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families today October 2015

PENINSULA

volume 5, issue 4

A publication for families living on the North Olympic Peninsula, and a supplement produced by the Peninsula Daily News and Sequim Gazette advertising department.

AUTUMN ON THE OLYMPIC PENINSULA

Program helps teach math, science skills — Page 6

Halloween parties and fall excursions — Page 10


contents

families today PENINSULA

Free programs for area families Learn about programs First Step Family Support Center offers to area families — 4

Published by the Peninsula Daily News and Sequim Gazette advertising department Peninsula Daily News 305 W. First St. Port Angeles, WA 98362 360-452-2345

Sequim Gazette 147 W. Washington St. Sequim, WA 98382 360-683-3311

Young children learn math and science through block play

Terry R. Ward, publisher and editor

Area childhood educators explain how guided, but non-structured play with blocks of all shapes and sizes enhances children’s understanding of math and science concepts and vocabularies. — 6

Steve Perry, advertising director Patricia Morrison Coate, Brenda Hanrahan and Laura Lofgren, special sections editors Peninsula Families Today is a family-focused publication and is inserted into both the Peninsula Daily News and Sequim Gazette. Please let us know what you’d like to see in the next issue of Peninsula Families Today. This publication welcomes input and new contributors. Educators, parents and professionals in their fields are invited to contribute informative and educational articles or columns for consideration. We cannot guarantee publication due to space and content considerations. If your submission is accepted, we reserve the right to edit it. Send articles, columns and photos (JPEGs at 200 dpi minimum) to section editor Brenda Hanrahan at bhanrahan@peninsuladailynews.com. For details, phone 360-452-2345, ext. 4072.

Halloween fun, things to do this autumn Family-friendly Halloween events and things to do this fall. — 10

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The recent renovation of the children’s area at the Port Angeles Library included new carpeting, wall paint, canvas photo prints featuring local children, an interactive learning space, furniture, computer stations and other education-promoting features.

Renovation of children’s area at Port Angeles Library completed, surge in use occurring

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magnetic gears into motion. The kiosks also feature puppet holes A major renovation of the Port Angeles where parents can recommend a story for their children to enact. Library children’s area was completed “The whole space was setup to be as earlier this fall. welcoming as possible to children and The public library is located at 2210 S. their caregivers,” said Noah Glaude, Peabody St. in Port Angeles. Port Angeles Library manager. The children’s area was closed during “And by putting ‘Talk,’ ‘Sing,’ ‘Read,’ the month of August while the majority of ‘Write’ and ‘Play’ in huge letters on the the work took place, and it enjoyed a soft wall, we’ve made it pretty clear what type opening during the month of September of activities the library is trying to as finishing touches were made and new encourage.” furniture was installed. The North Olympic Library System The result is a vibrant, interactive space where children and their caregivers contributed $40,000 to the renovation project, using funds from the library’s can talk, sing, read, write and play, 2015 capital improvement budget. according to library officials. An additional $20,000 donation from the Port Angeles Friends of the Library ABOUT THE RENOVATION helped build the area’s interactive After 18 years of heavy use, the learning space. library’s children’s area had begun to show its age. INCREASED USE The recent improvements replaced aging carpet, added new coats of paint Since the soft opening in September, and canvas photo prints featuring local the children’s area has seen a huge surge children to the walls, and include a new in use. iPad catalog station for young browsers. The library’s youth services staff has The layout of the area was also updated noted more children playing with the toy to better meet modern services and trains and more parents using the newly customer needs, and boasts new furniture upholstered chairs to read to their for casual sitting as well as computer children. stations that make the space more Toddler and baby storytime programs inviting and comfortable. held Friday mornings have seen their A large space was cleared in the middle biggest crowds ever, library staff said. of the area to make room for one of the On Sept. 25, the programs drew nearly more exciting new elements of the 100 patrons. renovation: an interactive learning space Kindergarten Express Storytime, specifically designed to teach children offered each Tuesday, has also seen an essential pre-literacy skills and help increase in attendance. them reach STEM (science, technology, engineering and math)-related goals. MORE INFORMATION This space features two custom wooden kiosks for young children to conduct more For additional information about the than a dozen experiments and activities, children’s area renovation project, contact including measuring height, investigating Glaude at nglaude@nols.org or 360-417starfish and banana slugs, and setting 8500 Ext. 7717.

