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May Newsletter

May is a month of celebration!  In April we celebrated the joy of childhood, but the month of May we give honor to those who ensure the quality of childhood….our very own Merryhill teachers.  It is a privilege to shape the minds and destiny of our children.  It is a joyful experience to be a teacher.

We also want to take the time to show our Mothers how much they are appreciated.  At Merryhill we desire to honor Moms and Teachers this month with special activities and tokens of our appreciation.  Each and everyday our teachers and Mothers have been so involved and supportive of our school and the children we care for.  What a winning combination!  Great Moms and Gifted Teachers.

Thanks to everyone who helped make our Week of the Young Child a great success.  The children clearly enjoyed themselves.  Our book fair was a great success!  We earned over $600 in free books for our classrooms.  Thank you for your continued support.

As always, be sure to pick up your child’s Links to Learning folder at the end of every month!  You don’t want to miss out on all the wonderful information shared about your child’s learning.

Sincerely, Stephanie Gill/Principal


May Events

May 5  Cinco De Mayo celebrations

May 8  Mother’s Day Celebrations @3:30

May 12  Caterpillars arrive!

May 18-22  Teacher Appreciation   Week!

May 21  Open House for inquiring families 5pm-7pm

May 25  Memorial Day School Closed

May 28  Butterfly release

June 8-12  Skill cards ready for pick-up


Teacher Appreciation WeekWe will be celebrating National Teacher Appreciation week during May 18-22. Our teachers are there to comfort and care for your child while you are away.  The dedication they show for Early Childhood Education is greatly appreciated!  This year we are celebrating our teachers with a Luau themed event.  We will be having a parent hosted potluck for our wonderful teachers during this week.  Please be on the lookout for a sign-up sheet where you can sign up to bring in an item for the potluck for teachers.  Also please be sure to pick up a paper flower from the front desk to write a special note for your child’s teacher.  These special flower papers will be available during Teacher Appreciation Week May 18-May 22.

Happy Mother’s Day*A date with your little Cupcake* We all know that being a mom can often be the most difficult task in the world, yet it is by far the most rewarding.  To honor all of our very special Mothers,  we’d like you to join us on Friday May 8th @3:30 for cupcake decorating with your little one.   Hope to see all our  Merryhill moms here!

Butterfly release Each of our classrooms have their own butterfly garden.  The children will watch as the caterpillars change into fascinating chrysalides.  Then they will be amazed as the butterflies begin to hatch.  We will be sure to take photos of the release for you to see!

Pre-K 1 & 2 Graduation!  The graduation for our Pre-K classes is set to be Friday June 19th.  It will be held at St . Katherine’s Greek Orthodox Church (in Elk Grove) from 6:30-8:30pm.  More information will be passed out to those families with children that will take place in our graduation ceremony.

Developing Writing Skills in Young Children
– From Crayons to Concepts – 
In the early preschool years, writing starts with practicing fine motor skills and progresses to include concepts such as vocabulary, sentence structure and inventive spelling. Our curriculum builds the foundation for writing beginning with our infants. Our teachers not only instruct students how to write, but they also help instill a love of writing and self-expression.

Below are activities we implement in our classrooms to get children excited about writing, as well as fun activities to try with your child at home.

INFANTS/TODDLERSIn the classroom: Our infants and toddlers practice picking up and placing objects into containers, building hand strength and coordination.

At-home activity: Give your child plastic cooking utensils, such as spoons and spatulas, along with a large bowl. Place appropriate finger foods in the bowl, and encourage your baby to pick up the utensils and use them to move the food around. Choose utensils with different sized handles so your baby learns how to grasp and hold objects in various ways.

BEGINNERS (Ages 2-3) In the classroom: During imaginative play, teachers provide pens, markers and crayons to encourage students to practice writing. For instance, they pretend to own a restaurant and write food orders, and pretend to be doctors and take notes about the condition of their stuffed animals.

At-home activity: Incorporate writing activities during playtime. Bring sidewalk chalk outdoors and ask your child to write what they see. Don’t correct spelling or proper letter formations. Show enthusiasm in any efforts he makes, as this is how children learn that words are powerful and have meaning.

INTERMEDIATES (Ages 3-4) In the classroom: Different writing tools and surfaces make writing more interesting for children. Our Intermediates use chalk on a chalkboard, form letters using modeling clay, and finger paint on canvas.

At-home activity: Three year olds enjoy mimicking adults in their daily activities. Allow your child to engage in a new writing activity with you, such as writing a grocery list or a thank you card. Explain to him what you are writing and the purpose it serves.

PRE-K/PRE-K 2 (Ages 4-5)In the classroom: Teachers make writing fun for our older preschoolers by creating a classroom post office and asking the children to write and mail letters to each other. Through this activity, students practice communicating thoughts and ideas on paper, using proper grip, writing first and last names in correct case, and writing words independently by using inventive spelling. Inventive spelling encourages a love for writing and reinforces phonics. Traditional spelling is encouraged as students move into more formal writing in early elementary grades.

At-home activity: After a family outing, invite your child to write about his day in a journal. Encourage him to use uppercase and lowercase letters. If he asks for help writing more challenging words, have him attempt to spell them by sounding out the word and writing the letters that make that sound.  Invite him to read his journal entry to you.

We provide many opportunities for our preschoolers to develop and practice their writing skills. By setting this foundation, they will be better prepared to communicate thoughts and ideas through writing in elementary school and beyond.

– Lauren Starnes, PhD- Director of Early Childhood Education


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