From the Principal’s Office
Dear Merryhill Families,
I write this newsletter with mixed emotions. As I reflect upon how impressed and proud I am at the building and community that we have developed and built this year, I know it is with a bit of sadness that I understand it will all draw to a close very soon. This month brings a lot of happiness and new exploration, but I begin preparing myself for the goodbyes that never get easier each year — even though I do this every year. I am so delighted to see how my students and families have grown over the year! With this, I must point out that none of these memories and moments would have been possible without you and your amazing families! We are so lucky here in Davis to have such a unique and genuine set of families!
Moving forward, please keep an eye out for the outgoing emails from our newly launched Links2Home. We will be providing you all with a great connection to your child’s everyday routine and happenings right at your fingertips! Also, please don’t forget that picture day is Thursday, May 5th. We’re inviting all of the wonderful women in our students lives to celebrate with us as we honor them and all they due on Friday, May 6th.
I would like to officially congratulate Ms. Kayla H on her recent promotion with the company. She is our Office Administrator here at Merryhill Davis. This position serves as a bridge between Office & Classroom to allow for a more in-depth implementation of our wonderful Links to Learning Curriculum. She will be assisted by Ms. Jill, who currently serves as our School Level Links to Learning Leader. Their efforts will be directly seen in the classrooms, especially with the implementation of our Links2Home communication tool. We have sought a replacement candidate for Ms. Kayla position, and we will hopefully be introducing her very soon! In the meantime, Ms. Kayla will continue to assist in training her colleagues and assure that the transition to the new teacher in Intermediates is as seamless as possible for the children.
It is only appropriate to conclude this newsletter with one last goodbye, as we wish our Ms. Raquel a happy retirement! She will be retiring from her full-time position as teacher support in order to spend more time with her family and grandchildren at home. Ms. Raquel’s last day with us will be Wednesday, May 11th. We are so honored to have had Ms. Raquel share her last 6 years with us here at Merryhill Davis, and we look forward to her visits in the future.
As always, please feel free to contact me at your convenience if you have any questions or comments. Thank you!
Jherica McEndree, Principal
Dates to Remember:
- May 5th — Picture Day! (Individuals, Class & Graduation Photos will be taken today!)
- May 6th — Mother’s Day Celebration 3:00-4:30 PM — RSVP by 5/4 if you’re able to attend!
- May 9th — St. Jude’s Fundraising Begins!
- May 9-13th — Merryhill Teacher Appreciation Week (See Details Below)
- May 27th — St. Jude’s Trike-a-Thon (Fundraising Due Today!)
- May 30th — SCHOOL CLOSED: MEMORIAL DAY!
- June 10th — Father’s Day Celebration (3:00 PM)
- June 15th — Ice Cream Social (4:00-6:00 PM)
- June 16th — Last Day of School Year
- End of School Year Parties for 2016-2017
- Pre-K 1 & 2 Park Play Day
- Pre-K 1 & 2 Graduation & Reception (5:00 — 7:00 PM)
- June 17th — SCHOOL CLOSED: TEACHER IN SERVICE DAY
Mother’s Day Hat & Tea Fashion Show (Friday, May 6th @ 3:00 PM)
Children will be performing on this date! Please be sure to save the date so you can attend this adorably special presentation of the love these children have for those special women in their lives. If mom cannot make it, we welcome aunties, grandmas, family friends — anyone who will be able to share in the love presented this day. Administration will be presenting some snacks and drinks during the event, but the main event will be all about the children!
Merryhill Teacher Appreciation Week (May 9-13th)
- Wednesday, May 11th — Parent Pot Luck — Sign Up to Bring a Pot Luck Dish at the Front Desk! Lunches begin at 12:00 PM
- All Week Long — Grab a star at the front desk to write a quick appreciation note to the teachers!
- Friday, May 13th — If you’d like, we are asking parents to donate at least a $5 gift card to the front office by Friday morning. This way we can assure that each teacher receives a little something special without you personally breaking the bank to make it happen! Some of you interact with over 6 teachers in one day, so a low cost gift card from each family would assure that everyone is recognized!
St. Jude’s Trike-a-Thon (May 27th 9:30-11:15 AM)
In honor of National Bike Month & Amnesty International Day, children are invited to participate in fundraising all month long prior to the event. On the day of the event, please be sure to send your child (ages Beginner 2-Pre-K2) with a ride-along toy. This could be a scooter, bike, trike — anything that moves! All toys should be labeled with names and accompanied with a helmet. Please feel free to ask for more details if you’d like!
From the Education Department
Building Your Child’s Sense of Family Belonging
Relationships with family members play an important role as children begin to develop a sense of self. When they feel a sense of identity and belonging within their own families, children are better able to grow emotionally, make friends, and appreciate and accept the diversity of others.
With Mother’s Day right around the corner, it’s a great time to share activities that celebrate the importance of family.
Below are age appropriate activities that we implement in the classroom, as well as activities you can do with your child at home.
In the classroom: Teachers use baby sign language to help children identify and eventually verbalize names for their family members. When parents enter the classroom, teachers say, “Look! Here’s Sophia’s mommy,” while also signing “mommy.” They work with parents to learn specific names used at home, and then use those names in the classroom.
At home: Use baby sign language as you come across names of family members in books and songs. To sign “mommy,” tap your thumb on your chin repeatedly. To sign “daddy,” tap your thumb on your forehead repeatedly. Remember to say the word aloud as you sign.
Recommended reading: Spot Loves His Mommy by Eric Hill, Are You my Mother? by PD Eastman
BEGINNERS (ages 2-3):
In the classroom: By age two, children begin to learn the names of extended family members, such as grandmother, uncle and cousin. They practice using these words as they talk about their families. After sorting stuffed animals by type, teachers might say, “This is the horse’s family. He has a big family. Who’s in your family?”
At home: Give your child play dough and encourage him to create the members of his family. Afterward, ask him to count and name them. This activity helps him conceptualize that multiple people make up his entire family and gives you insight into what family means to your child at his particular point in development.
Recommended reading: On Mother’s Lap by Ann Herbert Scott, Oonga Boonga by Frieda Wishinsky
INTERMEDIATES (ages 3-4):
In the classroom: As children read stories about diverse families, teachers encourage them to share unique details about their own families. For example, teachers might ask, “Who has a sister?” or “Who has a pet?” Afterward, students create charts with the information.
At home: Have each member of your family make a thumbprint using finger paint on a piece of paper side by side. Then, ask your child to compare the various sizes, and guess which thumbprint belongs to each person. As they talk about their family members, they begin to appreciate what makes their family unique.
Recommended reading: Clifford’s Family by Norman Bridwell, What Mommies Do Best and What Daddies Do Best by Laura Numeroff
PRE-K/PRE-K 2 (ages 4-5):
In the classroom: Our older preschoolers begin to understand that their parents have more than one role. Family members are invited to visit and talk to the class about their roles inside and outside of the home. Students are encouraged to write and draw their family members in the different roles they serve. For example, “Mommy is a doctor.”
At home: Go on an uninterrupted family outing with your child. Try to avoid checking work emails or answering unimportant phone calls. Afterward, ask your child to write about his favorite parts of the day in his journal.
Recommended reading: Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother Too? by Eric Carle, The Napping House by Audrey Wood
All of our schools will be celebrating families in really fun ways this Mother’s Day season, and we hope that you do too!
– Lauren Starnes, PhD – Director of Early Childhood Education