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First Step offers free programs for area families by AMBER HOSKEN, First Step Family Support Center marketing/events coordinator

First Step Family Support Center offers multiple free programs throughout the week for play, education on childhood development and support for area families. n First Step’s Port Angeles Drop In Center, 325 E. Sixth St., is open Mondays through Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., offering a play space indoors, a fun play yard outdoors, a tumble room, a healthy snack and lots of books to share. First Step offers emergency supplies, a free clothing closet and referrals to resources within the community. All parents and caregivers are welcome. n Growing Strong is a free educational series on cooking easy, delicious and healthy family meals on a budget and covers cooking basics such as chopping, peeling, roasting and sautéing on Thursday afternoons from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the First Step Drop In Center. Attendees share new recipes and ideas and discuss methods for bringing techniques into their own homes. FIRST STEP, continued on Page 5  >>

Programs at First Step Family Support Center in Port Angeles include a variety of educational opportunities for area parents and caregivers and their young children. All programs are free and open to the public.

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<< FIRST STEP, continued from Page 4

n First Step’s current parenting education class, Make Parenting a Pleasure, is a 12-week series offered Tuesday mornings from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and includes free fun activities for children and a breakfast for all. Curriculum is focused on healthy relationships and stress management within families. This class is a Peninsula College Family Life Course. n Kaleidoscope Play and Learn group meets on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to noon to bring together parents/caregivers and young children newborn to 5 years of age for literacy and early education based playtime. This group offers a community of support and early development information, as well as sharing resource information. This play and learn group is a Peninsula College Family Life Course. n First Step Family Reading Program offers free books during First Step Drop In hours and Craft Club on Wednesdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., where parents and children have fun crafting together, without bringing home the mess. Crafts are literacy- and development-based. n First Step Early Learning Academy is a pilot play group featuring the Tools of the Mind curriculum for children three to four years old that supports both cognitive and social-emotional functions and promotes early learning, school readiness, academic success and positive behavior skills.

Classes are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Registration is required to attend. n Parents as Teachers is a home visiting program focusing on child development and parent child interaction for pregnant women and parents/caregivers of babies ages newborn to 3 years. Visits are twice a month and include age-appropriate activities, a focus on family well-being and increasing social support through monthly group connection events. n Circle of Hope Perinatal Support Group is an opportunity for new or expecting mothers who are facing emotional challenges to gain peer support, awareness and education concerning pregnancy-related emotions and depression. Groups are held Mondays from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Register to attend. n First Step also offers Maternity Support Services for women on Apple Health which includes nurse visits, behavioral health visits and nutritional support for optimal health during and immediately after pregnancy. n First Step’s Safe Sleep Campaign offers Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, known as SIDS, prevention education and referrals for a free pack and play to those who are in need of a safe bed for their infant up to 30 pounds. Appointments are required. n First Step’s Child Passenger Safety efforts include free car seat checks and advice by appointment, and referrals for those who are unable to purchase a car seat or booster seat.

First Step Family Support Center is located at 323 and 325 E. Sixth St. in Port Angeles. The organization’s mission is to promote the healthy development of children and families in Clallam County. All of First Step’s services are free. Donations are always accepted. To learn more about First Step, or to inquire about programs or volunteer opportunities, phone Maggie or Amber at 360-457-8355. First Step is an United Way partner agency.

ABOUT FIRST STEP FAMILY SUPPORT CENTER Since 1972, First Step Family Support Center has provided innovative and family-centered programs to Clallam County families as part of the agency mission to promote the healthy development of children and families. In 2014, its staff of dedicated professionals served approximately 3,979 adults and children. First Step staff members believe supporting parents is critical in the attempt to support young children; as parents are their child’s protectors, first teachers and emotional home. This allows both parents and children to maximize their individual potentials as they progress throughout their lives. For additional information about First Step, visit its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FirstStepFSC/ or its website at www.FirstStepFamily.org.

