From the Principal’s Office
Chesterbrook Academy continues to offer parents the opportunity to have tuition fees electronically debited from their account each week. We can forever eliminate the hassle of remembering to write (or drop-off) a check every Friday. Funds would be automatically transferred each Monday. Never worry about ‘late fees’ again! No more rushing to get here before noon on a Monday when your child is sick. You can go on vacation and relax…your bill will be paid on time! And if you ever change your mind about the electronic transfer, you can discontinue that payment option at any time. Many of our families are already taking advantage of this convenience. Some are using it as a backup only…they are continuing to pay by cash or check but have EFT as a backup in the event that they forget to drop off payment. If you are interested in the program, please see Mrs. Hale or Ms. Nikki for automatic payment authorization agreement forms and we will enroll you immediately OR sign up through the Parent Portal
Lynette Stoker, Principal
Shari Hale, Asst. Principal
Nikki Crowell, 2nd Asst. Principal
Calendar of Events
Read Across America Spirit Week March 2-6, 2020
(Many Colored Mon., Top Hat Tues., Wacky Wed., Silly Sock Thurs., and Fun w/ Thing One & Thing Two Fri.)
Dr. Seuss’ Birthday Read Across America Day March 2, 2020
Picture Day! Lifetouch Portraits, w/ group pictures & Graduation pictures March 5, 2020
Daylight Savings Time Begins (Spring Ahead!) March 8, 2020
Pi π “Day” March 14, 2020
St. Patrick’s Day March 17, 2020
Vernal Equinox 1st Day of Spring March 19, 2020
OPEN HOUSE March 21, 2020
Prospective Parents And Students Welcome!
As a participant in the USDA Child and Adult Nutrition program, Chesterbrook Academy had to meet USDA standards when serving meals to our children. A NAPSAC nutritionist helped develop our menus to ensure that we were providing a healthy, low-sugar, low-fat diet. We switched from white to whole-grain bread, from
2% to skim milk, added more fresh fruit, and made sure that we ordered only canned fruit packed in light syrup. We limit processed meat
( turkey sandwich meat, turkey ham, etc…) to no more than once a week and serve chicken and fish often.
When weather is not cooperative for outdoor play, we utilize our Multi-purpose room and hallway for organized large-motor indoor play. In addition to the SPARK physical fitness program, we have parachutes and balls for gross motor development on rainy days.
Later this month, Chesterbrook Academy will begin re-enrolling children for the 2020-2021 school year (July 1, 2020- June 30, 2021). To guarantee your child(ren)’s position(s) for the upcoming school year, a $65 per child (or $105 per family) re-registration fee is due by June 30, 2020 We will be offering ½ price Early Bird Registration if paid before April 15, 2020. To ensure that your child continues to benefit from our Links To Learning® program, early registration is strongly recommended. After the April 15th deadline, registration fees will revert to full-price. After April 30th, we must assume that any children who have not been registered do not plan to attend during the 2020-2021 school year and those positions will become available to the general public. All currently enrolled (even newly enrolled) children are required to re-register for the 2020-2021 school year!
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.
From the Education Department
Slow Down and Play!
Dr. David Elkind, the author of The Hurried Child: Growing Up Too Fast, Too Soon and a professor of child study at Tufts University, has written quite extensively on the topic of high-pressure, overscheduled children. His research suggests that students’ activities and relationships with their parents are a greater indicator of academic success than hurrying children through early childhood by overestimating their competence and overexposing them to academic experience.
Additionally, Elkind discusses the concept that children who are not ready early could be placed in a position in which success would be difficult. Therefore, Dr. Elkind advises parents to let children be children. This discussion inevitably leads to the importance of play. Play is an important part of childhood and must not be hurried or transformed into work.
In essence, pure play is needed to reduce stress and experience joy. Adults should not turn play into work and should avoid “teaching” children during their play period. In effect, play fosters creativity better than most toys. Creativity and self-expression are very important skills that can be nurtured and practiced during play.
