Welcome back! We are very excited to begin the 2017-2018 school year. In the monthly newsletter, you’ll find the latest information about what’s happening at Downey, as well as: updates from our teachers and board co-presidents, book recommendations, links to community events, and special interest articles. Please be sure to direct your friends, family and any Downey Co-op alumni to our website so they can enjoy our newsletter and all the other features of the site. If you wish to contribute an article or photographs, or if there is anything you want to see featured in The Downey upBeat, please feel free to contact the newsletter coordinator, Lisa Abner (firstname.lastname@example.org), at any time. Enjoy!
Hi Downey Families,
I hope you all have had a wonderful summer filled with fun and lots of quality time with family and friends. We are so excited for the new school year to begin! Thanks to Halimah and Joe for organizing the Outdoor Clean-up Day and thanks to all of you who helped. It always amazes me how much better the playground looks when we’re done. Outdoor clean-up day is the only time I have fun doing yard work.
We have our Downey TB tests scheduled for Monday, September 18th at 9:30am and Thursday September 21st at 8:45am. The cost is $20. Everyone who doesn’t have a current TB test will need one in order to participate more than 3 times over the year. You will need to be there both days. You are welcome to get a TB test done outside of Downey as long as you bring a copy for us to keep on file.
I am really looking forward to the Downey Grownup Playdate on Saturday, September 16th at the Irving Theatre. Come and bring your adult family and friends to enjoy food, drinks, music and fun activities. This is a great way to get to know the other parents at Downey in a relaxed and fun environment. Buy your tickets soon!
Just a reminder that any paperwork and first and last month’s tuition is due by the first day of school. If you have any questions or need help with this, please let us know.
This Thursday the 31st is our last summer playdate at Ellenberger Park. It will be in the evening from 6-8pm. Bring a picnic dinner or take advantage of the food trucks. I hope to see you all there!
I can hardly believe we’re just over a week away from beginning our inaugural Kindergarten class at Downey! The past few months have been a whirlwind of excitement so I’m looking forward to having all of the students in class and begin settling into our daily routines. I have just a few reminders for families:
- Bring an extra outfit, including socks, for your child that will be left at school
- Feel free to bring in rain gear, including boots, before the first rainy day of the school year (I’d recommend leaving these materials at school)
- Each child will need a backpack, lunchbox and water bottle
- Insect repellent that can be labeled and left at school
- I forgot to mention this during our meeting, but I would appreciate it if everyone could send in a family photo that we can display in our room (these do not need to be framed)
- PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT PARENT PARTICIPANTS WILL ALSO NEED QUALITY WEATHER GEAR FOR THIS SCHOOL YEAR 🙂
I am so excited to start another great year at Downey!
Downey Parents Overhaul Playground
Walking through the Frog’s Classroom door to the playground on August 26, there were several gasps from Downey Co-op parent volunteers. “Wow! That is a LOT of weeds.” “Do you think we have enough stain for the WHOLE thing?” “So I take it that no one has been out here all summer…”
The task before their eyes was indeed daunting, with overgrown weeds covering the ground, a dull-colored play structure, a sandbox that needed refilled, and stubborn winter leaves composting in sheltered corners. But the dedicated group of parents quickly separated themselves into groups and began transforming the space. Armed with tools, trash bags, paint supplies, and a lot of cooperation, the playground became a place where children can explore, climb, swing, dig, jump, and use their imaginations in a natural setting.
New features were added to the playground this year, including an outdoor sink and stump circle. The boot rack was repaired, and the play structure received a new coat of stain to protect it from the elements. Sticks were picked up, leaves were cleared away, hedges were trimmed, new sand was brought in, and the stump circle was “properly tested” to ensure its safety.
Many thanks to the families who supported the playground cleanup day, and to everyone who volunteered their time, talent, supplies, tools, and labor. Our playground looks incredible, and the kids are going to love it!
Downey Co-op Fundraising Presents: Grown-up Playdate!
This fun event will allow adults (21+ only, please) to play in a ball pit, build a blanket fort, experience sensory tables, and create finger paint masterpieces while listening to great music! We all need a little play in our lives, so come join us! Tickets available online at https://downeycoop.com/playdate/
Get your tickets today, and we hope to see you at the Irving Theater in downtown Irvington! Each ticket is $27 per person, and includes dinner, adult beverages, activities, and live entertainment.
TB Testing Comes to Downey
One of the least favorite parts of any person’s life is getting sick. Tuberculosis, a contagious bacterial infection that commonly affects the lungs, is no different. In the early stages, Tuberculosis (TB) symptoms appear to be flu-like with fever, body aches, and coughing/sneezing. Some people may not display any symptoms at all. But during late stages of the infection, TB symptoms include unexplained weight loss, chronic fatigue, drenching night sweats, and coughing up blood. The bacteria spreads by air in droplets released into the air via coughs and sneezes, and tuberculosis used to be potentially fatal. Today, TB can be treated successfully by a series of antibiotics, especially if diagnosed in the early stages.
