next year, a great kid who towers over the rest of us, in his lean 6-foot body.
I remember him as a shy three-year-old when we first moved into the neighborhood. He was obsessed with trains, never letting his beloved engineer’s hat out of his sight.
His mother’s response said, “I feel a crazy soup of mixed emotions, of joy, sadness, excitement and anxiety, but topped off with faith and gratitude for where we are and where we hope his future takes him.” Ah,yes. The jumble of feelings of parenthood.
Recently I enjoyed a book titled “Catastrophic Happiness: Finding Joy in Childhood’s Messy Years,” by Catherine Newman*. It is a lovely little memoir about her experiences as a parent.
In it, she muses a lot about how things change, talking about the “kind of loss that we call growth.” And she is right. When you look at pictures of your children just a year or two ago, you can see what has been left behind, as the child has grown and developed.
As she says, we lose them all the time. “Loss is ahead of us, behind us, woven into the very fabric of our happiness.”
The anticipation of a son’s next step away into the college years inevitably brings the pangs of realizing that the little boy who rejected the role of shepherd and insisted on being a train engineer in the church nativity scene is gone.
Even as we rejoice in growth and accomplishment, we miss the small child left behind.
And we miss the parent we were and how we felt at that earlier time. Six-foot tall high school seniors are no longer the kids who adored us unabashedly, and flung arms wide whenever we came home.
They don’t even look cute and cuddly when we get a minute to sneak in to watch them sleeping.
And yet, through the miracle of love and the ties that bind, the things that have been lost are all woven in together, and they come back in fleeting moments and memories.
And the way development works, it turns out that when the little boy with his own passions and ideas was supported and accepted for who he was, it helped him become the confident young man who now has such strong beliefs about what his future work should be – that he sought out the university that would give him the ideal preparation, even though it is on the other side of the country.
So we discover that not only was nothing lost, but it all accumulated to become the unique person we celebrate today. Loss is, in fact, gain.
Happy birthday indeed.
*Little, Brown, 2016
Articles that appear from Grandma Says are focused on general parenting practices and philosophy are not as age-specific as articles that appear in Growing Child.
© Growing Child 2017. Please feel free to forward this article to a friend, or make copies and distribute to your parents.