Berry Patch Friends,
And just like THAT – it’s September! As hard as it is to let go of the long, action-packed days of summer, it is exciting to anticipate the routine and GIFT of a new school year beginning. I am always struck, with my own kids, at how we take for granted this shift in the year, and spend time and resources gearing up for school days when there are millions of kids around the world who won’t be in school this week. What a privilege! And Early Childhood Education-gift of all gifts… These years are the most critical part of your child’s development, laying the emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual groundwork for his or her life as it unfolds. We at The Berry Patch take our partnership with you seriously and with joy and much anticipation!
I want to draw your attention to a few important articles that have come out in the last few weeks that highlight how crucial PLAY is for young children. These articles get at the heartbeat of what we are about at The Berry Patch—intentional learning experiences in children’s natural environment that promote curiosity, problem-solving, collaborating, and creativity. Please take some time to read what others are saying about the foundation of PLAY in developing lifelong learners!
- “Kids are so over-scheduled that doctors are being told to prescribe play”
- “Playtime May Bolster Kids’ Mental Health”
- “The Case of Brain Science and Guided Play”
As you saw and heard at our Meet & Greet last week your child’s teachers have been hard at work preparing the space and activities that will start the year off with a big huge Welcome to School! Much time will be spent learning the routines of the school day as well as helping the children become familiar with all that is available to them in their classrooms and around the building-the gym, playground, Spanish and Music rooms.
In the first days of school your child’s teachers will share with the class some foundational “Berry Patch Class Rules” – these include sharing the toys, being kind to your friends, and other lessons that will serve them for a lifetime. We encourage you to talk through these guidelines with your child-it could be a good way to have a conversation about similar guidelines for your family!
Lunch Bunch begins next Tuesday for all Blueberries through Strawberries . You may choose “lunch bunch” when signing your child in to let us know he/she will be staying for lunch. PLEASE REMEMBER: WE ARE A NUT FREE SCHOOL SO NO FOODS WITH NUTS OR PROCESSED IN A FACILITY WITH NUTS may be served. Be sure to check labels on packaged foods. LUNCH BUNCH WILL BEGIN FOR HUCKLEBERRIES ON OCTOBER 1.
PM Playmates also begins next week for Blueberries and Strawberries. This extended afternoon option includes some quiet play time in the classroom, time outside/in the gym, a special activity or project, and a healthy snack. You may choose “PM Playmates” under Afternoon Options when signing your child in to let us know he/she will be staying from 1-3pm.
Music and Spanish also begin this month. Music classes will be happening for all of the berries at both locations this week. Next week the children will have their monthly Spanish class. Look for fall newsletters from Ms. Kristin and Ms. Zara in your inbox letting you know what your child will be doing and learning in those classrooms.
Your Parent Packet will be in your child’s cubby on Wednesday/Thursday. Be sure to read through our Parent Handbook and check out all of the information fliers on our different programs. Registration information for our fall Partnership Program, an 8-week engineering course with Curious Minds will be included in this packet. (Registration is first come-first served so be sure to register early—beginning September 10.) Also included will be information on how to connect with Becky Danielson, our in-house Parent Educator. You will also receive information on our Billing Process, Security Practices, Behavior Guidance and more.
It has been such a joy to see your children at The Berry Patch these first few days. It is going to be a great year!
Molly Dykstra . . . on behalf of The Berry Patch team