The Growing Times – February 2020

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NOTE FROM MS. JANE:

First of all, a big thanks for all of the goodies/gifts you gave to GTK staff during the holiday season. We had sweet treats throughout the season—so we can blame you for the added pounds!  The gifts were so kind and thoughtful! 

The Grow to Know spring/summer calendar is filling up fast. Check out the calendar within this newsletter so you make plans for all the fun. 

Grow to Know passed the annual sanitation and fire inspections. The  BIG licensing inspection will be scheduled sometime soon. Licensing personnel will check the children’s files for up to date shot records, and enrollment forms. We will notify you if we need anything from you. Licensing will also check classrooms, the playgrounds, employee files, and the kitchen to make sure everything is safe and meets the licensing guidelines. We will be contacting you if we need anything for your child’s file. Thanks for your help with this. 

Thanks for praying for us, trusting us, and sharing your precious child with us. 

PARENT TRAINING

Conscious Parenting

What:  Learn how to stop policing and pleading and become the parent you want to be.

You love your children, but if you’re like most parents, you don’t always love their behavior. But how can you guide them without resorting to less-than-optimal behavior yourself?

Who:  Jinny Datema will be presenting helpful strategies to help you with the daily struggles of parenting.  Jinny works for Springfield Public Schools and has done numerous parent trainings helping parents with those difficult moments. 

When:  Tuesday, February 11, and Tuesday, February 18 from 6:30-8:00.  Free child care will be provided with meals for the children.  Snacks will be provided for the parents. Please reserve with us so we know how many people/children to prepare for.

Where:  Grow to Know…Memorial Hall (church basement). 

The Relationship Revolution training was great.  We are looking at scheduling future parent meetings/trainings in the future.   

CLASS DOJO

BIG NEWS!  Grow to Know is moving forward with a school wide program called Class DoJO.

ClassDojo is a classroom communication platform for teachers and parents. The platform allows administrators and teachers to share events, pictures, announcements and other information with parents. You can access Class Dojo with an app on your phone or computer. We will be able to communicate with you for school wide news (EX.  GTK is closed), classroom (EX.  Show and Tell Day), and individually (EX.  Your child needs diapers). 

The teachers will be sending home the information (if they haven’t already) on what you need to do. Let us know if you have any questions. 

Our hope is that everyone will be ready to go “live” center wide by February 10. 2020. 

We will continue to have the Facebook page so we can share pictures of all the classes. 

PLAYGROUND

Grow to Know would like to update the playgrounds with an all-weather type flooring and possibly new equipment. It is VERY expensive. If you have any contacts or ideas, let us know. 

GTK CAN ALWAYS USE

  • Kleenex tissues. Thanks for the donations.
  • Sand. We will need to refill the sand box for spring time fun.

STAFF TRAINING

Grow to Know will be CLOSED on Friday, July 31, to allow the Grow to Know staff a day for professional learning. It’s important for the staff to continue learning and growing. The plans are still being finalized for the day, so stay tuned.   

YOU CAN HELP US

  • By asking your child about “their favorite part of the day.” This helps a child focus on a positive part to their day, rather than who was in time-out, who didn’t share, etc. 
  • By encouraging your child to cover their sneeze/cough. (We have a little song we sing at GTK. Ask you child about it.)
  • By keeping your child home if he/she is sick. 

FAMILY FUN NIGHT

GTK is planning a Family Fun Night for Tuesday, March 3 from 5:30-6:30 in the gym. There will be games, snacks, a book fair, and lots of fun. March 2-6 is Dr. Seuss Week with spirit days (check out the calendar) and lots of books. 

INCLEMENT WEATHER

Spring is getting closer but February can bring a blast of winter so be aware of the weather. 

We will do our best to open and want to honor the parents so they can go to work but we consider the following: 

  • Can the sidewalks/parking lot be cleared by 7:00 AM?
  • Can the staff get to work safely?  Can we stay within licesing ratio guidelines?
  • What is the weather forecast for the day?
  • What are the schools/colleges doing?
  • Would it be wise and safer to open at 8:00 instead of 7:00 to allow time for the parking lot to be cleared and staff to arrive?