After all, when children play:
They have many opportunities to apply mental representations of the world to new objects, people, and situations—the key ability for future academic learning.
They integrate all types of learning—physical, social, emotional, intellectual, and language development.
They are engaged in things they’re interested in—so they have a natural motivation to learn.
In the final analysis, childhood is a significant part of life, and we would all do well to respect and value the joy in just being a child…and letting them PLAY!
Chesterbrook Academy teachers are caring, dedicated and well-trained
Our teachers are enthusiastic about developing lifelong learners. They genuinely care about children and have the sensitivity and knowledge to understand a child’s individual developmental needs and learning styles. They take the time to help each child discover, in his or her own way, a fascinating world of play and learning.
We help our teachers keep current in the latest teaching techniques by sponsoring professional development days and using internal and external trainers and consultants.. Each staff member is required by the state of North Carolina to take ten or more hours of training each year. Chesterbrook Academy closes its doors twice each year for Professional Development Days. We chose Veteran’s Day and President’s Day as our training days because public schools, banks, and government offices are closed on those days as well, therefore our closing would negatively affect fewer families. On February 17th this year, every staff member participated in training on SIDS, and Links to Learning trainings. We appreciate your support as we empower our teachers to better meet the needs of your children.
Developing Confident Future Readers
March is National Reading Month, so it is a great time to reinforce how important it is to expose children to books from an early age. We engage all of our students in language and literacy activities every day throughout the school year.
Research has shown that reading aloud to children has a profound influence on their speech development and listening skills. Reading allows children to experience the wondrous world depicted in books, and thrive on the interaction with adults.
Below are age appropriate activities that we implement in our classrooms to get children excited about reading, as well as recommended books to read with your child at home.
INFANTS – Linking sensory and reading experiences
In the classroom: We introduce language and literacy beginning with our infants, by consistently speaking, reading and singing to them. Teachers choose interactive books with bright colors, different textures and pop-up designs to help stimulate infants’ growing sensory awareness.
Books to read at home: Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt, Fuzzy Yellow Ducklings by Matthew Van Fleet and Baby Danced the Polka by Karen Beaumont
TODDLERS – Rhyme and repetition
In the classroom: Toddlers enjoy hearing the same books read over and over again, because they are able join in as the stories become more familiar. Teachers read books with rhyme and repetition, such as Goodnight Moon, and vary their voice each time they tell the story. The change in tone gives children a chance to hear different sounds, and encourages them to practice making the sounds themselves.
Books to read at home: All Fall Down by Helen Oxenbury, Where is the Green Sheep by Mem Fox and Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown
BEGINNERS – Engaging the imagination
In the classroom: Around age two, children begin to develop a love for the world of imagination. It’s important to engage children’s imaginations and encourage them to participate in shared reading experiences. A picture walk motivates children to rely on pictorial clues to decipher the story’s plot and make predictions. Before reading the story, the teacher and student flip through the book, and the child is encouraged to make predictions about the characters and plot. The teacher then reads the book aloud with the student. When finished, the child is asked to relate his predictions to the actual outcome of the story. For example, “Now that you know what happened, why was the elephant wearing a tutu?” or “What would you have done if you were the elephant?”
Books to read at home: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff, Corduroy by Don Freeman or Bark, George by Jules Feiffer
INTERMEDIATES – Exploring the wider world
In the classroom: As our Intermediates are introduced to the Citizens of the World component of our curriculum, they read about different places, cultures and traditions in books. Books help children understand and enjoy learning about the diversity of human experience. During circle time for example, we may read a story about children living in another country, in a different type of house and wearing different types of clothes. Afterward, the teacher connects the story back to what the children know by asking, “What does your house look like?” and “Who lives in your house with you?”
Books to read at home: Abuela by Arthur Dorros, So Much by Trish Cooke and On Mother’s Lap by Ann Scott
PRE-K/PRE-K 2 – Nonfiction Adventures
In the classroom: Children are naturally fascinated by the lives of real people and the world around them. Our teachers cultivate this fascination by exposing students to nonfiction books. For example, the class may read both a fiction and nonfiction book about animals. Afterward, they are encouraged to compare and contrast the two books and discuss what was accurate in the fiction book.
