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Welcome Back to School

The school year is back in full swing and everyone is getting used to their new schedules and routines.  We have had a few tears, both from the children as well as the parents, but every day they get less and less and the smiles and laughter are taking over.

Looking into the month of September:

Please remember that school will be closed on Monday, September 7th, in observance of Labor Day.

Please join us on Wednesday, September 9th, from 6:30-7:30 PM for Back to School Night.  This is a wonderful opportunity for you to hear your child’s teacher discuss her plans and expectations for the school year.  Because this evening is geared toward passing important information on to our parents, we respectfully request that children do not attend.

Lifetouch School Portraits will be here to photograph the children on September 2 and 3.  Because each child will need to be photographed for yearbook purposes, we are requiring that the children are dressed in uniform as usual. If your child attends both Wednesday and Thursday, please make sure that your child is “photo ready” both days.  If they are only in attendance one of those days, we will make sure that they are photographed on their day of attendance.  Please see Mrs. Louis-Jacques or Myself if you have any questions.

We will be sponsoring a coin drive to support Leukemia Research during the weeks of September 7-18.  If you would like to make a donation, please gather up your loose change and drop it off at the front desk.

September 11th is going to be a very busy day here at Merryhill-Henderson.  This will be the first of our Pizza Fridays for the year.  If you have not already signed your child up and would like for him/her to participate, please stop at the front desk to receive more information.  We will also host a free dress day on September 11th in remembrance of the events that took place 14 years ago.  Your child can dress in clothing other than his/her uniform on this day provided that he/she is wearing red, white and blue.  Lastly, we will celebrate grandparents and the important role that they play in a child’s life.  Please join us for a Grandparent’s Day Breakfast from 8:15-9:00 AM.

We will be hosting a Scholastic Book Fair during the week of September 21-25.  The lobby will be set up with various books for your family to browse through and purchase for your home library.  Did you know that every book fair purchase helps us build our library as well?

A couple of reminders:

Please remember that we close at 6:00 PM daily.  It is important that you are allowing enough time in the evenings to collect your child’s belongings and sign them out so that our staff can leave on time.  Just as you are anxious to get home at the end of the day, our teachers have families that they are looking forward to seeing as well.  Thank you for your help in getting our teachers home on time at the end of a busy day.

By now you have seen how busy our parking lot can get at times, especially during the early morning drop off as well as after nap.  Coral Academy has several parent volunteers directing traffic and helping to run things smoothly. Even with the extra hands on deck, some of the parents from our neighboring school are in a hurry in the mornings and not always patient and paying attention as they are dropping and rushing off.  We would like to do our part in helping with the morning traffic situation and are looking for volunteers to help between the hours of 7:30-8:30.  If you are interested in assisting with this, please stop by the front desk to let us know your availability.  Once we have a clear picture of how we can best assist our neighbors, we will put all of our volunteers into place.  Thank you for your assistance in lending a hand and making our parking lot safe.

We are so excited to have your family as part of our Merryhill Family and look forward to an amazing year with you.

Mrs. Luther


Developing Balance Skills in Young Children

From Tummy Time to Bike Riding

Balance is a fundamental skill necessary for maintaining controlled positions, such as sitting in a chair, or engaging in physical activities like running or riding a bike. Having balance makes motor skill development easier, reduces the risk of injury, and helps children focus on academic tasks.

Our Nobel Learning Education team stays up to date with the latest research to ensure that our Links to Learning curriculum exceeds childhood learning standards. The Links to Learning curriculum was enhanced last fall to include a greater focus on balance, a building block for skills such as hand-eye coordination, muscular strength and body awareness.

Here are some ways we help improve balance in the classroom, as well as ideas for you and your child to do at home.


In the classroom: Tummy time promotes neck, back and abdominal strength needed for infants to eventually push up, roll over, sit up and crawl. Teachers keep infants engaged by using activity mats or plush blocks.

At home: Place your baby on his stomach and shine a flashlight near him. Once you have captured his attention, shine the light in a rhythmic pattern. For older infants, encourage your baby to move or crawl toward the light.

TODDLERS (ages 1-2):

In the classroom: During the toddler years, children make major strides in balance and coordination. Teachers play music and encourage students to move their bodies in different ways while maintaining their balance.

At home: Push and pull toys require children to use core balance and arm strength, which can be difficult for new walkers. Place a small wagon or toy shopping cart and a pile of blocks on the floor. Show your child how to fill the cart with blocks. He will enjoy pulling or pushing the blocks around the room.

BEGINNERS (ages 2-3):

In the classroom: Sitting cross-legged, or as we say with the children “criss-cross applesauce,” is an important developmental skill for two year olds. Teachers encourage children to sit criss-crossed anytime they are playing on the floor. Sitting in this position strengthens a child’s core muscles and helps improve body control.  We discourage “W-sitting,” with knees together and feet on either side of the hips, because it puts strain on knees and hips and fails to engage core abdominal muscles.

At home: Provide your child with a sit-and-spin toy. Ask him to sit on the toy with his legs crisscrossed. As he turns the wheel to spin, he will gain a better understanding of cause and effect.


In the classroom: Around age three, children learn to maintain control of their upper body while moving their lower body. Our Intermediate students practice pedaling a tricycle, bouncing on hopper balls, and walking on a balance beam.

At home: Have your child practice running and stopping with control by playing the traffic light game. Shout out the color green, yellow or red. Have him move quickly when hearing “green,” move slowly when hearing “yellow,” and completely stop when hearing “red.”

PRE-K/PRE-K 2 (ages 4-5):

In the classroom: Teachers encourage children to practice balance and coordination by jumping on their non-dominant foot, walking on a line or beam, or jumping rope. Children also practice balance by crouching down to tie their shoes.

At home: Ask your child to tell you about the games and activities played at school. Include these activities at home and during family events such as birthday parties and vacations. Scooters and pogo jumpers are great toys for children at this age.

Good balance helps children maintain appropriate and controlled body movement during important tasks. By building balance skills in the preschool years, your child will be better prepared as he enters elementary school and beyond.

– Lauren Starnes, PhD – Director of Early Childhood Education



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