Our goal is to  have a decision to open/close by 6:00 AM.  Our options are: 

            Open/close (We WILL open if Springfield Public Schools are open.)

            Late start.  A late start allows the parking lot to be cleared and staff can drive to work in the daylight. 

SAFETY

  • Lock your cars! 
  • Drive slowly on the parking lot. There are small children that can run out behind parked cars.

VISION SCREENING

Grow to Know will offer free vision and color blindness screening for everyone, including the infants, on March 6. Vision screenings allow for early intervention to help with success in school. The permission forms will be sent home for you so sign. 

If your child doesn’t attend on Fridays, you can bring your child for the free screeing. 

UPDATES AT GTK

  • Check the picture board by the gym for staff updates. 
  • Check out the bulletin board by the 5th/6th grade classroom. There will be information about the staff. We also have some post-it notes where all of us can share some funny stories. Check it out.
  • GTK is moving forward with Class DoJo. Class DoJo is a way for us to communicate in a more efficient manner. See the Class DoJo article for more information. 

HELPFUL TIPS FOR PARENTS

Check out the following websites for great ideas for parents:

  • Conscious Discipline Facebook page and the Conscious Discipline website (www.consciousdiscipline.com)
  • Springfield MO Parents as Teachers Facebook page. 
  • Read to your child!
  • Ask your child: “Were you kind today?”  “What did you do to be kind?” “How can you be safe at school?”

The following article is a great one to help you teach/learn with your child. 

How can I say “no” and be heard?

In its simplest terms, saying “no” and being heard is called “assertiveness.” It is a key skill that both adults and children must cultivate in order to develop healthy relationships. Assertive commands focus on what you want to have happen, give clear information about what to do, and are given in a tone of voice that says “just do it.” Conscious Discipline (educators) and Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline (parents) spend ample time focusing on the skill of assertiveness. The following tips from these publications will get you started:

Focus on What To Do: When you are upset, you are always focused on what you don’t want. Use active calming techniques to regain your composure as necessary, and then shift your focus away from what’s wrong. Instead, focus on what you want to have happen. Have you ever heard an Olympic athlete visualize “not losing?” No! They focus on diving their cleanest dive or running their fastest race in order to achieve their goal. You must do the same with your goal is to paint a picture with your words and gestures of exactly what you want the child to do.

“Don’t you dare touch anything in this store” focuses on what you don’t want (don’t touch). Pivot and reframe it in the positive, “Keep your hands in your pockets.” All assertive commands give usable information. “Don’t ____” is not usable information because it doesn’t tell what to do. “Don’t hit your brother” becomes: “When you want your brother to move say, “move please.”

Give the Command Assertively: There are three tones of voice we use when we communicate: passive, aggressive and assertive.

A passive approach says, “Approve of me, love me, is it okay with you if___.” A passive approach does not engender respect or compliance, so a passive person often resorts to manipulation or ‘going through the back door’ to get their needs met. Passive communication is not effective communication.

An aggressive approach says, “I am right and you are wrong, no matter what.” It often includes threats, blame, severe consequences or “you” statements that are focused solely on the other person. An aggressive approach invites a defensive response and engenders fear. Aggressive communication is not effective communication.

An assertive approach says, “Do this,” in a clear and respectful manner with a voice of no doubt. With children, follow these steps to deliver an assertive command:

