- Written by Kandy Wise Kandy Wise
- Created: 18 September 2018 18 September 2018
Here we are back in the swing of things for the fall school year at Open Arms Christian Preschool! Summer sure got away fast, and fall is picking up speed to ensure a fast-paced year! That’s not surprising as we have 41 students this year! We added an afternoon Pre-Kindergarten class where we expected maybe six or seven children, but ended up with fourteen! Needless to say, this has already been a popping summer and start to the year.
The summer was spent doing a lot of extra cleaning, painting, reorganizing and making the room more functional and fun! I’ve always enjoyed the idea of changing and spiffing up the room and such, but now, with our great little staff at Open Arms, it was possible to get it done! I am extremely grateful to have such hard working, child loving and joyful ladies to work with every day. Jessica and Lani have made this job an absolute joy and I know that’s one of the big things that contributes to our special environment! We are preparing for an evaluation from the State of Colorado’s “Colorado Shines” childcare rating system this spring, and the the coach helping us prepare asked if she could share a photo of our new reading corner set up in their monthly newsletter! I told her we would be honored to be featured in the newsletter that goes out to so many people in Larimer County. If you ever have a chance, be sure to come see what we’ve done in the classroom!
I want to take a minute here to publicly thank the Wolf family—Grant, Jennifer, Ellie and Lucy—Bridgette Wolf and Art Mullen for taking the time out of their busy schedules to spiff up the splintering playground equipment! After Grant cleaned it and replaced some boards, and the whole crew put on several coats of paint, it looks like a brand new playground. I simply cannot thank you all enough!
I also want to thank Chris Rattenborg and Anita Walters for making the new circles for the children in our new afternoon class. The kids have little “seats” they use for circle time every day, and we didn’t have enough after adding fifteen more children to the year, so these ladies were gracious enough to make fun new colorful pillows for the children! Thank you ladies so much!
School-wise, there’s not much to report at this time other than a successful first day of school where only one kiddo cried—but only for less than a minute. One out of 41 … I’d say that’s pretty good! We’ve also talked a lot about friends and how to be a good one. We had the eye screenings done by the Lion’s Club, a free service, and are getting ready for our Bike Rodeo fundraiser.
The Pre-Kindergarten (older) class will be going on field trips to the Environmental Learning Center, the fire station and the pumpkin patch. We just had our first field trip at my house as a follow up to reading a book called “My Teacher Sleeps at School.” The kids and moms alike seemed to have a great time, and I’m pretty sure there were some very tired children when they went home. You might think I’m crazy inviting 29 Pre-Kindergarteners to my house! Well, we started at the house for a quick tour and chance to meet my pets, but then we took a walk to the park near my house for a fun playtime before walking back to my back yard for a snack and drink on picnic blankets. So we didn’t just stay at my house the entire time! Beyond demonstrating to the children that I do not sleep at school, this field trip gives parents to get a chance to mingle and get to know each other and for everyone to get a glimpse into my life to see more of who will be working with their kids all year.
This semester we introduced Corinna, an Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist with Summitstone Health Partners. She is a fabulous resource we have now embedded into our program as a great source of support for the social and emotional well-being of the children. She comes into our classroom each week to observe the functionality and overall health of our classroom from a social emotional perspective, giving us feedback and input as needed. We also had our first music session of the year with Mrs. Peterson from Kids in Harmony, and it was a success, as expected. We are so grateful to have her joining our program again this year. We launched our after-school enrichment classes with “Amazing Athletes” on Mondays and Tuesdays and North Hills Art Studio on Wednesdays. We are exploring a dance option to offer on Thursdays. These classes are held each week during the 45-minute gap between the morning and afternoon PreK classes and after class is out on Tuesdays.
Needless to say, the halls by the preschool are a constant buzz of activity, laughter and learning, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. We have a lot to look forward to this year at Open Arms and we invite you all to come pop in for a visit if you’re ever able to!
Have a happy and blessed fall season!