Welcome to the April edition of The Downey upBeat, and happy Spring! Hope everyone had a great spring break. We have many exciting things happening as we enter the final two months of preschool. Please enjoy catching up on all the details.
We hope you had a great spring break whether that meant an exotic vacation someplace delightfully warm or a relaxed staycation (pajamas till noon!) where every sunny day was a gift promising spring. For me, this April is a little bittersweet. It’s my last month as a Co-President, and I can’t believe how quickly the two years have gone. In that time, I’ve had the pleasure of working with two years’ worth of incredible board members who have grown our school back to class sizes which haven’t been seen in a long time, who worked to meet ambitious fundraising goals, who overhauled clunky and time-consuming systems to make them easier for those who will hold those jobs next, and who gave their time, energy and creativity to solving the challenges that naturally arise when 40+ families band together with a common purpose. Next year, my youngest will begin her Downey journey, starting with Mrs. Egan’s Tadpoles, and I’m looking forward to taking on a new job with the school, whatever that may be.
Speaking of jobs, if you haven’t yet had a chance to sign up for the Egg Hunt, please take a moment to do so! There are many open spots, and some of the tasks are short, easy and fun! If you haven’t been to the Egg Hunt before, nothing is more darling than watching the tiniest toddlers wander around the center courtyard, marveling at all the bright eggs, mostly unsure about what to do.
Finally, congratulations to the 2017-18 board! Downey Co-op is in great hands, which is especially important at a time when our program is expanding to include Kindergarten and when we’re bringing new teaching staff into the school. It will be exciting for all of us to experience this new expansion of our school.
Editor’s Note: On behalf of all of us, THANK YOU, ERIN, for all your hard work over your tenure as Co-President. We appreciate you and your service to Downey!
After showing a great deal of interest in what could be dug up in the sandbox, the Polliwogs and Frogs spent some time exploring excavation. We added construction vehicles to our sand in the sensory table, tried balancing stones, played with dinosaurs, made predictions about the number of scoops of sand it would take to fill containers and read many books about fossils. In April, we’ll turn our attention to the exciting changes happening now that it’s Spring.
With warmer temperatures, we will be spending more time outside; we all know, though, that Spring in Indiana can be a little wet. Please double check that your child has an appropriate change of clothes and make sure he or she has rain boots, or extra shoes, so we can all enjoy the playground.
P.S. The photo immediately below is from a fun Frog outing to the Indiana Repertory Theatre (IRT) to see Stuart Little.
It’s hard to believe, but we only have two months left of school. It has been a very busy year.
March was short-lived but fun. The Tadpoles had fun playing with the “goop” in the sensory table. (It was everywhere! 😉 )
In April, we’ll continue to explore Spring. Tadpoles will learn about farm animals. We’ll read books, sing songs and create a farm. We’ll get out the barn and tractors. After that, we’ll get the dinosaurs out. We’ll make dino tracks, do dino sorting and have lots of books to read.
We have parent-teacher conferences on Tuesday, April 25 and Wednesday, April 26. Conferences are during class time so I will need a sub. Remember to replenish you child’s extra clothes.
Let’s make these last two months run smoothly. They will go by fast so we have to savor them.
Thanks for all your hard work and patience.
LEAPFROG KINDERGARTEN UPDATE
Curious about the progress with Downey’s new Kindergarten program? Our committee is quickly moving things forward. The church has agreed to let us utilize Room 3 as our new Kindergarten classroom. We have been working on clearing out that space and planning what furniture options will be the best for our young learners. We have also met with Southeastway Park and have confirmed that our Leapfroggers will be spending one day a month outdoors at the park. The kids will spend their days there hiking, discovering, and learning in nature.
In addition, we will be meeting with Malkah Bird, the Kindergarten teacher at Meridian Hills Coop, this week to learn more about her curriculum and how she teaches to Indiana’s Kindergarten Standards while still embracing the cooperative Learn Through Play model.
We have six committed students at this point and are hoping to use the coming school open house on April 12th to bring in more potential families. Please help us keep spreading the word on this exciting new Downey class! One way you can do that is by sharing the open house event on Facebook. Please also let us know if you have any questions if you are considering the Leapfrog Kindergarten for your own child.
DOWNEY’S SPRING EGG HUNT!
Saturday, April 15 – 9 a.m.-Noon
Activities for toddlers through 5th graders including crafts, face painting, cookie decorating, a cupcake walk, and a visit from the Easter bunny!
Bring your own basket and camera for photos with the easter bunny.
This is a free community event so feel free to bring your friends and neighbors!
Egg Hunt Schedule:
9:30 am : toddler-3 year olds
10:00 am : 4-6 year olds
10:30 am : 1st-2nd graders
11:00 am : 3rd- 5th graders
CHECK OUT OUR COMING EVENTS!
April 12 – Downey Co-op Kindergarten & Preschool OPEN HOUSE- 8:30 – 11:00 a.m.
April 15 – Downey Egg Hunt – 9:00 a.m.- Noon
April 25 & 26 – Parent-Teacher Conferences – During classtime
May 1 – Final Board Meeting of the 2016-17 School Year
For those families who still need to meet your Parent Ed requirement and for any others interested, please stay tuned for other Parent Ed opportunities that will be scheduled yet this school year.
WORRIED ABOUT SCREEN TIME?…
Most of us face the challenge of balancing screen time on a daily basis. We know too much time in front of the television or iPad is unhealthy, but why? Check out this article for a deeper understanding of the risks involved and to also learn some helpful tips to creating healthy limits for our kiddos. http://blog.jumpinforhealthykids.org/too-much-screen-time-get-facts-plus-tips
PARENTS NIGHT OUT TO SUPPORT ONE OF OUR OWN
Mark your calendars for a special “Parents Night Out” event on Monday, April 24 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Mass Ave Wine Shop- 878 Massachusetts Avenue, Indy. While you enjoy a glass of wine or a beer and some yummy food, you can enjoy the art of our very own Polliwog Mom, Ekaterina “Kate” Uvarova. Kate, an accomplished painter, has her art on display and for purchase at the shop for the month of April.
Come take in the atmosphere and enjoy the company of fellow Downey parents. (Please note: Please be sure to bring some cash. While anything food/beverage you buy at the shop can be applied to a credit or debit card, they have a current kink in their system that doesn’t allow you to apply your tip for the service staff to your transaction.) It will be a fun evening so hope to see you there!
HAVE A GREAT APRIL!