As with any illness, the most effective treatment is prevention. Tuberculosis testing, also known as the PPD test, is a skin test used to determine if someone has developed an immune response to the bacterium that causes TB. This response can occur if someone currently has TB, or if they were exposed to it in the past. A positive TB test does not necessarily mean that a person currently has an active TB infection, but that more evaluation is needed.
Downey Co-op requires that all parents serving more than 3 times in a classroom need to have the results of a recent TB test on file. These tests are available at most walk-in health clinics and at the Marion County Health Department, but for the convenience of our parents, Downey will be having TB Testing offered in the Quilter’s Room at the school on Monday, September 18, at 9:30 am, with a follow-up results session on Thursday, September 21, at 8:45 am. The cost is $20.
Preparing Your Child for the New School Year
written by Katie Glass
Here at Downey Coop, our first day back is just around the corner. Whether your kids have already experienced a school setting or this is their first time, there’s one thing we all can count on: Back to School is always a big transition. But with some simple preparation, we can make the first weeks of school easier for our kids and ourselves.
Make sure your child is familiar with the school.
If they were at Downey last year, great! You only need to talk about any differences this year.
- “Now that you’re in Polliwogs, you get play in the other classroom with more toys, and even stay a little longer.”
- “Now that you’ll be in the Frogs class, you’ll get to stay longer on Mondays and eat lunch with your friends.”
- “Now that you’ll be in Leapfrog Kindergarten, you’ll get to play in the new classroom next to the Tadpoles for three whole days in a row.”
But if this is their first year at this school, then you’ll want to take some trips to the building. There are a few terrific ways to bond your kid at our school: admire the playground through the fence and get them excited about the slides or sandbox, walk through our building and poke your heads into your child’s classroom, even use the classroom bathroom to really foster security. The more they see the school, the less they’ll fret with the fear of unknown, the more they’ll feel comfortable during the first weeks.
Practice saying goodbye.
For many children, the biggest challenge will be saying goodbye to you. Orchestrate small separations to practice saying goodbye, and develop a parting routine, such as a hug and a saying like:
“I love you, you love me, have a great day and I’ll see you at 11!”
You may want to use to help your child bond with their new teacher before leaving; they need to transfer their attachment focus from you to the teacher if they are to successfully let you go. Scheduling a Home Visit with your child’s teacher is a good way to introduce your child to their teacher in a familiar setting before the first day of school. Here are some statements to facilitate teacher-student bonding:
- “When you’re in Miss Egan’s class, I bet she’ll be impressed with what a great cleaner-upper you are.”
- “I’m pretty sure that Mrs. Lovold reads stories to the kids; she might read your favorite book if we bring it to school.”
- “Your teacher is such a wonderful lady, and I just know you two are going to love each other!”
If this is your child’s first time in a school environment, they may feel nervous, worried, or unsure. Be sure to listen to their feelings, and explore what may make your child feel most comfortable. Normalize their feelings; most children have worries about starting a new school year, even if they’ve been to school before. Some children like having a “goodbye routine” in which you read a book, sing a silly goodbye song, do a secret handshake, or help them hang up their bag before leaving. Other children like having a “mental movie” to prepare themselves for what to expect while they are apart from you.
A “mental movie” could look something like this:
“We’ll get up early tomorrow for your first day in Miss Angie’s class. We will drive there together, I will take you into her classroom, and we’ll say hello to her. She will make sure you know all the other kids, because they will be your new friends. I will give you a big hug and say our special goodbye. Then you can play with the other kids on the playground. After a bit, you’ll all go inside, and there will be games and books and blocks, and she will read to the class. And at the end of the day, I will meet you on the playground with Miss Angie to pick you up and hear all about your first day at school!”
Knowing that you will be coming back for them is very important for your child, especially if they are feeling nervous about their new school, classmates, or teacher.
Start conversations about beginning school.
One good way to do this is to select books relating to starting school. Get your kids excited by talking about what they can expect, including snack, playground, reading, singing and art. If you know other children who will be in their class or in the school, be sure to mention that they will see or play with them. Share your own stories about things you loved about school.
Encourage questions by asking what they think school will be like. That will help them to express any fears they haven’t articulated, but that are making them nervous. Emphasize the things you think they’ll enjoy but be sure not to minimize their fears; kids can be stricken by worries that adults might find silly, like finding the bathroom at school. Normalize any fears and reassure them that they will have fun, that the school can reach you if necessary, and that your love is always with them even when you aren’t. Be sure to end every conversation with “and when school is over I will be there to pick you up and we’ll have a special snack while you tell me all about your day” so that every time your child thinks about school, they remember this reassurance.
