Last year, or was it just yesterday, when I rang the bell on the final two days of school, I found myself wanting to keep ringing and ringing. Perhaps in hope that it would prolong the shortened day, which signified the end of an all too short and fast year!!!
Summer, albeit the quintessential "break time", is never my preference. I miss the children, the chatter, the squeals, the laughter, the energy, the love when they are not around. A part of "us" is missing when they are not here. So.....YOU enjoy your summer, I, along with all of the teachers who love them, will be here waiting for the return of the children, and their families in August. Until then, stay safe, be happy, know you are loved.
Weekly Prayer.... Dear Lord, watch over all those we care for. Shine Your light on them wherever they may go. Help them to remember that You are by their side. Amen
Please indulge this opportunity for me to express my additional, albeit inadequate, thanks to the wonderful staff of La Casa de Cristo Preschool. I am truly blessed to have Cheryl Costolo as an Assistant Director who is supportive and dedicated (30 years now, and counting!) beyond measure; and Vicki Koehler, as an Office Manager (29 years!) who keeps everyone in her care with grace, efficiency, humor .... and a candy drawer to envy!
The teachers are absolutely the best representatives of what excellence in education, especially Early Childhood Education, should be!!! All of the incredible teachers are women of great character and dedication as well. To each and every one of these women I owe much gratitude and say thank you from the bottom of my heart, as they are the heart and soul of this school. They humble me greatly.
With only this week of school left, the bittersweet reality has sunk in that for many of our families this is your fond exit to the next step on life's path. May you leave knowing that you will have left a great impression on our hearts and the memories are sweet and lasting. May the families for whom the fun of this and the previous weeks are just a prelude for another year ahead, know that your presence in our lives is treasured and never taken for granted. We will always strive to be just what you and your child wants and needs!!!
Weekly Prayer.... Dear Lord, You are my hope, my trust, my strength, my comfort and my faithful helper in every need. Amen.
We pride ourselves on finding value in tradition.
Traditional teaching methodology, utilizing play based materials and activities to stimulate and inspire.
Reprising signature events year after year, such as the Mother's Tea, Dad's Day, the Olympics, Ice Cream Social and even Wacky Day, and that's just to name a few.
Holding true to the tradition of including families in the education process of the whole child! Encouraging that partnership always has been a cornerstone for us.
This ALL MATTERS TO US!
And, as an entire staff, we hope this is evident in our willingness to remain dedicated to tradition while being innovative and open to including fresh new ideas.
That said, we have only two precious weeks of this school year left. Except for special events, we may "un-invite" you to be a parent helper! Please understand, if we become a bit possessive and want them all to ourselves, it's because your children have crawled into our hearts and taken up a permanent spot and we don't want to share them right now! Sharing may be good for preschoolers but not for us teachers who love your kids!!!
Weekly Prayer.... Heavenly Father, thank you for allowing us to come together each month for our courtyard prayer time, "group hug". The children have learned that it is a privilege to pray with and for each other. May Your words of love shared each time remain in their hearts forever.. Amen.
And we mean that in the scientific sense.... the acronym STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, ARTS and Mathmatics.
On Thursday and Friday, the children had an opportunity to attend our first STEAM Fair, but certainly not our last. Throughout this year, we have purchased a great many STEM manipulatives to augment our current resources of play based learning materials, Using these we created imagination and creation areas set up in the large space within Fellowship Hall.
The children were free to choose any area they found interesting and/or challenging to them! This was the epitomy of play based learning. It was wonderfully successful and amazing to "see" their young minds working!!! Critical thinking skills are best fostered by doing! It has been said,.... If its not in the hand....its not in the mind! We can assure you that what they learned today by just plain "doing" will stay in their minds forever!
STEAM Fair will return next year in early Fall, again in January and then to finish the year in May. The progression of ability will be startling and incredible at the same time!!
Consider this unknown quote:
Tell me and I forget.
Teach me and I remember.
Involve me and I learn.
This is the mantra of a play based preschool! When given an opportunity to engage in hands-on activities, to manipulate objects, to consider a million different outcomes from the same materials a child's mind is opened immeasurably.
Now, consider this from a very well known scholar, Aristotle:
'Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.'
Blessed are the children at La Casa that we care about teaching to the WHOLE CHILD. Their mind, body, and tender heart!
Weekly Prayer.... Dear Jesus, I pray for the teachers who help me to learn so many things, but mostly about Your love. Watch over them that they will always help to guide me to You.. Amen.
If you have an older elementary aged child, you may be aware of the recent AZMerit testing sections that have just been conducted. Regardless of your opinion of such metrics, the quantitative results on these tests are viewed as indicators of your child's proficiency in different cognitive areas.
At La Casa, we are proud to have established our preschool program as having the correct balance of academic challenges that align with the social and emotional readiness to accept and attempt them. The child that is emotionally ready, especially, is one that can meet a challenge with the ability to handle the success that comes from "getting it right" AND deal positively with the occasional, inevitable unsuccessful times as well. They need to be able to do both. They need to be able to handle "risking" the unsuccessful times without giving up, to try again and learn from them, and then experience the pride of accomplishment in the future. Building self-confidence is a maturation process; tearing it down can be instant and lasting.
Thank you for embracing our philosophy of teaching the children how to learn through play and meaningful activities that inspire thought, reasoning, problem solving, creativity, and self-worth.
Gosh, all those things they will need to score HUGE on any AZMerit test thrown at 'em!!! Destined for greatness all.
Weekly Prayer.... Dear Jesus, help us to remember that we are always open to learning. Especially help us to keep our hearts and minds open to learning more about You and your unconditional love for each of us. Amen.
May the joy of being with your loved ones on this special weekend remain with you as we continue on to the end of the year. You are all family to us and we, our entire staff, will hold close to the moments we are blessed to have shared. We look forward to each and every moment, big and little,until the last days of school. Do not miss any of the wonderful things we have planned for you and your children.
Weekly Prayer.... Through Him, with Him, and in Him all glory to God in the highest. Make Him the center of my being. Amen.
As a staff at La Casa de Cristo Christian Preschool, we feel very committed to teaching the precious children entrusted to our care. We teach them many things that will help them to be life long learners. Their skill sets emerge and become stronger each and every day. It is amazing to watch their growth and transformation as they develop emotionally, socially, physically and cognitively. Even more gratifying and important is the spiritual growth in these little beings. Our philosophy and mission here at La Casa is rooted in the firm belief that it is OUR RIGHT, PRIVILEGE AND OBLIGATION to bring the word of the Lord to the children we are blessed with. To facilitate the love of Jesus in their hearts is a challenge we take on with our whole heart! No greater joy could there be than to help a child find their way to Jesus. We are grateful for the privilege and embrace it.
This Easter season, we remind your child of the great love God had for us through the miracle He performed in giving us Jesus. It is a joyful time. We should rejoice in it!
Weekly Prayer.... Dear God, thank you for Your son, Jesus. May His love shine through me in all I say and do. Help me to be like Him in all things. Amen.