Books to read at home: Stellaluna by Janell Cannon (fiction) and Bat Loves the Night by Nicola Davies (non-fiction)
By experiencing a literacy-rich environment, both at school and at home, we instill a love of reading and provide the foundation for our students to become successful, confident readers in elementary school and beyond.
– Lauren Starnes, PhD- Former Director of Early Childhood Education
Articles that appear from Grandma Says are focused on general parenting practices and philosophy and are not as age-specific as articles that appear in Growing Child.
Every now and then I get a reminder that while things certainly change, they also stay the same. A recent instance was a question I got from a Grandma Says reader, wondering about how to handle the obvious curiosity of her five-year-old grandson.
Recently he had been wanting to exchange touching of private body parts of playmates. As the reader said, “We know it is curiosity, but it has happened in more than one situation.”
As I said, things stay the same. There breathes no four- or five-year-old who has not exhibited similar curiosity. I consider it a developmental stage, as kids come to understand themselves and the world around them.
If it hasn’t happened in your family yet, I assure you it will, and best be prepared with thinking through how you will react. Adults are naturally concerned about handling this, while being wary of being too negative in their responses.
The first thing is to consider what the child’s goal is, and what your goal should be. As the grandmother noted, sexual exploration is a natural part of the curiosity for which kids are famous.
They notice that all folks are not created equal physically, and they wonder why that is – how come he’s got that and I don’t, etc. Their goal in getting other kids to show or touch is to try to figure out the answers to their questions.
Their goal really doesn’t have much to do with sexual activity or any kind of deviance. In other words, the kinds of sexual exploration that goes on indicates no abnormal interest or concern – often an unspoken fear of parents.
Parents’ goals, on the other hand, are to acknowledge the curiosity, as well as the right to be curious, as an acceptable and right thing, and to give kids the answers to the questions that they are trying to answer by exploration.
All too often, parents who are surprised and unprepared when they come upon kids involved in looking or touching games react with negative horror, something along the lines of “Get your clothes on right now! It’s not nice to touch other peoples’ bodies.” Whoa! Not exactly the way you want to foster healthy attitudes towards bodies and sexuality.
Instead, the best responses are about as matter-of-fact as when kids ask why dogs bark or how birds fly. Parents say, “I can see you want to figure out why boys’ and girls’ bodies look different. Let’s get your clothes back on and go look at my book.”
(Aha – carefully tucked away for such an occasion – some recommendations coming. And my biggest recommendation here is, read through the book yourself first, and know which pages you want to turn to -you may not need the whole thing at first.)
This says to kids that it’s an OK topic to wonder about, and a grownup is perfectly willing to help them get the answers.
Remember, this is not the time for the whole of Biology 101. Answer what they wonder at this point, which is why are we different. So “Boys have a penis because someday they can be daddies, and girls have a vagina, because they can be mommies when they’re grownup.”
Or perhaps, “it’s more convenient for boys to pee standing up because they have a penis. Girls find it more comfortable to sit down.”
Your clear acceptance of the curiosity and simple explanations mean that the kids will come back for more when the next questions occur. Just stopping the exploratory behavior does not give answers, so the curiosity (and the exploration) will continue, but will go underground, where no upset adults will find them.
And after the curiosity is satisfied, it may be time to talk about keeping bodies private, see my other recommendation.
And good luck. Remember, just focus on their right to be curious, and their need for both information and healthy attitudes.
Who Has What: All about Girls’ Bodies and Boys’ Bodies, by Robie H. Harris and Nadine Bernard Westcott
It’s Not the Stork! A Book about Girls, Boys, Bodies, Families and Friends, by Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley
I Said No. A Kid-to-Kid Guide to Keeping Private Parts Private, by Kimberly King and Zack King.
© Growing Child 2019 Please feel free to forward this article to a friend.