Summer Break Has Begun

STAY IN CONTACT
Be on the lookout for an email for you to confirm accurate contact information. In late July, we will mail a packet with important Back to School information. Please email any changes in your contact information to ktyler@ststephensrva.org.at any time over the summer. We want to be able to stay in touch.

SUMMER HOURS

Jan Locher’s first day as Director will be July 1 with office hours 8 am - 2 pm.

Kay Tyler, Admin Coordinator, and Kelly Jones, will be in the office intermittently throughout the summer. Please feel free to call or email if you have any questions.

Wishing everyone a safe and relaxing summer!

A Summer Offering for Adults

Going home in the bags today is a flyer with information about the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd formation course that is offered over the summer here at St. Stephen's Church. This spiritually enriching course is open to everyone; you do not need to be a member of St. Stephen's or even an Episcopalian to participate! 

Each summer we have people travel from all over Virginia and up and down the east coast to attend.  Catechesis of the Good Shepherd serves as the basis for the "Little Shepherds" program that we share with the preschool children. I encourage you to look into this opportunity to slow down for a spiritual retreat this summer!  Childcare is available!  If you have any questions you can contact  Sarah Moyar-Thacker at smthacker4@gmail.com.

Summer 'Homework/Funwork'

So often as the school year winds down parents will ask what they should be doing over the summer to be sure their child is ready for…..the new school year, Kindergarten, whatever their next step is.

This article sums up 90% of my advice……read, read, read….to your children!

There are two other things I also emphasize.

1.      Get outside and run, swim, play ball, and give your child as much freedom outside as possible, without your telling him/her what to do and how to do it, but send them outside!

2.      Enjoy time together!  Think of the warm memories you have of fishing, wandering in the woods, going to the swimming pool, and lying on the ground looking at the stars on a summer night with your parents. Summer schedules are usually more relaxed.  Relax with your children.

Warmly,
Marion

Million Word Gap
(from Exchange Everyday, May 13, 2019)
Writing on the Ohio State website, Jeff Grabmeier reports that:

“Young children whose parents read them five books a day enter kindergarten having heard about 1.4 million more words than kids who were never read to, a new study found.

This ‘million word gap’ could be one key in explaining differences in vocabulary and reading development, said Jessica Logan, lead author of the study and assistant professor of educational studies at The Ohio State University.

Even kids who are read only one book a day will hear about 290,000 more words by age 5 than those who don’t regularly read books with a parent or caregiver.”

And, in an Exchange article, "Supporting Parents in Guiding Early Language and Literacy Development" (which is the foundation for an Out of the Box Training Kit), author Bisa Batten Lewis provides these developmentally appropriate strategies for supporting infants’ language and literacy learning that can be shared with families:

  • Read to baby 3-5 times per day

  • Allowing baby to engage in reading with you (e.g. point, turn pages, and so on)

  • Actively talking with baby, with eye contact, about food, daily routines, outdoors, signs, pictures, books, and print in the environment

  • Singing songs, such as “If You’re Happy and You Know It”

  • Performing finger plays, such as “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”

  • Reciting nursery rhymes

  • Talking to baby about family photos

  • Listening to music with baby

  • Making sounds with baby using instruments or household objects

  • Making writing materials available for scribbling

Source: “A ‘million word gap’ for children who aren’t read to at home,” by Jeff Grabmeier, April 4, 2019, osu.edu

Parent Volunteer Survey

Dear Parents: 

On behalf of the Saint Stephen’s Preschool Parents’ Council, we would like to offer a sincere thank you to current Saint Stephen's’ Preschool families for a banner year so far and extend a warm welcome to the families that are preparing to join us for the 2019-2020 school year. It has been our distinct pleasure to serve as your Parents' Council (PC) co-presidents the past two years! We would like to take this time now to introduce you to the new co-presidents for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years, Kate Batten and Kari Hyman. 

Parents like you are critical to the continued success of the SSP Parents’ Council. By volunteering together, we build a stronger and more vibrant St. Stephen’s community that enhances the pre-school experience for our children. Opportunities to volunteer are plentiful and varied. By completing the volunteer survey here, you can help Kate and Kari understand how you would like to engage with the SSP Parents’ Council in the coming years. 