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Young children learn math and science through block play by PATRICIA MORRISON COATE, SEQUIM GAZETTE

Did you play with blocks as a child, building bridges or constructing towers — and then gleefully knock them down, only to create an imaginary world again? Did you and your parents know you were learning about math and science as you played? In the past three decades, experts in early childhood education research have found that introducing children to guided but non-structured play with all kinds of blocks enhances their understanding of math and science concepts and vocabularies, especially when they’re playing with their parents. “We have found out how much brain development there is in the first years of a child’s life,” said Cynthia Martin, president of the Parenting Matters Foundation and the First Teacher program in Sequim. “Now we have to do things with our kids if we want their brains to develop to their maximum level. “We didn’t used to know that but now we know we really can make a difference for all kids, not just the ‘smart’ ones.” In 2005, the University of Idaho developed BLOCK Fest, a free event consisting of parents/caregivers and children rotating among five stations for 10 minutes at a time, each with a different kind of block. The five types are foam blocks, wooden planks, unit blocks, little square blocks and big cardboard blocks. It takes one hour for 20 families to rotate through all of the stations. BLOCK Fest is recommended for children age 8 months to 8 years. “Research has found out that early mathematics skills predicted third-grade reading skills, so the impact of early math skills on reading is extraordinary,” said Bill Marsh of Port Angeles, who has a doctorate in mathematics and is a longtime supporter of BLOCK Fest. “It is one of the few things that helps with math and science because BLOCK Fest play promotes the development of new pathways in the brain,” said Martin. First Teacher program director Nicole Brewer said, “The play engages their minds and their bodies, so when

photo provided by BLOCK FEST

Area BLOCK Fest organizers promote introducing young children to guided non-structured play with blocks to enhance their understanding of math and science concepts and vocabularies.

they’re learning math concepts, they learn better when outside, pattern, square, tall, top and triangle. they can manipulate anything — blocks, beads, etc. — it’s For science, the suggested vocabulary is after, balance, the doing and the seeing of it.” bigger, first, heavy, hypothesis, light, next, rough, series, With trained volunteers offering guidance, parents are smallest, system, weight and whole. encouraged to sit with their children and use math words BLOCK PLAY, continued on Page 7  >> such as add, count, curve, less, lines, long, narrow, order,

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Children age 8 months to 8 years can benefit from playing with blocks of all shapes and sizes, according to area BLOCK Fest organizers. During organized BLOCK Fest events, children rotate among five stations for 10 minutes at a time, each with a different kind of block. The five stations feature foam blocks, wooden planks, unit blocks, little square blocks and big cardboard blocks.

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Block play and brain development Studies of children playing with blocks have shown that amazing things are happening as they play. Block play promotes the development of new pathways in the brain. Through block play children are learning: MATHEMATICS • Counting • Adding • Subtracting  • Estimating • Sorting  • Matching  • Measuring  • Classifying SCIENCE • Exploring  • Observing  • Making Decisions • Problem Solving  • Critical Thinking LANGUAGE • Listening  • Vocabulary  • Comparing • Themes  • Stories ARTS • Planning  • Patterns  • Pretending • Designing  • Imagining  • Preserving According to Frank Lloyd Wright, his life as an architect began with a gift of blocks from his mother. “I sat at the little kindergarten tabletop … and played … with the cube, the sphere and the triangle … I soon became susceptible to constructive patterns evolving in everything I saw. I learned to ‘see’ and when I did, I did not care to draw casual incidents of nature. I wanted to design.” Courtesy of Mathematical Learning in Early Childhood: Paths Toward Excellence and Equity, National Research Council (2009).

photo provided by BLOCK FEST

Children who attend organized Block Fest events will have a chance to construct items with a variety of colorful blocks and planks in all shapes and sizes.

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<< BLOCK PLAY, continued from Page 6

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For example, with the former a parent could ask, “Can you find the square blocks and put them in a line?” and with the latter, “Can you find another block that is as heavy as this one?” Thanks to a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to Parenting Matters in 2013, Clallam County now has its own complete set of blocks, plus booklets to give to parents, with the goal of holding a BLOCK Fest once or twice a month somewhere in the county. From January to August this year, there have been BLOCK Fest events at five elementary schools in Port Angeles, one in Joyce, two in Sequim and one at the Lower Elwha Tribal Center. Plans are to reach out to the five tribes associated with Clallam County and to the Spanish-speaking community on the West End and in Sequim. Marsh and his wife, Ellen Fetchiet, a mental health counselor, were instrumental in urging Martin to write the grant, she said. “It’s really exciting, now that we have our own program,” Martin said.