  1. Establish eye contact by approaching the child, getting down on his/her level and moving closer until he/she notices you. For easily distracted children, you may need to get as close as six inches.
  2. Verbally tell the child what you want him/her to do. State your expectations clearly and simply. Be certain that the statement is formulated in the positive… focus on what you want them to do and paint a clear picture with your words. “Hold my hand so you are safe when we cross the street.” “Give me the scissors. They are sharp and could cut you.” “Use a quiet voice while we are in the museum.” “Pick up the markers and put them in the shoe box.”
  3. Give visual, auditory and tactile cues as often as possible. Demonstrate a gentle touch, gesture in the direction you wish the child to move, practice what a soft voice sounds like, etc.
  4. Send the nonverbal message “just do it” with the tone of your voice and with your nonverbal stance as you give the command. If your nonverbal cues are passive, your child may easily refuse. If your nonverbal cues are aggressive, your child will resist in self-defense. When nonverbal and verbal communication both say, “Just do it,” you let the child know your command has meaning.
  5. Celebrate your child’s success. The minute the child begins to show any degree of compliance, jump in with praise. Even if s/he wasn’t really going to comply, s/he likely will comply once you begin to praise him/her. “Good for you,” “You did it,” and “way to go” followed by a description of the child’s action are great ways to celebrate them without judging. “Way to go! You’re reaching for my hand so we can cross the street safely!”
  6. If your child chooses not to comply, repeat the request and say, “I’m going to show you what to do.” Lead the child gently and instructively in completing the request. Say, “I’m going to show you how to cross the street safely” and take the child’s hand in yours.

DID YOU KNOW????

  • That GTK will celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 14?  Your child’s teacher will send home information. 
  • That the 3’s and Pre-K gather at 8:15 each morning to sing the GTK song, the monthly Bible verse, celebrate birthdays, and pray? 
  • That GTK will offer FREE vision and color blindness screening on March 6? 

GROW TO KNOW KIDS (School Age)

Grow to Know Kids is using Pro-Care for signing up online! You MUST reserve AND pay in advance. The steps are listed on the GTK Facebook page OR call the office for more information.

  • Grow to Know Kids is available for school age children Kindergarten-4th grade. The cost is $35.00 per day. 
  • Grow to Know Kids is available when Springfield Public Schools is scheduled out. We do NOT offer GTK Kids on snow days. We must have a minimum of 10 children signed up to offer Grow to Know Kids.
  • Grow to Know Kids is licensed for 50 school age children. 
  • Summer will be here before we know it. We hope to have the summer information available in March. We are planning field trips, fun activities, and lots of fun. 

GROW TO KNOW KIDS (School Age)-SCHOOL YEAR 2019-2020

February 17
March 13-20
April 10

SCHWEITZER UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

  • Check out Schweitzer United Methodist Church at sumc.co for more details on worship times, activities, and classes. 
  • Schweitzer Children’s Ministry offers many activities for children.  Check out the Schweitzer website for details. 

INFORMATION

  • Grow to Know Hours: 7:00-6:00.  You will be charged a $1.00 a minute after 6:00 PM.  
  • Please call the office OR post on the GTK Facebook page if your child is going to be absent or will be arriving after 9:00.    (The kitchen staff does lunch counts during breakfast (9:00-9:30).
  • A $15.00 late fee is applied to late payments and balances carried over.  If you have specific questions, contact the office. 
  • Grow to Know has a private Facebook page for the GTK families and staff, so “Like” us on Facebook. Check out the Grow to Know website (www.gtkpreschool.com). 
  • We bill on Mondays for the week. 
  • Check with the office if you have concerns/questions about your GTK payments.

Bible Verse for February: When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?  Psalm 56:3-4

(We have memory verse CD’s available in the office. The cost is $8.00.)

CALENDAR OF EVENTS:

February

11:  Conscious Discipline Parent Training I @ 6:00-7:30
14:  Valentine Class Parties.  We will celebrate throughout the day. 
18:  Conscious Discipline Parent Training II @ 6:00-7:30
17:  GTK Kids
26-28: Kindergarten Screening

March

3:  Family Fun Night
6:  Vision screening
2-6:  Dr. Seuss Week/Spirit Week
2:  “Cat in the Hat”—Wear a hat
    3:  “If I Ran the Zoo”—Wear something wild
    4:  “Green Eggs and Ham”—Wear something green
    5:  “Fox in Socks”—Wear crazy socks
    6:  “Oh, the Places You’ll Go”—Wear a school/college/team shirt
16-20:  GTK Kids

April

23:  Spring Concert/Art Walk
10:  GTK Kids

May

4-8:  Teacher Appreciation Week
8:  Muffins for Moms
19:  Grow to Know Graduation @ 6:30
31:  GTK CLOSED

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