Our students have begun participating in activities co-sponsored by Every Monday Matters, a not-for-profit organization committed to creating a world where individuals and organizations understand how much and why they matter to themselves, the community around them, and the world. Each month a theme is selected, and each Monday has a weekly activity. The Every Monday Matters theme for July was “Monday Gets Active” and on Monday, July 2nd, our students took part in Party in the Park, a day filled with fun (and wet!) activities taking place outside.
“Parks are beautiful things. They were created to provide beauty to be explored, to preserve, to play and to relax in. They are also places for us to connect – with nature, with one another, and our community. Knowing this, you might think that your local park would be the most popular gathering place in your community, but it probably isn’t. In fact, only a very small percentage of adults regularly step foot in their local park. And with TV, the Internet, smart phones, video games, and super busy schedules, fewer youth are enjoying them today as well. Well, it’s time to bring parks back and all the fun that comes with them. This week, we want you to get outdoors and PARTY IN THE PARK.” (from the Every Monday Matters website)
We took this statement to heart and spent approximately two hours enjoying the neighborhood – we ate lunch outside, played tag, had a water squirt bottle battle and even did an art project or two. “This is so weird to paint outside,” Dyanna, a student at the center, said, “but it’s fun.” The Every Monday Matters activity of the week was to get out to a local park for a change of scenery and some new activities, and that is just what Regnart CDC did.
In celebration of one of our newest centers, we held a ribbon cutting for Zehnder Ranch CDC on May 17, 2018. This center sits on the Zehnder Ranch Elementary School site, which opened last Fall. Although we have been operating since last Fall, the center moved into their permanent portable location in April. They provide licensed before and after school programs and camps during school breaks and currently serve 122 students. This center is one of 21 centers within the Elk Grove Unified School District. We are excited to expand our business in the Elk Grove community.
Our ribbon cutting ceremony included members of the Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce , Principal and Vice Principal of the school, Child Development Center leaders and staff and the 10 member staff of Zehnder Ranch CDC. For more details on the center visit here.
In celebration of Pi Day, children at Heritage CDC worked on film making and animation projects. The children decided what type of video they wanted to record and picked a “how to make a stop motion” video. They spent one month working on creating several videos during Tech Club time.
On March 14th, the children showcased their stop-motion animation movies. The Tech Club children invited their friends and family to view their projects. Everyone had an opportunity to vote on their favorite stop motion video using an online voting system. “Happy Pi Day” won the contest with 40% of the winning votes. The Cooking Club children baked blueberry, apple and peach pies to celebrate Pi day with their family and friends at CDC.
There’s nothing quite like a bowl of hot soup and some warm bread on a chilly night to bring people together. Regnart CDC students and families took this little saying and turned it into an event to help others in a difficult situation.
As were most people in the Bay Area, Regnart CDC students were very aware of the fires that raged through Northern California in October. Although we were far from fires, the smoky air and poor air quality, the grey skies and daily news stories made it very real for our students. Especially after one of our sixth grade students shared with the other students what his teacher had told his class about the fires, and how many people and animals had lost their homes, or suffered other losses.
Once our students heard about what was happening to the people who lived in the fire zone, they wanted to do something to help. At first, they talked about collecting water or making first aid kits. However, after doing a little research, I informed our students that it would be better to come up with an idea where we could collect money or gift cards. It was at this point that the students’ desire to help and their creativity combined to come up with a truly wonderful event.
On November 17, Regnart CDC’s Student Council hosted Stone Soup Night. Each student was asked to bring in a favorite vegetable to add to a homemade minestrone soup. Together, we made two huge pots of soup. Staff and students also worked together to make warm artichoke bread, pound cake and lemonade. For the price of $10, parents and friends could purchase a meal of soup, bread, drink and dessert. The parent of one of our student council members helped out by collecting the gift cards. Krish, student council vice-president, told those in attendance the story of Stone Soup, an old folk tale in which hungry strangers convince the people of a town to each share a small amount of their food in order to make a meal that everyone enjoys. We found this story of a community coming together a very fitting story for our event.
“Everything smells so good,” Prassaitha, a Regnart CDC parent, said. “It’s really amazing how much work the kids put into this. It’s a wonderful idea.”
Together, we raised $320, which has been donated to the Redwood Credit Union Northern California Fire Victims Fund. Students did not pick a specific county, but instead asked that the money be given to all counties affected. Students were surprised but excited by the amount of money raised. “We should do this again,” Krish said. “There are always people who need some help.”