As always, be alert for signs that your child is worried, and reflect that most kids are a little nervous before the first day of school, but that they will feel right at home in their new classroom soon.
As the Downey Librarian, I naturally have a passion for kids’ books. I’m especially always on the lookout
for books that teach about kindness, healthy habits, social justice, or the environment. Each month, I
will share some of my family’s favorite kids’ books. You can find these at the Indy library or used for
cheap on Half.com. There’s nothing like reading to our kids to help us feel more connected to them!
–Katie Glass, mom of a Downey Frog
1. Shades of People, by Shelley Rotner and Sheila M. Kelly
This beautiful book is good for all preschool/kindergarten ages, with its large photos of kids’
faces. It describes different shades of skin colors with some clever adjectives such as “copper”
and “almond”. It also emphasizes that skin is “like wrapping paper”, and we can’t know what
someone’s like on the inside just by looking at the outside. One of our favorites!
2. From Head to Toe, by Eric Carle
This book makes kids and parents do silly things with their bodies, like clapping like a seal,
kicking like a donkey, and more. Great interaction book, and even more fun when they are older
and can read it to you. This has been read over and over in our house!
- September 4: Labor Day
- September 5: First Day of School (all Tues/Thurs classes) – 9:00 am
- September 5: School Board Meeting – 6:30 – 8:30pm (Century Hall)
- September 6: First Day of School (all Wed/Fri classes) – 9:00 am
- September 10: Downey at Irvington Farmer’s Market – 12:00-3:00 pm
- September 16: Grown-up Playdate – 7 – 10pm (Irving Theater)
- September 18: TB Testing – 9:30 am (Quilter’s Room)
- September 21: TB Testing – 8:45 am (Quilter’s Room)
Welcome to this school year’s final edition of The Downey upBeat! We have had a terrific school year, and while we will be sad to say goodbye to our teachers, classrooms and classmates, the call of summer will soon be beckoning. Please enjoy the newsletter and also these final weeks together.
Hi, Downey friends,
The Church Thank You Coffee is coming up on Sunday, May 7th from 11am-12pm in Century Hall. If you are available, please come help us say thank you to Pastors Trey and Jay and the church members for all they do for our co-op community.
The end of the year picnic will be at Ellenberger Park on Thursday, May 25th from 6pm-8pm. Keep an eye out for more information. We hope to see you all there!
I will be sending out an end of the year survey this month on Bloomz. Please take the time to fill it out so that we can see what works and what needs work. We are always trying to improve the co-op experience for our families.
Over the summer, we will have weekly Downey play dates at Ellenberger Park. I will post more info on dates and times to Bloomz soon. This is a fun way to get together while school is out!
My family and I have had another great year at Downey, and I hope you and your families feel the same. I know it’s hard work to be part of a co-op community, but I hope you feel the rewards of being a part of Downey are well worth it. I also want to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all of you wonderful Moms!
The Polliwogs and Frogs spent the month of April observing not only the changes in the weather but also how green the things around us are becoming. We’ve spent some time noticing the differences in seeds from various vegetables and sorting them into piles, talking about the parts of plants and creating some of our own flowers. The beautiful blooms around us inspired a couple of different color mixing activities as well as the art of flower arranging.
In May, we will continue our focus on plants and gardens by observing the germination process and becoming guerilla gardeners by creating some “seed bombs”. A trip to Urban Acres is also in the works so please be on the lookout for more information.
I can hardly believe we are so close to the end of the school year. I’d like to thank each and every one of you for doing your part to make Downey such a wonderful place.
April flew by. We only have one month of school left, and it will fly by, too. Tadpoles will continue to explore Spring, things that go, and animals.
I have really enjoyed my Tadpole classes this year. Thank you to the parents. You are great with the children and patient with me. I hope you had a fun time learning with your kids.
Enjoy your summer and thank you for choosing Downey,
**Two great parent ed opportunities left!**
Saturday, May 6th from 10-11:30 am, we have the Stewards of Children Darkeness to Light workshop. This is a return presentation/workshop from the one we had in the fall.
Stewards of Children, an award-winning program, is a revolutionary sexual abuse prevention training program that educates adults to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. It is the only child sexual abuse prevention program scientifically proven to increase knowledge, improve attitudes and change child-protective behaviors.
As part of the Early Intervention and Prevention (EIP) Initiative, Children’s Bureau is the proud facilitator of the national child sexual abuse prevention training program Stewards of Children in Marion County.
Sign up is available in Bloomz. This is an adult-only event.
