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News Bulletin April 2015

Four Components of the

Healthy Lifestyles Curriculum

Bridgeport Child Development Center • A program of One Hope United 3053 S. Normal Avenue, Chicago, IL 60616 • 312.842.5566

Overall Health • Exercise • Nutrition • Environmental Sustainability Young Children’s Mental Health: What Is Essential? When we think of children’s health, we usually think of their physical well-being. “Are they active and fit? Do they get sick often?” Mental health is just as important as physical health. “Mental health” includes how we feel about ourselves and other people, and how we cope with life. Mental health in young children is related to their social and emotional development. Caregivers, teachers, and family members all have roles to play in fostering young children’s mental health. For good mental health, young children need— • safe places to live and play • the right amount of healthy food to eat • love, care, and comfort from caregivers and family members • plenty of time for active play with other children • time to relax and follow their own interests • caregivers and teachers who are supportive and encouraging • experiences that help them feel confident and capable • time to express and understand their own emotions • guidance and discipline that are firm but not harsh A child’s mental health is probably good if he or she usually— • seems to feel safe and comfortable rather than fearful • shows a range of emotions, both positive and negative

• is interested in other people’s well-being and treats them with respect • treats animals with kindness • can “bounce back” from disappointments or frustrations • can show anger without hurting self or others • chooses to act in ways that are safe • uses positive ways to get attention • stands up for himself or herself • gets involved in activities at home and in the classroom • is willing to try new things (activities, foods, friendships, etc.) • will persist when trying a challenging task • can express feelings to some trusted person, instead of keeping them “bottled up” Factors that might contribute to a child’s mental health problems include— • illness or genetic factors • exposure to lead, mercury, or other environmental poisons • abuse or neglect • natural disaster that disrupts family life • exposure to violence in the family or community • difficulties related to poverty • serious family problems, including divorce or death of a loved one


Your trusted partner In early care and education

From the Director’s Desk You might remember that last month we spoke about our upcoming “Week of the Young Child” celebration April 13–17, 2015. 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. NAEYC first established the Week of the Young Child™ in 1971, recognizing that the early childhood years lay the foundation for children’s success in school and later life. We are excited to celebrate this week with some exciting and fun opportunities for children and families that highlight learning! Here is how our week long celebration is shaping up! Monday, April 13: Music Monday! Sing, dance, celebrate, and learn! Through music, children develop math, language, and literacy skills - and, of course have fun while being active! Sounds of music will fill the Bridgeport neighborhood as we embark on a fantastical parade! Tuesday, April 14: Taco Tuesday! Healthy eating and fitness at home and school! This fun, foodthemed day is more than just cheese and salsa. With the rise in childhood obesity, teachers and families can encourage healthy nutrition and fitness habits at home and in the classroom. Cooking together connects math with literacy skills, science, and more. Wonder what will be cooking in our classrooms? Wednesday, April 15: Work Together Wednesday! Work together, build together, learn together! When children build together they explore math and science concepts, and develop their social and early literacy skills. We will use all sorts of building materials to make some wonderful creations! Thursday, April 16: Artsy Thursday - Family Event! Think, problem solve, create! Children develop creativity, social skills and fine muscles with open-ended art projects where they can make choices, use their imaginations and create with their hands. On Artsy Thursday, we will celebrate the joy and learning children experience when engaged in creative art making with a fun art night for the entire family! Friday, April 17: Family Friday Sharing family stories! Engaging and celebrating families is at the heart of supporting our youngest learners! BPI applauds you as your child’s’ first and most important teachers. This will be a family sharing day­—how will you share your family? Additionally, during this special week we will celebrate the ExceleRate Illinois GOLD Rating that BPI recently received! Classrooms will pass out the weekly schedule of events so you can plan to celebrate with us! We look forward to sharing this special week with you! Happy spring! Marybeth Mlikotic

Classroom Stories

Room 5 It has been a busy month in Room 5. The highlight this month was the celebration of Lunar New Year. We read books to learn about the traditions and cultures of the Chinese New Year. We made delicious Steamed Rice Cake for an affluent new year. We practiced how to use chopsticks just as many of us did at home. Students also tried to write Chinese characters 恭喜 发财(Wishing you prosperity) which were so different from English letters! The most exciting activity was our New Year’s parade throughout the school building led by the lion dance with various music instruments we played. Room 2 Room 2 was engaged in the Box Study this month. The children learned so many things about boxes and were able to create something they wanted out of boxes. We voted and decided to make pizzas. The children cut out a circle and decided what materials they needed for our pizza toppings. Students used boxes in our block area to make many things. They made houses, grocery stores, shopping malls and cars. The children loved using the boxes and pretending they were something else. Room 2 had recently finished the Buildings Study, so they used their past knowledge of tools to build structures in the block area. Lastly, Room 2 turned our dramatic play area in a grocery store. They used many boxes the families brought from home to create a pretend store. There were cereal boxes as well as other food items. Children used pretend money to pay for our groceries. Everyone loved the grocery store, and they even took their baby dolls shopping with them. Room 4 Room 4 was engaged in the Building Study this month. They completed their study by having students work together in groups and create a structure from the recyclable materials. Next the small groups voted on what color they would paint their structures. Last they painted and decorated them together.

