October Family Night
Our ﬁrst family night of the new school year was held on October 24th. We had over 100 people in attendance. Regular Family Nights provide our families with the opportunity to meet and connect over the shared interests of seeing their children thrive.
At each family night, volunteers from Bethany United Methodist Church assist with serving the meal. This allows our staﬀ to spend the evening interacting with children and families. We are so grateful for this support!
In addition to a delicious meal and parent-child activities, The Playing Field provides parents with training around child development. We utilize the same social-emotional program implemented in our classrooms to help parents understand and respond to their child’s behavior.
At our October event, three Conscious Discipline Certiﬁed Instructors from around the country assisted with training. Karen Hickman (Missouri), Anne Hoﬀ (Minnesota), and Jenny Barkac (Montana) provided instruction to families on the importance of emotional attachment and attuned presence. Parents and children learned I Love You Rituals which include eye contact, touch, and presence in a playful situation. Shalicia Johnson of Arrow Photography photographed each family and her beautiful pictures will be given to families as a gift at our December Family Night. Other photographs were taken by UW student Tatiana Dennis. She truly captured the love and joy of this evening!
Family Emergency Fund
At the end of each year, The Playing Field accepts donations for our Family Emergency Fund. These funds are used throughout the year to help families in times of need.
Funds collected this year were used in a variety of ways. A mother who was unable to work for a few weeks after an emergency surgery was assisted with rent. Another family was assisted with car repairs. Several families have been helped with gas or groceries.
We are so grateful for those who support this fund!
Trauma Informed Care
Staﬀ at The Playing Field are continuing to build their knowledge about trauma, its impact on the developing brain, and how to best support children impacted by trauma.
In mid-October, Executive Directo, Abbi Kruse and Program Director Michelle Henner attended a two-day Conscious Discipline training on trauma. Conscious Discipline Author and Founder Dr. Becky Bailey provided in-depth information of how trauma impacts the brain as well as strategies professionals can utilize to help children build resiliency.
In late October, all of the Lead Teachers attended a training on trauma. Conscious Discipline Master Instructor Amy Spiedel came to The Playing Field from Ohio to provide a full day of teacher inservice. Staﬀ were recognized for their important role in supporting our most vulnerable children. Teachers gained a deeper understanding of trauma and their roles in providing a buﬀer of secure attachment against early adversity.
Through continued training, our staﬀ is constantly increasing their understanding of child behavior and how to respond. With these skills, they can better support both children and families. We are thankful that our classroom staﬀ are willing to grow professionally, rise to a high level of professionalism, and provide care for children who might otherwise be excluded from high quality early education programs.
The word “teacher” doesn’t begin to describe the role our staﬀ ﬁll in the lives of children. In this photo, teacher, Sarah Stratman is modeling our new T-shirts with job titles including Cerebral Architect, Gray Matter Design Specialist, Intellect Expansion Engineer, and Brain Builder.