Warm regards, 

Julia Ayscue & Mary Douglas Rice
Co-Presidents, SSP Parents’ Council 

SSP REMINDERS

SPIRIT DAY THURSDAY APRIL 11

SPIRIT DAY IS TOMORROW!  It’s a tradition to have the school-wide parade on Spirit Day.  Wear your classroom colors or St. Stephen’s t-shirt to celebrate the day.

 

Should  you wish to purchase a St. Stephen’s t-shirt, they are located in the table near the playground doors.  Shirts are $12 for solid and $15 for tie-dye shirts.  Purchases support the various efforts of Parents’ Council. Checks payable to Parents’ Council.

 

NO SCHOOL FRIDAY APRIL 12 – CONFERENCE DAY   Contact Kay if you have not received a SignUp Genius or contact your teacher to arrange a time.

 

GOOD FRIDAY – APRIL 19  Early Dismissal All CLASSES. Orange and Purple pick up at 11:15 am. Carpool for all other classes 11:20-11:30 am. This is to accommodate the noon Good Friday service at the church.

 

STATEMENTS

Current statements are in your child’s tote in the outside pocket or have been mailed.  Those who do not have a balance will not receive a statement.  The camp fees will be invoiced next month.

 

SUMMER CAMP

It’s just around the corner. Sign up now for summer camp. The theme will be Water and more details to follow in May.

The Orange Room camp is full!
The 5-day and Purple student camps still have space.

Spring Schedule Reminders

With the first week of spring comes the reminder that we are on a fast slide to summer. 

For those of you who are interested there are still some spaces in summer camp at St. Stephen’s.  Camp begins June 3 and continues on Mondays through Thursdays for all ages until June 13.

Our spring schedule is full: 

                April 1 & 2 – Spring holiday, school closed

                April 4 – Orange room Th/F - Class meets

                April 5 – Orange room M/T – Class meets

                April 9 – Parent Teacher Conference Day – Orange M/T and Purple 2 – Parents only

                April 11 – Spirit Night – 5:30 - 7:30 pm at the Westwood Club – Please make reservations!

                April 12 – Parent Teacher Conferences, Parent’s Only. Child Care Available
– Orange W, Th/F, Purple 3 and 4, Red room, 5 Day –   Parents only

NEW!!! April 19 – Good Friday – Dismissal at 11:30 am for all students

                April 22 – Easter Monday – School closed

                April 24 – Purple 2 day class meets, (No Purple 3 class)

                April 24 – Regular Purple class schedule resumes

                May 1 – Teeny, Tiny Farm visits 9:30-11:30

                May 16 – Field Games – FUNdraising Lunch Bunch – 12:00-2:00 pm

                May 17 – Last Day for Lunch Bunch and Extended Day

                May 23 – Last day of school - End of the Year Program for Red Room and 5 day classes, 11 am

                May 24 – School Closed

                June 3-6 – First week of Summer Camp

                June 10-13 - Second week of Summer Camp

It's COOL To Be KIND!

Each child, in his or her own way, contributed to our kindness jar, which he and she filled to overflowing. Today we gathered on the playground to celebrate with bubbles, the full jar and the hundreds of acts of kindness.

Some children offered to help a friend if the friend didn’t know how to do something; some gave a friend a kind word, and some invited a friend to join their work. Some helped at home and were thoughtful with their siblings.

There’s an old saying that if we do something regularly for three weeks, we develop a habit.  It is our hope that the children who attend St. Stephen’s Preschool will continue keeping the habit of kindness in the forefront of their thinking.

As the book we read today at the outdoor bubble party, Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller, said, “Maybe I can only do small things. But my small things might join small things other people do. And, together, they could grow into something big.  Something really big.  So big that all our kindnesses spill out of our school and spread throughout the town…travel across the country…and go all the way…around the world.  Right back to Tanisha and me.  So we can be kind.  Again. And again. And again.”

We celebrate a job well done and an indwelling kindness.  Congratulations to all of the children!