I hope you had a wonderful Holiday break! Mine was very eventful, Both my kids were home for Christmas, then we went to Santa Barbara, my father had a successful triple bypass surgery and moved into a new home a week later (His home burnt down when I was visiting last Christmas!), My best friend from high school got married and I got to see my old “gang” that I haven’t seen in 34 years! It was so much fun!
We are going to ease into the new year by reading “The Mitten” By Jan Brett and doing a symmetry painting project and a sequencing story telling project.
I would like you to bring a picture of your child as a baby to school-not too young, maybe between 6 months to a 1 year old) As soon as we get all the pictures in, we will start learning about babies, how we grow, how we changed, how to take care of a baby, how to diaper a baby, feed a baby. It’s really fun to see the children in a caring role and really learning about themselves.
In a couple weeks you will get a handout of all the different options you have for attending Valley Parent next year, It will also be time to register for next year.
I want to meet with any parents that have questions or concerns about the best placement for your child,or any questions about your child and their development. I will put a note out to sign up for conference spots. I will be doing this on Fridays, and your child will be able to play at school during our meeting.
Thank you to everyone who participated in our December Fundraisers: See’s Candy, Photo Charms, Stationery illustrated by our little ones, and our shopping night at Learning Express!
P.S. If you are still interested in purchasing pre-made photo charms (no new orders are being taken at this time) of your child or your child’s stationery, please email fundraising [at] valleyparent [dot] org.
What a fun time we had at the bank today for the Milk and Cookies with the Bears event! Thank you to all the families who donated stuffed animals and to those who were able to join us for cookies and milk today. An extra special, sprinkle-covered thank you goes to Margie Perry and Lin Radford of Community Bank of the Bay in Danville for hosting this event. The kids really enjoyed their cookies and milk and getting to cuddle their bears one more time! We are so thrilled that we could be part of this event again. Thank you for displaying our bears and putting them up for adoption. We are excited that the adoption proceeds will go to Capes4Heroes and that the bears will go to Project Night Night. Thank you to our very own VPP Parent Jeannie Dryfoos who will be transporting the bears next week to Project Night Night, and thank you to Kendra Stitt Robins at Project Night Night for making sure our bears make their way to Project Pride in Oakland and the Asian Women’s Shelter in SF. Thank you, Jane McInnis from the Danville Patch, for shining a light on our children’s efforts and publishing their deed, so that they might see how their community also values their compassion.
It is an indescribable feeling watching your own very young children learn what it means to practice compassion toward others. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for being a part of this collective effort.
Holidays are often a time we can set aside our daily routines to be with family and friends. Many of us think about eating special foods, singing or listening to holiday music, or decorating our homes with special items. For some, holiday traditions help us connect with our ancestors or engage us in thinking about religious or ethnic identity and how we want to continue it with our own children.
Valley Parent celebrates the holidays by acknowledging that:
Some families celebrate the same holiday in similar or in different ways
Some families celebrate different holidays in similar or in different ways
Some families celebrate multiple holidays
Some holidays are celebrated in December and many are not
Some families do not celebrate any holidays
What your family does, or does not do, is valued at Valley Parent Preschool
We can all learn about different holidays and how they are celebrated
All families, holidays and traditions are equally valued at Valley Parent Preschool
This month during talk-over we want to hear how your family spends the holidays. We would love to hear about the holidays you celebrate and if your family has any unique traditions, special meals you prepare, or favorite family activities.
We always welcome families to come in and share with the class a special part of your culture or heritage. In the past we have had dancing, stories, special music, and even cooking and food. Please talk with your child’s teacher if you would like to set up a time to share with the class, either in December or later in the year.
In addition to sharing your traditions at our end of the day talk-over, we invite you to post them in the comment section below. You never know when you might find something new to start with your family! You can also post your traditions on our VPP Facebook page here.
We are approaching the time of year when we reflect on the joys we share as a family, as well as the joys that come from being a part of a greater school community that values the whole child and service learning. At VPP we have a very special tradition we hope will prove to be a great way to teach our youngsters the power and joy of giving back to our community.
