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January Newsletter

From the Principal’s Office

It’s hard to believe that the holidays are behind us and a new year is just beginning! As we welcome in the new year, it is time to set new goals and resolutions. Our Links to Learning curriculum is helping us provide the opportunities to set new goals and provide your children with the best educational program possible.
We are very excited to bring your child new learning opportunities each day. Every activity that your child is involved with comes with learning goals and objectives that bring them closer to the educational excellence that sets Merryhill apart. We will kick off the new year with a winter wonderland of activities! During the month of January, you will find your child learning about the season of winter. The remainder of the school year will prove to be a time of huge growth and development for all the children. We are looking forward to many wonderful events, including Mother’s Day & Father’s Day celebrations, Week of the Young Child, and of course Pre-K Graduation. How quickly time goes by!
It will also soon be time to reserve your child’s spot for our upcoming 2016-2017 school year. Look for information on our Priority Registration beginning in February.

Have a safe and prosperous New Year!
Lisa Norris – Principal

Calendar of Events

1/1 New Year’s Holiday – School Closed

1/15 “I have a dream” Pajama Party

1/18 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – School Closed

1/20 Pre-K Step Up Day
Calvine Elementary School Field Trip – Pre-K/Pre-K2 Only

1/23 Open House – Inquiring Families Only

Coming Up!

Thank You!

During the holidays our school was overwhelmed with the holiday spirit that was brought on by our parents. We would like to sincerely thank all of you for your generous contributions made to our holiday celebrations, “Chips for Kids” toy drive, and to our staff. Your thoughtfulness and kindness is truly appreciated and because of your generosity, it made a difference in so many of our holiday celebrations.

Have a safe and prosperousNew Year!

Priority Registration
It will soon be time to begin planning your child’s continued preschool education for next year. Our school is currently full and we anticipate full enrollment again for next year. It will be important for you to reserve your child’s spot. For those students that will be continuing with us (Infants through Intermediates, and those that will join our Pre-K2 class), we will begin Priority Registration sometime in February. Registration during our Priority Registration time period will be at a discounted rate of $90. That is a savings of $50 off the regular returning registration fee. Registration after that time period will be $140.Look for information coming soon!

Baby, It’s Cold Outside!
This month we are focusing on the wonders of winter! The children will be exploring cold winter temperatures, winter animals and their habitats, and of course, winter fun! We will also get cozy in our pajamas on Friday, January 15th for our “I have a dream” PJ party!

Parent Ambassador Program
If there is one thing that parents love to do, it’s talk about their children’s successes. When friends ask you about your child’s experience at Merryhill, what type of success stories do you share? Do you mention the personal and educational discoveries that your child is making thanks to our advanced curriculum? Do you talk about the new levels of self and social confidence your child has gained thanks to our encouraging atmosphere?

Whatever the glowing reports you deliver about how your child is growing with his or her education, we couldn’t be more appreciative. In fact, we’d like to show you just how thankful we are for your endorsements. Now when you tell other parents about our school, you can become a Merryhill School Parent Ambassador!

For every new child you refer who enrolls at our school you can receive up to a full free week of tuition (based on attendance of new student) after 3 months of attendance.

Open House
Tell your friends about Merryhill-Laguna and invite them to our Open House on Saturday, January 23rd from 10 am – 1 pm.
This Open House is designed for those new families interested in enrolling their children for the upcoming 2016-2017 school year.We would love to meet your friends and their children!

From our Education Department

The Value of Visual Art Activities for Your Preschooler
Ed Pic

Visual art experiences help children develop skills such as critical thinking, self-expression, problem-solving, communication and collaboration. Our teachers focus on process-based art education, in which the experience of creating art is valued over the end product.

In our classrooms, teachers integrate art into many aspects of our Links to Learning curriculum. After reading a book about polar bears, teachers might ask students to create their own polar bears using sponges, paint, markers and paper. They encourage students to talk about their art, providing a great opportunity to learn new vocabulary, particularly words related to colors, shapes,textures, and emotions.

Our students are also exposed to and inspired by famous artwork. In order to cultivate that fascination, we discuss famous artists and art works and ask students to create replicas of well-known paintings and sculptures. For example, after learning about Michelangelo’s painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, teachers mimic the activity in the classroom. They tape paper underneath tables, and students practice painting a masterpiece while lying down.

Below are visual art activities you and your child can do at home, as well as recommended reading.
At Home:
• Provide your child with finger paint, a large piece of paper and a smock. Let him create a masterpiece. Talk about how the paint feels and what colors and shapes he creates on the paper.
• Start a journal with your child. Have him draw a picture of something that happened during the day. Avoid giving direction. Instead of saying “Draw a picture of your teacher and classmates,” encourage him to experiment using different colored markers or crayons. If age appropriate, ask your child to write a few words to describe the picture.
• Give your child a piece of paper and a box of crayons or markers. Show him how to use the materials to make dots, lines and swirls on the paper. Let him take over and have fun. Encourage conversation about your child’s art by saying, “Tell me about what you made” or “I see you used a lot of blue in your picture. Why did you choose that color?”
• Ask your child to decorate a sign for his bedroom door using various art materials. Have him write his name on the sign.
Recommended Reading:
• The Dot by Peter Reynolds
• Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg
• Art by Patrick McDonnell
• Not a Box by Antoinette Portis
• Mix It Up by Herve Tullet

It is wonderful to share the joy that children naturally take in using art materials. Giving children extra opportunities to connect art to the world around them, contributes to happiness and future success in elementary school and beyond.

– Lauren Starnes, PhD – Director of Early Childhood Education

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