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February 2017
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Family Corner

February is a short month packed with big concepts: love, diversity, compassion, and helping others, etc.

Here are a few ideas around these topics to get families engaged.

Our family traditions are the glue that hold families together and forge strong bonds.  Invite families to come and share their unique family traditions and how they show love to each other.  

Send home paper hearts, so that families can send a sweet Valentine's Day message to their children on Valentine's Day.

Show the community you care.  Have families pick a community service project to volunteer and support together as a family.  
Here are some ideas for ways for families to be active in their community:
Doing Good Together: Pick a Project
10 Kid-Friendly Volunteer Service Projects

The Book Nook
For Teachers

Creating the School Family: Bully-Proofing Classrooms Through Emotional Intelligence incorporates everything you need to successfully create and teach 12 classroom structures, integrating social-emotional well-being into your existing curriculum. This new title is essential for early childhood and elementary educators! Your journey to a problem-solving, caring, bully-free and academically successful classroom begins here!




Check out this video from Conscious Discipline that tells the story of how one teacher was able to connect to her families and make a meaningful difference in their lives.

Find more great resources from Conscious Discipline here!
 
We hope you enjoy!
For Families

February is a time of love, kindness, and caring for others.  Here are some great books on showing love by being a good friend!
 
         
Idea Alley
 
  The concept of peace can be a tough, but important, idea to share with your children.  Start by defining the word "peace".  You can ask children what they think it means; their answers will probably be very enlightening.  They are often surprised to realize that peace can be found in many places.  It doesn't just refer to "world peace".  They can have a hand in creating a peaceful environment wherever they are. 

Peace may look a little different to everyone. It doesn’t mean the absence of conflict. Rather, it’s learning how to deal with conflict in a way that doesn’t put the rights, wants, or needs of one person over the other. It’s learning conflict resolution skills that stress respect for the individual and the group.  For more ideas on incorporating peace in your classroom, check out:
10 Ways to Promote Peace in Your Classroom.

 

  The idea of a "Peace Table" can be used along with Conscious Discipline concepts, or completely by itself. The peace table is a "safe place" where children can come discuss their problems and to resolve conflict. The child who is upset can invite the other child to the peace table. The child who does the inviting gets to go first, identifying how he feels and what happened to make him feel that way. Children should have some kind of a tool to pass back and forth between them, to indicate whose turn it is to talk. They work together on identifying what happened in the situation, how to avoid having that problem again, and coming to some kind of resolution.  For more ideas on implementing "peace" and conflict resolution in your classroom, check out Peace Items for the Montessori Classroom.

  Taking care of our feathered friends is another way your children can show love and caring.  Making simple birdseed ornaments using cookie cutters or muffin tins is a simple and fun way to do this.  Hanging these ornaments outside a window can provide  hours of delightful bird watching too!  How many different birds come and visit?
Here are a few simple recipes:

Simple Birdseed Ornament
Birdseed Ornaments

  Preschool STEAM has a great idea for making Valentine themed tinker tubs!  There is a even a free, downloadable tinker tub guide that will help you every step of the way.  Check out more: Valentine Tinker Tubs
 
 
Upcoming Events!

The Nutrition and Physical Fitness Conference
Date: April 22, 2017 (Saturday)
Location: UCA, Brewer Hegeman Conference Center
Time: 9:30-3:00

This event will encourage and inspire participants to make healthy choices for their home and school families.  They will receive 6 hours of TAPP training hours and a catered lunch.  You must enroll on the TAPP Registry to attend. 

This conference is Better Beginnings approved and will count toward Nutrition and Physical fitness hours that are required of Better Beginnings.

For more information, please contact Carol Crockett at the Child Care Aware office in Conway at: 501-327-6677.
 
AAIMH Brown Bag Lunch
The Arkansas Association for Infant Mental Health has a monthly brown bag event every 4th Thursday.   This month it will be on February 23rd.  You can join us at UAMS or one of the KidsFirst satellite locations.  It is a great way to get professional development close to you!

Check out their Facebook page for more details!
 
SECA Conference
Registration for the 2017 Southern Early Childhood Association Conference is open. The conference is in Biloxi this year on March 8-11. The theme is "Equipping Professionals for the Realities of Generational Poverty." Go to the SECA website to see a list of preliminary interest sessions and other opportunities that will be available during the conference.

Spring Concert and Training Opportunity!
Save the Date!  Mr. Al will be at the Child Care Aware of Northcentral AR's  Annual Spring Concert on April 27th at 9:30 a.m. at Batesville.in UACCB's Independence Hall.  This marks Child Care Aware's 20th anniversary and they want to celebrate with the families and children they serve.  Admission is $4 a person, and proceeds will go towards purchasing new resources for the Batesville Resource Center and lending library.

That afternoon, there will be a reception for the community, and later that evening, Mr. Al will be presenting a training class for 2 hours at UACCB in Batesville.

For more information, please contact contact Child Care Aware of Northcentral Arkansas at (800) 737-2237.  
 
Are you interested in hosting a Caring Conversations Cafe?
 
If the answer is YES, then please contact us to set up one!  Our calendar is quickly filling up, so if you want a Cafe for your families, now is the time to do it!

If you would like more information about what a Cafe is and how it can benefit your families, please don't hesitate to contact us or check out our website for more information.  We would love to tell you more!
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