VPP has teamed up with Community Bank of the Bay in a wonderful fundraising event that will benefit kids just like ours who are going through difficult times. We want to stress that participation is voluntary.
What we are asking is for our kids to donate a new teddy bear, 18” or smaller, with the tag on. We are going to have bins at school to collect the Bears from November 12th to the 19th. The kids will write their names on tags and place a special ribbon on it.
All of the Bears are going to be donated to “Project Night Night”, a wonderful Bay-Area-Based Non-Profit that provides a tote bag with a blanket, a book, and a stuffed animal to homeless children across the country.
Community Bank of the Bay is making it more special by first displaying the Bears at their bank for a couple of weeks for them to be “adopted” by their clients. All the money raised with the adoption of the bears is going to be donated to “Capes 4 Heroes” which is a Danville-based non-profit run by our very own VPP parent Barbara Casados. She makes and donates superhero capes for critically and terminally ill children across the country.
Once all of the bears are adopted, Community Bank of the Bay has invited the kids to have milk and cookies at the bank where they will see the bears once again. This is absolutely voluntary and is going to be after school hours, with more information to come on the date(s) and time(s). We will also have some press coverage at this event.
We encourage you to visit www.projectnightnight.org and http://capes4heroes.com/to see the work they are doing for the kids in our area and across the country. We want you to be the one to tell your kids how important the bear she/he is donating and how it is going to be special for someone just like them.
At VPP our priority is the education of the whole child and this could be an experience and an opportunity to empower and help the next generations to be compassionate and active in our communities.
This was such a great reminder of the importance of long periods of uninterrupted play time.
The first child spent time arranging the pipe in the perfect position to accomplish his goal…to get water to flow down into the sandbox so it would form a puddle at the bottom. Slowly and carefully he used the hose to fill his bucket over and over. Next he tested if the water would flow down if leaves were in the pipe, and then if sand was there too.
A bit later he discovered a large pipe filled with sand was in his way. He tried to move it but found it was too heavy, so he went to find his friends (the firefighters!) to help. Once they got the pipe where they wanted it, they worked together on how the three of them could use the area together, despite having three different ideas at first.
All in all, this process took over an hour and the children were actively engaged in their play the entire time. Ninety minutes of free exploration time can seem like a loooong time to adults, but this time is vitally important for the children.
These children experienced hands-on science & math, worked on their fine & large motor skills, practiced their balance & coordination, made predictions and tested their ideas, experienced being a leader & a helper, and had sensory experiences with soft sand, cold water, crunchy leaves, and squishy mud. They experienced cause & effect, developed their attention span, practiced problem solving, and worked on the very important life skills of negotiation and conflict resolution.
All of this learning was possible because they had a long period of time to play!
I hope you all enjoyed the sunny, warm weather yesterday and survived the windy, cold weather today!
Tomorrow we will paint our “Thankful Leaves” with watercolors, sort and organize autumn leaves according to different characteristics, and sort and put together our felt skeleton parts on the felt board. We will read Skeleton Hiccups and begin to practice a new song with sign language.
Wednesday is our Halloween Parade! Yippee!!
-Please arrive promptly at 9:00, as the parade will begin at 9:10 am.
-Bring your child already dressed in his/her costume and have them join the large group in the block room while you make your way out to the back yard. We will parade around the yard twice (bring your cameras!)
-Then please change your child out of his/her costume and take it home, along with all the extra parts. We don’t want anything getting lost or ruined before the big day! Don’t forget to bring regular school clothes.
We will then have free choice and snack time and end the last hour of the day with our Halloween Party. You do not need to come back to the party – it is very low key. There will be different stations where the children can decorate a cookie, play some games, have their face painted, or do a craft. Of course, we will sing our Halloween songs, too!
There is no school Friday. It is a district in service day for teachers, and our teachers will be meeting as well.
Thank you for everything you have done for our school so far this year! We are having so much fun!