Saturday, May 13th from 9:00-10:30 am, we have a “Day at the Farm” Parent Ed. Join Downey dad, Chris Larson, at the Paramount School of Excellence where Chris serves as the Director of Environmental Education. The focus will be on gardening and its applications to our kids. Child development as well as gardening specifics will be discussed and then how these two concepts are a beautiful marriage.
The farm will be in full swing, so we take some time to have a tour of the different areas: goats, chickens, bees (observation hive inside – super safe), compost, etc.
This event is rain or shine! Sign up is available in Bloomz.
EASTER PARTY PICS!
May 1 – Downey Co-op Board Meeting – 6:30-8:30 pm – Quilter’s Room, Downey
May 6 – Parent Ed: Stewards of Children – 10:00-11:30 am – Downey
May 7 – Downey Church Thank You Coffee & Breakfast – 11am-Noon – Century Hall
May 13 – Parent Ed: Day at the Farm – Paramount School of Excellence
May 25 – End-of-Year Picnic – 6-8pm – Ellenberger Park
May 22-26 – Last Week of School
Summer – Weekly Downey Playdates – Ellenberger Park
(Editor Taking a Liberty…) Because Downey Co-op is a preschool, our time at the school is a relatively short period of time. Families come and go as our kids grow. But while we are at Downey, we work so closely together and get to know each other’s children so well, that many friendships continue on past the preschool years. For my family, this is our last year at Downey. We’ve had three great years at the school, and I can not fully express how much I appreciate all that my son has learned and all the love he has received from Melissa, Staci and my fellow parents. I’m sure like other families who are departing this year, we will always have sweet memories of our children’s days, learning through play, at Downey Co-op.
HAVE A GREAT SUMMER!
Welcome to the April edition of The Downey upBeat, and happy Spring! Hope everyone had a great spring break. We have many exciting things happening as we enter the final two months of preschool. Please enjoy catching up on all the details.
We hope you had a great spring break whether that meant an exotic vacation someplace delightfully warm or a relaxed staycation (pajamas till noon!) where every sunny day was a gift promising spring. For me, this April is a little bittersweet. It’s my last month as a Co-President, and I can’t believe how quickly the two years have gone. In that time, I’ve had the pleasure of working with two years’ worth of incredible board members who have grown our school back to class sizes which haven’t been seen in a long time, who worked to meet ambitious fundraising goals, who overhauled clunky and time-consuming systems to make them easier for those who will hold those jobs next, and who gave their time, energy and creativity to solving the challenges that naturally arise when 40+ families band together with a common purpose. Next year, my youngest will begin her Downey journey, starting with Mrs. Egan’s Tadpoles, and I’m looking forward to taking on a new job with the school, whatever that may be.
Speaking of jobs, if you haven’t yet had a chance to sign up for the Egg Hunt, please take a moment to do so! There are many open spots, and some of the tasks are short, easy and fun! If you haven’t been to the Egg Hunt before, nothing is more darling than watching the tiniest toddlers wander around the center courtyard, marveling at all the bright eggs, mostly unsure about what to do.
Finally, congratulations to the 2017-18 board! Downey Co-op is in great hands, which is especially important at a time when our program is expanding to include Kindergarten and when we’re bringing new teaching staff into the school. It will be exciting for all of us to experience this new expansion of our school.
Editor’s Note: On behalf of all of us, THANK YOU, ERIN, for all your hard work over your tenure as Co-President. We appreciate you and your service to Downey!
After showing a great deal of interest in what could be dug up in the sandbox, the Polliwogs and Frogs spent some time exploring excavation. We added construction vehicles to our sand in the sensory table, tried balancing stones, played with dinosaurs, made predictions about the number of scoops of sand it would take to fill containers and read many books about fossils. In April, we’ll turn our attention to the exciting changes happening now that it’s Spring.
With warmer temperatures, we will be spending more time outside; we all know, though, that Spring in Indiana can be a little wet. Please double check that your child has an appropriate change of clothes and make sure he or she has rain boots, or extra shoes, so we can all enjoy the playground.
P.S. The photo immediately below is from a fun Frog outing to the Indiana Repertory Theatre (IRT) to see Stuart Little.
It’s hard to believe, but we only have two months left of school. It has been a very busy year.
March was short-lived but fun. The Tadpoles had fun playing with the “goop” in the sensory table. (It was everywhere! 😉 )
In April, we’ll continue to explore Spring. Tadpoles will learn about farm animals. We’ll read books, sing songs and create a farm. We’ll get out the barn and tractors. After that, we’ll get the dinosaurs out. We’ll make dino tracks, do dino sorting and have lots of books to read.
