The Growing Times – March 2021

March 1, 2021
Number 03

 Volume 22

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

Proverbs 22:6

NOTE FROM MS. JANE:

Are you ready for spring?  Just when we thought winter was about over, Mother Nature wanted to have the last word.  Thank you for your patience and understanding when we have to make decisions about opening/closing.  Deciding to open/close, is the WORST! There are so many factors to consider…staffing, parents going to work, safety, clearing the parking lot/sidewalks, etc.  Let’s hope and pray that winter is behind us! 

We are continuing to monitor/adjust plans at GTK as they relate to COVID.  Sadly, we will not have a spring concert this year.   With COVID, we are limited to the number of people allowed in the sanctuary (130) and we have not had music class this school year.  Our prayer is to have music AND concerts during the 2021-22 school year.

We are trying to plan a Pre-K graduation.  It may look different, but we really want to celebrate our Pre-K students as they transition into Kindergarten. 

Continue to pray for Grow to Know, the families, and the staff.   Thank you for all you do. 

COVID-19 UPDATES for 2021!

GTK continues to maintain stable groups-per the advice from the  Greene County Health Department.  Please pray that as numbers of positive cases go down, we will be able to combine groups in the gym, on the playground, in music class, etc.  By combining, we would be able to open earlier, have music class, have two classes on the playground, etc. 

IMPORTANT REMINDERS FROM THE GREEN COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT:

  • Keep your child home if you or your child is NOT feeling well. 
  • If you are waiting on COVID test results, keep your child home with you until you get the results.
  • If you have been tested for COVID and waiting on the results, do NOT enter GTK. 
  • If you are being tested or have tested positive, contact the office.  It helps us in the planning process.
  • Wear your mask within the center and in public. 

Grow to Know  will continue to do the following:

  • Hours:  7:30-5:30. 
  • Masks are required by adults as they enter the building. 
  • Handwashing is encouraged/required throughout the day.
  • GTK will continue with  “stable groups”.
  • GTK Class Closure
    • If  GTK cannot provide care due to a class closure, you will not be charged the weekly tuition. 
    • We will follow the Greene County Health Department guidelines on class closures and quarantine guidelines.   

DR. SEUSS WEEK

Grow to Know will be celebrating Dr. Seuss March 15-19.  We will be reading LOTS of Dr. Seuss books.  Check out the GTK Facebook page for a daily Dr. Seuss reading by GTK staff:

            Monday, March 15:  Fox in Socks so wear your silly or favorite socks.

            Tuesday, March 16:  The Cat in the Hat so wear your favorite/silly hat.

            Wednesday, March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day):  Green Eggs and Ham so wear green.

            Thursday, March 18:  One Fish, Two Fish so wear red or blue.

            Friday, March 19:  Sleep Book so wear your PJ’s.

GROW TO KNOW KIDS

Grow to Know Kids provides child care for school age children.  

  • The cost for GTK Kids will be $110.00 per week plus a $30.00 activity fee for the summer. 
  • Grow to Know Kids is a weekly sign-up.  You are charged for the weeks you attend. 
  • The TENTATIVE dates for Grow to Know Kids is June 1-August 12.

CHECK-IN/OUT

Grow to Know is hoping to have the computer check in/out screens back up and running by the middle of April.  Stay tuned. 

PARENTING TIPS

Check out the Conscious Discipline website (www.consciousdiscipline.com) for some parenting tips.  Here is one article that may be useful to you. 

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.

PRE-K UPDATES (Blue, Sage, Turquoise)

  • Watch for detailed information for the Pre-K classes by the end of March.  Some of the things we are working on include:
    • Pre-K Graduation
    • End of the year field trips
    • Practicing some school type skills—carrying a lunch tray, opening a carton of milk, following 1-3 step directions, etc. 
    • Visiting a school
  • If your child is enrolling in Kindergarten for the school year 2021-22, he/she can enroll in Grow to Know Kids for the summer.  Grow to Know Kids provides child care for school age children.  (See details about GTK Kids within the newsletter.)

DID YOU KNOW????

  • The Children’s Ministry has a weekly video posted on the church website?  There is always a Biblical story, fun, and activities.  Check it out at www.sumc.co/
  • That we will have the annual license inspection in April?  The fire marshal and sanitation have completed their inspections.  The final step in the annual inspection is the state licensing department.  They will inspect the building, review the files for the children and the staff, and inspect the playgrounds.  
  • A majority of the staff will be attending (virtually) an all-day conference on Saturday, March 6?  Staff are required to have a minimum of 12 training hours in a calendar year.
  • That staff have an annual background check?

COATS/JACKETS/BACKPACKS/PERSONAL ITEMS

Check the  LOST AND FOUND basket near the check-in area.  Is your child’s name on the item?  Any unclaimed items will be donated to at the end of the month. 

SCHWEITZER UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

  • Schweitzer will be having an Easter service.  Check it out.  Stay tuned for an Easter Egg Hunt between the church services at Pittman Elementary School.

EASTER SUNDAY, APRIL 4  | ON CAMPUS

In an effort to bring the most people TOGETHER in the safest way, we are hosting TWO OUTDOOR EASTER services on the Schweitzer campus at 9 am (Traditional) and 11 am (Modern).

Both will be held in the parking lot, near the Sanctuary. We are planning to have a large tent, along with a large outdoor stage, seating and more. 

An online Easter service will also be shared at live.sumc.co for individuals unable to attend in person.

  • Check out Schweitzer United Methodist Church at sumc.co for details on worship times, safety guidelines, classes, sermon topics, and more. 

GROW TO KNOW KIDS

Grow to Know Kids is (TENTATIVELY) planning to have Grow to Know Kids for the school age children for the summer.  (The final decision should be made by March 12…pending information from the Greene County Health Department and Schweitzer.) 

  • Weekly sign-up required.  (You will be charged for the weeks you sign up.  Cancellation is required by noon on the Friday previous to the week you signed up to cancel payment.)
  • We are working on a computer sign up feature! 
  •  The classrooms upstairs will be used for their home rooms.
  • Tentatively planning weekly field trips.  (Pending Covid, places to go, etc.)

INFORMATION

  • Grow to Know Hours:  7:30-5:30.    (Hours have been adjusted due to COVID restrictions.)  You will charged $5.00 per minute after 5:30 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 starting at 9:00.)
  • 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. 

HOLIDAY CLOSURES 2021

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:  Grow to Know will be closed on the following days in 2021:

May 31 (Memorial Day)

July 5 (Independence Day…the actual holiday is on Sunday, July 4)

August 13 (Professional Learning Day for the staff)

September 6 (Labor Day)

November 25, 26 (Thanksgiving)

December 24-31 (Christmas/New Year’s)

Bible Verse for March:  Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 

Ephesians 6:1

CALENDAR OF EVENTS: 

March:

1-14:  Scholastic Virtual Book Fair (Your child’s teacher has a book wish list….check it out.)

15-19:  Dr. Seuss Week (See article within the newsletter for spirit week fun)

April:

4:  Easter

16:  Pre-K Pictures (More information to come)

May:

Hopefully sometime the week of May 17-20 (Stay tuned for details.)

31:  GTK CLOSED

June:

1:  (Tentative 1st day for Grow to Know Kids)

July:

5:  GTK CLOSED

August:

12:  Meet the Teacher (Tentative)

13:  GTK CLOSED (Professional Development Day for GTK Staff)

16:  First day of school

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