The classroom then began the Clothing Study. One of their small group activities was deciding what clothes needed to worn for different weather. They dressed a paper frog in summer clothes, winter clothes and fall clothes. Children also created their own version of the classic story Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Using the questions of the day, teachers helped the children to change the story based on what things they wanted to change. Then, we used our skills by creating biscuits with the focus on large, medium and small. We used our fine motor skills by rolling, mixing and cutting with the heart shaped biscuit cutters.

We Love You Ms. Florence! After 35 years at Bridgeport Child Development, our beloved kitchen staff Ms. Florence will be retiring! Ms. Florence has been a highlight of our center, sharing her positive attitude and smile with staff, children and families alike. She has been a wonderful ambassador of One Hope United. Bridgeport Child Development got together on March 13, 2015 to celebrate all the Ms. Florence has done for our center. Staff celebrated Ms. Florence’s wonderful career with a special Italian lunch, a beautiful cake and some special gifts to honor her. The classrooms all created cards of appreciation for her. We have been so fortunate to have Ms. Florence at Bridgeport for all these years! We wish her a relaxing retirement, and look forward to her visits with us!

Summer Time in the City! In preparation for the summer program, we would like to know if your School Age child(ren) will be staying for the summer session. The session will begin on Monday, June 22 and will end Friday, August 28. Summer registration fee is $90 per child which covers the cost of summer activities including t-shirts, buses and field trip admissions. This fee is due no later than Friday, May 22. School Age families are asked to complete their Summer Registration Form by April 17. Please remember that weekly fees for school age children in the subsidized child care program will increase to the full-time rate beginning Monday, June 1 as per IDHS regulations.

Male Involvement Activity

It was an amazing night of Science activities at our last Male Involvement Night. Our Family Support Specialist, Mr. Chi facilitated the meeting and introduced some incredibly fun activities that highlighted different science concepts. Families got to make their own Whirlybird helicopters, and create their own flying machines that they were then able to take home. Mr. Chi also demonstrated some activities to the audience. By soaking a skewer in oil, he was able to run the skewer through the length of the balloon. He also combined detergent, baking soda, vinegar and food coloring to show different reactions. This reaction looked like an erupting volcano! Finally, everyone was excited to see the Dancing Raisins! Raisins were put into a cup, and white soda was poured over them. The carbonation from the soda made the raisins sink and float. They looked as if they were dancing! We loved doing these great Science activities and look forward to providing more opportunities for male involvement in the future!

2014-2015 Policy Committee:

The Policy Committee parents and staff met on Saturday, March 14, at the Edgewater Early Learning Center program. A group photo was taken sporting our new One Hope United t-shirts! Pictured from left to right are: Zoe Zhao, parent from Bridgeport I; Pastor Linda Requilez, Governing Board Representative; Yuridia Arroyo, parent from Edgewater ELC; LaQuitta Franklin, Family Support Specialist Waukegan ELC; Rosanne DeGregorio, Director of Programs; Catherine Thomas, Center Director Waukegan ELC; Heather Dohrn, parent Waukegan ELC; Mia Stokes, parent Edgewater ELC; Rachel Cornelio, Administrative Assistant. The Policy Committee meets monthly with parents from all four of our Head Start Programs and most meetings are held on Thursday evenings from 4:30 – 6 p.m. Since our sites are spread out from the south side of Chicago to Waukegan, meetings take place through video conferencing and dinner and child care is provided during meetings. The Policy Committee is a great opportunity to meet other parents and learn more about the Head Start Program. We are currently looking for one representative from Early Head Start and two Community Reps to join our Committee. If you are someone who can act on behalf of many parents, can participate in monthly meetings and can participate with staff and parents to develop program plans please see your center director for more information about how to join. Thank you to our Policy Committee members for all your time and dedication!


Calendar April 2015 Sunday











April 3-10: School Age Spring Break ––––> 5





10 Head Start Training Day (No School for Rooms 1, 2, 4, 5 & 6)


<–––––––––– April 3-10: School Age Spring Break –––––––––––> 12

13 WOTYC: Music Monday

14 WOTYC: Taco Tuesday

15 WOTYC: Work Together Wednesday

16 WOTYC: Artsy Thursday

17 WOTYC: Family Friday


April 13–17: Week of the Young Child ––––––––––> 19


21 22 Parent Workshop: Strategies for Handling Stress!







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Bridgeport Child Development Center I April 2015 Newsletter  
Bridgeport Child Development Center I April 2015 Newsletter