We have parent-teacher conferences on Tuesday, April 25 and Wednesday, April 26. Conferences are during class time so I will need a sub. Remember to replenish you child’s extra clothes.
Let’s make these last two months run smoothly. They will go by fast so we have to savor them.
Thanks for all your hard work and patience.
LEAPFROG KINDERGARTEN UPDATE
Curious about the progress with Downey’s new Kindergarten program? Our committee is quickly moving things forward. The church has agreed to let us utilize Room 3 as our new Kindergarten classroom. We have been working on clearing out that space and planning what furniture options will be the best for our young learners. We have also met with Southeastway Park and have confirmed that our Leapfroggers will be spending one day a month outdoors at the park. The kids will spend their days there hiking, discovering, and learning in nature.
In addition, we will be meeting with Malkah Bird, the Kindergarten teacher at Meridian Hills Coop, this week to learn more about her curriculum and how she teaches to Indiana’s Kindergarten Standards while still embracing the cooperative Learn Through Play model.
We have six committed students at this point and are hoping to use the coming school open house on April 12th to bring in more potential families. Please help us keep spreading the word on this exciting new Downey class! One way you can do that is by sharing the open house event on Facebook. Please also let us know if you have any questions if you are considering the Leapfrog Kindergarten for your own child.
DOWNEY’S SPRING EGG HUNT!
Saturday, April 15 – 9 a.m.-Noon
Activities for toddlers through 5th graders including crafts, face painting, cookie decorating, a cupcake walk, and a visit from the Easter bunny!
Bring your own basket and camera for photos with the easter bunny.
This is a free community event so feel free to bring your friends and neighbors!
Egg Hunt Schedule:
9:30 am : toddler-3 year olds
10:00 am : 4-6 year olds
10:30 am : 1st-2nd graders
11:00 am : 3rd- 5th graders
CHECK OUT OUR COMING EVENTS!
April 12 – Downey Co-op Kindergarten & Preschool OPEN HOUSE- 8:30 – 11:00 a.m.
April 15 – Downey Egg Hunt – 9:00 a.m.- Noon
April 25 & 26 – Parent-Teacher Conferences – During classtime
May 1 – Final Board Meeting of the 2016-17 School Year
For those families who still need to meet your Parent Ed requirement and for any others interested, please stay tuned for other Parent Ed opportunities that will be scheduled yet this school year.
WORRIED ABOUT SCREEN TIME?…
Most of us face the challenge of balancing screen time on a daily basis. We know too much time in front of the television or iPad is unhealthy, but why? Check out this article for a deeper understanding of the risks involved and to also learn some helpful tips to creating healthy limits for our kiddos. http://blog.jumpinforhealthykids.org/too-much-screen-time-get-facts-plus-tips
PARENTS NIGHT OUT TO SUPPORT ONE OF OUR OWN
Mark your calendars for a special “Parents Night Out” event on Monday, April 24 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Mass Ave Wine Shop- 878 Massachusetts Avenue, Indy. While you enjoy a glass of wine or a beer and some yummy food, you can enjoy the art of our very own Polliwog Mom, Ekaterina “Kate” Uvarova. Kate, an accomplished painter, has her art on display and for purchase at the shop for the month of April.
Come take in the atmosphere and enjoy the company of fellow Downey parents. (Please note: Please be sure to bring some cash. While anything food/beverage you buy at the shop can be applied to a credit or debit card, they have a current kink in their system that doesn’t allow you to apply your tip for the service staff to your transaction.) It will be a fun evening so hope to see you there!
HAVE A GREAT APRIL!
Happy March! Later this month, spring will arrive, and I am sure we are all ready for fresh air, warmer weather and budding trees and flowers. Please enjoy this month’s newsletter (loaded with photos), and have a great week!
Hi, Downey Friends.
I am excited that Spring is right around the corner! We have had some nicer than usual weather in February, and I hope it continues in March! Don’t forget that our Spring Work Night is Thursday, March 9th from 6-8:30pm. This is a required event for all families. We ask that at least one adult from each family be present. Please no children. See Bloomz for more information.
Downey’s Spring Break is also at the end of this month. It will be two weeks long from March 20th-31st. This is a great time to meet up with Downey friends for fun activities outside of school. I like to check indywithkids.com and indyschild.com for fun family activities around the Indianapolis area.
Our next board meeting is on Monday March 6th at 6:30pm at Downey. Everyone is welcome to attend whether you have something to share with the board or are just curious about what goes on at our board meetings.
Finally, keep an eye out for more information and a volunteer sign-up for our Annual Spring Egg Hunt which is April 15th this year.
Hope you all have a marvelous March!
