Dear Friends of The Playing Field,
I hope that you are enjoying updates on our program. We so appreciate your ongoing interest in our work! This issue of Field News celebrates our super hero teachers and their important roles in the lives of children and families. I have recently had the opportunity to speak about challenges facing the field of early care and education. You can find the article here.
I will also be participating in a panel for Wisconsin Strong to bring child care and business together to create solutions. If you are interested in attending, the information is included with this newsletter. To learn more information and sign up for this event visit the Eventbrite page.
Wishing you all the best,
Our preschoolers have been enjoying an in-depth study of super heroes! Everyone agreed that super heroes are always helpful and never hurtful.
The children began by discussing everything they already knew about super heroes and added all the things they wanted to learn about them. Each child had the opportunity to make their very own super hero mask and cape. There were many engaging activities planned for our little heroes.
The job of a super hero is very important. They keep everyone safe. That is exactly what our Super Hero Teachers do every day at The Playing Field! We are so grateful for our amazing staff. Every one of them is a real life Super Hero!
The role of the Safe Keeper is very important in Conscious Discipline. In fact, the job description of the teacher changes from “It is my job to make you behave,” to “It is my job to keep you safe.” The base of safety is vital so children can make emotional connections with their teachers and the other members of our School Family. From there, they can learn together and solve problems!
For more information about how creating safety and connection can truly transform our schools view this video:
Life is a Playground!
The children of The Playing Field are being taken under the wing of Madison’s historic Attic Angel Association, the philanthropic organization that set a framework for the city’s health care infrastructure as well as high-quality early education for disadvantaged children. Celebrating 130 years of caring for Madison, the Angels are using their milestone birthday to raise money to improve The Playing Field’s playground resources. Their yearlong online fundraiser will help build a sensory playground that will support children with specific needs related to early trauma.
Themed Life is a Playground! the centerpiece of Attic Angel’s birthday year will be an outdoor/indoor party and playtime on Sunday, July 28. With fun for all ages, from 1 to 101, the public event will be on the Attic Angel campus at the intersection of Old Sauk and Junction roads. The Playing Field will have a presence at the event and will be a partner in raising money for the project all year long. As a 501(c)(3) organization, Attic Angel Association seeks to meet identified needs of children and seniors in Dane County. For this anniversary fundraiser, the Angels are asking the entire community and beyond to join them in making a meaningful difference for children and their futures.
To learn more about the birthday party and to make your gift to help in this heroic effort, visit www.AtticAngel.org/130.
What Can One Teacher Do About Trauma?
The role of teaching children who have been impacted by trauma is important but, it isn’t always easy. We know that secure, emotional connections are the best buffer against early adversity. However, for some children connections don’t feel safe. In fact, they may be very scary! A child may resist the very thing (connection) that can bring healing to her.
The article below was recently distributed to the staff of The Playing Field. These dedicated early childhood professionals create many moments of connection with children each day. These moments are referred to by Dr. Bruce Perry as “therapeutic moments.”
Dr. Perry goes on to say, “Just as a traumatic experience can alter a life in an instant, so too can a therapeutic encounter.”
Our staff are truly building brains and healing hearts with each moment of presence and connection
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.