Each October, kids worldwide participate in the Global Cardboard Challenge for Imagination’s Day of Play. Elk Grove CDI was one of our locations that participated in the Cardboard Challenge at CDC. Starting last month, our School Age kids created a KWHL chart and discussed what they knew and what they wanted to learn. The KWHL chart stands for what students Know, what they Want to know, How they will find the information and later, what they have Learned about the topic. This strategy helps students plan, implement projects and measure knowledge of the topic. They then split into groups of 3-4, chose a peer to lead the club and together they planned what they wanted to build over the next few weeks. They began the process by drafting their designs on paper before cutting the cardboard, painting and designing their projects. On the day of the event, each group set up their project in the classroom and the younger children were invited to come and play.
They used their imagination and creativity to construct several different types of arcade games with a variety of materials such as cardboard, tape, paint, glitter, saran wrap and other items of choice to offer inside the machines as prizes. Some of the final pieces included Claw Machines and Vending Machines that held toy prizes that had been donated from homes of older children and extra goodies from summer camp. The kids got to keep the toys that they won and they are planning to do a fashion club and a sports club next! To see how our children were inspired by Caine and to learn more about the Global Cardboard Challenge, visit: https://cardboardchallenge.com/
This article features one of our teachers at Tafoya CDC in Woodland who began her teaching at this center as an Associate Teacher and is now continuing her education to becoming a Master Teacher. Creativity, hands-on learning and children’s involvement in daily activities are examples of our staff’s dedication to children in our program. To read more about how this teacher inspires her students and learn more about our afterschool activities, click here.
In celebration of the Week of the Young Child on April 24-28, our centers participated in a variety of activities to honor our younger CDC children. At Red Hill CDC in Santa Ana, children were encouraged to dress up as their favorite superhero. As they shared why they dressed up as that superhero they would say, “They save people from bad guys”. Another child added, “I want to be like the Flash because he’s faster than everyone”. At the end of the week the children were able to dress up as who they wanted to be when they grew up. The children chose to dress as police officers, doctors, executives, engineers, and a cowgirl. During their greeting time, the children shared why they chose that career and shared back, “doctors save people”. Another child added, “police officers keep people safe”. They concluded the week by going over the importance of being a child and remembering that although we may grow up, will always remember how fun it was to play and learn as a child.
Over at Ben Frankin CDC in Riverside, they celebrated by giving the preschoolers a picnic. The picnic included rotisserie chicken, salsa, tortillas and rice. They also took turns to hit a Piñata and got the treats from it. The day included studying the different children’s celebrations across the globe and discussing why they liked being a kid.
The Week of the Young Child™ is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The purpose of the Week of the Young Child™ is to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs. Today we know more than ever before about the importance of children’s earliest years in shaping their learning and development.
During Spring Camp, the kids at Parker Whitney CDC (Club Rocklin) spent the week preparing for Friday’s Color Run. The Color Run, traditionally known as the “Happiest 5k on the Planet” promotes healthiness and happiness, which fit perfectly with their Movin’ and Groovin’ camp theme. Throughout the week the camp focused on muscles, moving, fitness and hydration. In addition to focusing on healthy eating habits, they held a banana eating contest that both the staff and kids loved. Some of the Color Run preparation activities included making headbands and decorating a personal water bottle. For hydration, the kids did an experiment where they weighed fruit and dehydrated it in the oven. Once that process was complete, they weighed it again to understand what happens to your body when you heat up and lose water.
The headbands and water bottles the kids decorated were brought out to use during the Color Run on Friday. Some kids chose to decorate their headbands with their names, while others decided to come up with something unique and different to fit their personalities. After a warm up, the kids ran a total of four laps and each lap was finished up with a splash of different powder color. It was a perfect way to finish Spring Camp while having fun and getting colorful.
For February Recess Camp, two of the 5th grade girls approached their teachers about helping to plan a circus themed day for camp. They helped come up with ideas for activities that would be fun for Kindergarten through 5th grade and organizing those ideas to share. The girls worked on their planning daily, which included learning about budgeting, writing a list of materials and the costs of those materials. The Site Supervisor, Alyssa, guided them in planning the special day and helped them with all their planning questions. One of the ideas they came up with was drawing a body for the campers to decorate into an acrobat or a clown and 3 skits for the camp leaders to act out during the morning welcome. This was a hit with our campers. On the day of the circus camp, Alyssa purchased top hats and made our leaders Jr. Ringmasters. The girls both came up with their own camp names of Lavender and Lilac. It is inspiring to see the students get involved and bring their ideas to life. This has encouraged more of the children to add their ideas into Spring Camp and become Jr. Leaders for our summer day camps.