Blue Jet Airlines
If you have been dreaming of jetting off to warmer places, you are not alone. Students in our Blue Horse Room created an airport complete with a baggage screening machine.
Teachers Sara Aspenson and Sarah Stratman also made suitcases and passports for each child.
This area for pretend play provided opportunities for extending vocabularies, building literacy skills, and exploring geographical knowledge. We are grateful for our creative teachers who inspire young minds every day!
Dr. Bailey Visits Wisconsin
Dr. Becky Bailey, founder of Conscious Discipline, was the keynote speaker at the Wisconsin Head Start Association Conference. As part of her trip to Wisconsin, Dr. Bailey had planned to attend our Family Night and spend a day in our classrooms. We had looked forward to her visit but sadly, we closed the center and cancelled family night due to the extreme weather.
Dr. Bailey did get to walk through the center. Even though staff and children were not present, she was able to see our classrooms and the Conscious Discipline structures utilized by our amazing teachers. She really liked the natural materials our teachers use to create Conscious Discipline structures. We hope she can visit again at a later date.
In spite of the weather, the conference, held at the Kalahari, had high attendance and Dr. Bailey’s message was well received. Several Conscious Discipline Certified Instructors presented at the conference including our Executive Director, Abbi Kruse who led three sessions. In one session, she presented on the School Family Model of The Playing Field.
As part of our commitment to developing our staff, we provide many opportunities for professional development. This month, our Program Director, Michelle Henner was selected to attend the Conscious Discipline Advanced Institute.
Next month, three of our staff will attend a two day training in Chicago on creating trauma-sensitive classrooms.
From time to time, people ask about donating used goods. While we greatly appreciate the thought, it is often not practical for us to receive such items.
The No Thank You List
Used Books – When we receive books, we have to have a staff person go through them to assure that they are culturally relevant and reflect the values of our School Family. We are also limited on storage space so, having multiple copies of each book can cause a challenge.
Clothing – Storage space is always a challenge in early childhood programs. In fact, we pay to rent storage space so that our classrooms can rotate furniture and materials. While we do occasionally see needs for clothing, we just don’t have the space to store items until a need arises. When we need clothing, we post the needed item along with the size on our Facebook page.
Car Seats – Due to concerns related to recalls and expiration dates, we can not accept used car seats. We also are unable to determine if seats have been involved in an accident.
Toys – Used toys are another item that we can not receive. We may not able to confirm the appropriate age for materials. Pieces are often missing and/or broken and we must devote staff time to assessing the condition of items.
Ways to Be Helpful
Gas or Grocery Gift Cards – We keep gift cards on hand to help families during difficult times. Even cards with a small amount are helpful.
Items from our Amazon Wish List – Our teachers put items that they would like to receive on the wish list. When these items arrive, it is like a birthday or holiday celebration! (The teachers are often as thrilled as the children!)
Packages of New Underwear – New, child-sized underwear is always needed and appreciated.
Volunteer – If you have time to volunteer, there are many ways to get involved. Consider the following opportunities: Help a teacher on our next staff work day, assist with prepping classroom materials, volunteer in the office or in classrooms.