The children have done such a nice job settling back into our routine after winter break. Their concentration and focus continue to grow, and we’ve been able to spend a bit more time in our groups. Many of their journal entries are also including much more detail and depth versus what was entered at the beginning of the year. Over the last few weeks the children have practiced rhyming, both AB and ABC patterns, matching numerals to quantities, graphing and one-to-one correspondence. We’ve introduced several new letters, and it’s so fun to see the children using their knowledge independently while they work in the classroom.
**After our fun outside today, many of the children will need a new set of clothes in the extra clothes bin. The inside of our boots may also need a little attention–if you have any ideas for this please let me know :-).
I hope everyone was able to take advantage of the beautiful weather we had over the last few weeks. The Polliwogs were able to spend quite a bit of time outside, which will continue as long as the temperature doesn’t drop too low. Please make sure your child has an adequate set of extra clothing and continue to send them in shoes you don’t mind getting a bit mucky.
We continued our baking fun during the month of February. The children have spent some time enhancing their negotiation skills as they worked to divvy up different jobs in the bakery. During our morning meeting we explored the concepts of patterns and opposites as we added to our calendar. The children have also taken a greater interest in the various “jobs” involved in making our day run well, so we’ll be working on assigning some positions in the month of March.
They are actually starting to play together so we have a combination of parallel play and group play which they created on their own. It has been a joy to see this natural progression in their development. The favorite game is running back and forth between the play houses, and they have roles (mom, dad, or monster).
We will play with wind during March and with the color green. We will look for the signs of Spring with our homemade binoculars.
Remember to restock you child’s extra clothes if they’ve been used.
Thank you for all your hard work and for choosing Downey.
Hold the Sugar
Get ideas for fruit-infused water recipes, strategies for cutting back on fruit juice, clues to hidden sugars in ingredient lists, and an eye-opening list of popular drinks and their sugar content: http://blog.jumpinforhealthykids.org/do-you-know-how-much-sugar-you-and-your-children-drink.
We have wrapped up our “Art to Remember” projects. The Frogs made some adorable caterpillars. Polliwogs and Tadpoles created some handprint art.
Parents should see the customized order forms in their mail pouches around March 7th. All order forms will be collected on or before March 20th.
Keep in mind that grandparents also love these keepsakes. These make wonderful birthday, mother’s/father’s day and holiday gifts.
Any questions about Art to Remember? Contact Jen Kikendall-Wilkinson at 317.506.9566 or email@example.com.
Spring Work Day
Thursday, March 9 from 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Mark your calendars and plan to participate on SPRING CLEAN UP NIGHT! It is a requirement that each family participate in this important annual event. Come help with various cleaning and fix-up projects to keep our classrooms in great working order. Like the clean up in the fall, please feel free to bring any hand or power tools that you think may be useful (screwdrivers, pliers, drills, etc.) Cleaning supplies would also be welcome. Please no children for this event.
See Bloomz for more details, and see you there!
We hope this edition of The Downey Update finds you and your family well and enjoying the new year. While the weather outside is chilly and the country in a bit of a transition, it is nice to always be able to count on the sweet smiles of our teachers, the playful giggles of our little ones and the friendships we find within the halls of Downey. Here’s to a great month celebrating all we love about our preschool!
Dear Downey Families,
February is a month with several special events and also when we begin to focus more energy on planning for the future. Soon we’ll be asking for nominations for executive board positions (Co-President, Treasurer, Fundraiser, Parent Ed, Secretary, Membership) so that we can vote on our nominees in March. If you’re interested in attending a board meeting to see what it’s all about, our next meeting is Monday, February 6th at 6:30pm. We each have unique talents, skills and experiences to offer the school, so please consider one of these roles for the coming year.
One of the enduring traditions of Downey is Special Persons Day! This is a chance for a special person in your preschooler’s life, whose schedule doesn’t allow him or her to participate during normal class time, to come and play. This year, SPD will be held on Saturday, February 11th. Look for details to come from your child’s teacher.
Our Open House will be held during school hours on Friday, February 17th, so if you have friends and neighbors who might be interested in Downey Co-op, please let them know. It will be a great chance to see two of our classes in action and get many questions answered. The following day is our Parent Ed “10 Alternatives to Time Out” with Malkah Bird. For those of you who did not have a chance to experience Malkah’s CPT this year, you won’t want to miss this incredible opportunity!
Finally, this might also be a good time to evaluate how you are doing in meeting your Downey parent requirements:
- Have you cleaned or signed up to clean your child’s classroom?
- Have you been to at least one, if not two, of your required Parent Ed classes?
- If you weren’t able to fulfill all of your classroom participation days last semester, have you signed up for more than the minimum this semester?
- Have you marked on your calendars the days in the coming months where we require participation so you don’t accidentally double-book? (For example, Spring Work Night, Easter Egg Hunt, and Church Thank You Coffee?) These events require all-hands-on-deck and are successful because we all work together.
Thank you for everything that you do to help make our community stronger.
Both Polliwog and Frog classes have spent the month of January exploring baking and bakeries. The children brainstormed quite a list of information that they had already experienced, or previously knew, about bakeries. After the list was started, and continued to grow as more books were read, the “creation” piece took off!
The children painted posts and a ceiling, built a stove and oven, created a display case and started taking orders. They all seemed to enjoy creating the different “treats” that they could offer their customers. Between the two classes, our bakery built up quite an assortment of goodies including cookies, breads, cakes, cupcakes and pies.
So many “academic” skills were practiced while having so much fun. The Frogs even got to visit a working bakery last Friday when we walked to Bittersweet and decorated our very own cupcakes! Feel free to come and take a look at how their hard work has paid off!
January was a busy month. It was unusually wet and not snowy. Tadpoles tried to make it colorful by making puff ball rainbow clouds and painting with bright colors. We continued our snow theme without the snowy weather, painting and decorating snowmen. We won’t give up on the snow! Tadpoles made winter more fun by having a pajama day and baking blueberry muffins.
In February, we will play with shapes more than usual. Valentine’s Day is low key at Downey. If you’d like to hand out Valentines, that is ok. You just put them on the art mat before class, and the children can take their goodies home after school.
Remember to bring a warm set of clothes and some rain boots. Check your Downey calendars for coming events.
Thank you to my parents for all their hard work and patience.
As always, thank for choosing Downey.
There is still time to register for the “10 Alternatives to Time Out” Parent Ed event on Saturday, February 18- 10:30-11:30 a.m. in Century Hall. (See Bloomz invite to sign up.) This Parent Ed focuses on one of the most challenging topics for parents and teachers -finding effective tools for discipline. The workshop will discuss some of the detriments of using “time out” as a discipline approach and also offer ten practical alternatives and strategies for helping adults and children understand and manage difficult behaviors, while preserving connections and maintaining a respectful home or school environment.
Snacks and refreshments will be provided. As a reminder, all families are required to attend at least 2 Parent Ed sessions throughout the school year.
For questions, please contact Annie Hostetter.
Don’t forget.- There is no school on Monday, February 20th in honor of President’s Day.
HOW ABOUT A HEALTHY TIP OR TWO?
Looking for no prep or low prep snacks? Here are some ideas: http://blog.jumpinforhealthykids.org/healthy-snack-ideas-for-kids.
Eating on the go a lot? Want to enjoy a restaurant meal that doesn’t wreck your health goals? Here are some tips: http://blog.jumpinforhealthykids.org/7-tips-how-to-eat-healthy-when-eating-out.
OPEN HOUSE – 2017-18 REGISTRATION
February 17 | 9:30-11:00 a.m.
At Downey Preschool, we believe that children learn best through play, and we have a lot of fun doing it! For a sneak peek into Downey’s playful approach to early childhood education, pop in for a visit during our Open House to see our classes in action. Open House is the perfect chance to tour the school, explore the classrooms, meet the teachers, chat with Downey families, and, of course, join in on some playful learning.
::: About Downey :::
Downey is a non-profit cooperative school for early education providing classes for ages 2-5 and practice preschool starting at 18 months. A co-op preschool is a parent-led organization. Parents come together to run the school — they hire the teachers, manage the organization, perform jobs for the school, and participate in the classroom from time to time.
::: What you’ll see when you visit :::
Every day at Downey, you’ll see self-directed open play where kids explore the world at their own pace. But class sessions are also balanced with structured activities such as singing, stories, playground time for large muscle coordination, & snack time for socializing. During your visit, you’ll see easel painting, sculpting, drawing, coloring, construction play, building blocks, performance & imaginative play, science & engineering activities, books & literature-based play, puzzles, math games, dress-up & costumes, rhythm & music, and lots of playful learning.
::: Classes :::
Register online at DowneyCoop.com. For registration fees, tuition, & more information contact DowneyMembership@gmail.com, 317.426.9094
> Lily Pads: 18-24mo, practice preschool, Mondays 9-10:30a, $75 per 8-week session
> Tadpoles: age 2 by Sept 1, T/Th or W/F, 9:15-11:15a, $75/mo
> Polliwogs: age 3 by Sept 1, T/Th 9-11:30a, $80/mo
> Frogs: age 4 by Sept 1, Mondays 9:00a-1:00p (extended day) and W/F 9-11:30a, $90/mo
::: Where :::
111 S Downey Ave, 46219 (Irvington)
Use the north entrance at Downey & Julian. The hallway to the left will lead you to the classrooms.
::: Contact & Tours :::
To tour Downey another day, contact: DowneyMembership@gmail.com 317.426.9094
::: Learn more :::
Welcome to the December edition of The Downey upBeat! I hope this newsletter finds you healthy and staying bundled and warm as temperatures begin to drop as we head to winter. December is a short but fun month at Downey and a good, mid-year opportunity to express our gratitude to our talented teachers. As an additional editor’s note, the upBeat will take a short break from normal schedule and will not be issued on January 1. Please look for a special January/February combination edition in mid-to-late January.
Hello Downey Families,
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I love this time of year with all of the hustle and bustle, fun parties, and family gatherings. We have our school Winter Carnival coming up on December 7th from 6-8pm in Century Hall at Downey. This is a great time to socialize with friends from school and make some new ones. I hope to see you all there!
I would like to give a special thanks to John Elder, who ran our successful poinsettia fundraiser this year. Our goal was to sell 615 plants, and together, we sold 673! Great job! The school made $3,538 from this fundraiser. Thanks to all of you who sold plants and volunteered to help on delivery day. If you see John, be sure to thank him for all of his hard work!
We will be sending out evaluations this month. Please fill these out when you get them. They help us see what’s working and what needs improvement. Also, if you are looking to become more involved in our school, we have many board positions opening up for next year. If you are interested in knowing more about this or would like to get a feel for what goes on at our board meetings, please join us for our next one on January 2nd from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Downey. You can also contact Erin or me if you have any questions.
Due to technical problems, Mrs. Lovold’s updates are not available at the time of this upBeat edition. She’ll be touching base with her parents soon. In the interim, please enjoy a few photos from the Frog’s recent field trip…
And Polliwogs learning through play…
I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving. I did. It’s always nice to visit and eat with family and friends.
November went by fast. We had fun gluing, using stickers, and playing with bird seed in the sensory table. We didn’t get to the fall sculpture. We will sculpt another time.
The Tadpoles are learning to share toys, share space, and take turns. This is an on going process. Some days are better than others at school, just like at home. There is a lot of repetition. We may feel like a broken record, but that is one of the ways a preschooler learns. So parents, thank you for your patience.
December is going to be another quick month. We’ll play with music and make some instruments. We’ll enjoy the holiday season by making a decoration or two. Maybe we’ll try cooking this month.
Winter is coming “weather” we want it too or not. Please bring in a warm change of clothes, and come prepared to play in cold. If it isn’t sopping wet or below freezing, we’ll go out. The fresh air will do us good.
Happy Holidays! and Thank you for choosing Downey,
DEC 1 & 2 – Parent-Teacher Conferences
DEC 5 – Board Meeting (6:30-8:30 PM)
DEC 7 – Winter Carnival! (6:00-8:00 PM – Century Hall)
DEC 10 – Parent Ed: Yoga for Kids – (10:00-11:00 AM – Century Hall)
DEC 12 – Last day for Lilly Pads
DEC 19 – Winter Break Begins
JAN 2 – School resumes
JAN 2 – Board Meeting (6:30-8:30 PM)
PARENT ED OPPORTUNITY
Saturday, December 10 at 10:00 AM – YOGA FOR KIDS! This is a fun opportunity to learn ways to use Yoga practices to help calm your kids. Led by Tadpole parent Erin Morgan. Bring your little one and a mat (if you have one). Space is limited so please RSVP via Bloomz.
A FEW HEALTHY TIPS
We are lucky at Downey to have wonderful indoor and outdoor play spaces that are intentionally designed by our teachers and volunteers to encourage physical and imaginative play as well as cognitive and social development. But most of us don’t think about what, exactly, makes a great play space. Here is one perspective on that issue, with emphasis on design that encourages physical activity:
Children need at least 60 minutes of rigorous physical activity every day. Here are some tips and activities to help you encourage physical activity at home, from infant through school-age years:
ESPECIALLY AT THIS TIME OF YEAR…BENEFIT DOWNEY WHILE YOU SHOP!
“AmazonSmile” is a simple and automatic way for you to support Downey Co-op every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to our school! It’s fast and super easy to sign up.
To shop at AmazonSmile, simply go to smile.amazon.com from the web browser on your computer or mobile device. You may also want to add a bookmark to smile.amazon.com to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at AmazonSmile.
If you already have an Amazon or Amazon Prime account, you use that same account on AmazonSmile. Your shopping cart, Wish List, wedding or baby registry, and other account settings are also the same.
On your first visit to AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com), you need to select “Downey Parent Cooperative Preschool” as your choice of a charitable organization to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. Amazon will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make at smile.amazon.com will result in a donation.
If you’re an Amazon user, sign up today! We are looking into other similar programs to benefit our school so stay tuned.