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<< BLOCK PLAY, continued from Page 7

“Because we have a chance to build a real positive view toward math and science for both girls and boys — it’s better to begin early — and the parents really like it,” Martin said. “What’s most exciting about BLOCK Fest is that the men come out. We will try to organize BLOCK Fests on Saturdays so fathers can come, too. We hope to have a lot of groups trained to check out block for preschools or child care places.” “BLOCK Fest is for any kids, disadvantaged or not,” Marsh said. “A $1 investment in early childhood education amounts to something like a $7 reduction in societal costs.” To learn more about BLOCK Fest in Clallam County, contact Martin at pmf@olypen.com or at 360-681-2250. Contact Marsh at billmarshpawa@gmail.com or 360-457-6758.

How you can help provide blocks for area children Area woodworkers are invited to donate blocks made from their scrap wood. Phone the Parenting Matters Foundation at 360-681-2250 for exact specifications.

Fun

Enter your best photos in a Halloween web contest by PENINSULA DAILY NEWS

Bring on the ghouls, goblins, Elsas and Marvel heroes! Halloween is right around the corner, and we want to see your best costumes! Snap a photo of a costumed creature, kids or adults, and submit it online to our Halloween Photo Contest. The top two photos in each category — adult and kid — will earn a prize. In the adult category, the first prize winner earns a $50 service gift certificate from Wilder Auto. Second prize is $25 slot card from Elwha River Casino. In the kids’ category, first prize is a $25 gift certificate to Fiesta Jalisco. Second prize is a $25 Visa gift card, courtesy of First Federal. You can enter by visiting www.peninsuladailynews.com and looking for the “Halloween Photo Contest” button in the middle of the homepage (below “Hot Links”). Follow the brief instructions for entering, and post your photo. The contest is free, but only residents of Clallam or Jefferson county older than 13 may enter. Parents may submit photos taken by their children who are younger than 13. All entries must by submitted online; no entries will be accepted via mail or in person. The deadline for entries is Monday, Nov. 2, at noon. The public will vote online starting Tuesday, Nov. 3, to determine which photographers will take home a prize.

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Halloween fun, things to do to celebrate autumn by PENINSULA DAILY NEWS

Autumn on the North Olympic Peninsula offers plenty of family-friendly carnivals, group trick-or-treat opportunities and other activities. Here’s just a taste of fall carnivals, parties and Halloween events for area youngsters:

JEFFERSON COUNTY A fall carnival will be held at Chimacum Elementary School, 91 W. Valley Road, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30. The family-friendly event will feature fun activities, prizes at a variety of booths, a cake walk, a bouncy house and arts and crafts activities. Games cost $.25 to $.50 each. Food will be available for purchase. The Quilcene eighth annual Spooktakular Halloween Party will be held at the Quilcene Community Center, 294952 U.S. Highway 101, at 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31. The free family-friendly event will feature “monster” food, photos, a costume contest, a scavenger hunt, games and more. The Port Townsend Main Street Downtown

Trick-or-Treat and Costume Parade will begin in downtown Port Townsend at 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31. The free event is open to costumed youngsters, preschool through sixth grade, and their parents or caregivers. Participants are to meet at 3:45 p.m. under the Bank of America clock at Water and Adams streets. Participating merchants — designated by signs in their windows — will offer trick-or-treating opportunities after the parade. Water Street will be closed to traffic 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. from Madison to Polk streets. Flashlights and visible clothing are recommended. Halloween at the Rec Center, 620 Tyler St., will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31. The free event will feature a bouncy house, arts, crafts, games and more. For more information, visit www.countyrec.com. Haunt Town, a haunted house, will be held the last two weekends of October in the basement of the Elks Lodge at 555 Otto St. in Port Townsend. Haunt Town is a new fundraiser benefiting the Kiwanis club’s children’s projects, Elks Lodge No. 317 and all local high school ASB programs. Dates of Haunt Town are Oct. 22, 23, 24, 29, 30 and 31. Hours are from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., except for Halloween

when it will stay open until midnight. Cost is $10 per person. Haunt Town is a new haunted house for the Port Townsend area, yet some of the old crew from Haunt Townsend will come back together to entertain attendees. Haunt Town is not for the faint of heart. It’s basically considered a teen/adult scare, working mainly on a psychological basis, rather than using obvious scary items; in other words, what really makes a person very fearful and nervous, organizers said. While there is no minimum age limit, organizers suggest children under 10 years may not be up to this type of entertainment. Parents are asked to consider whether their child can handle it before bringing them.

CLALLAM COUNTY A fall festival known as The Bash, will be held at Kings Way Four Square Church, 1023 Kitchen-Dick Road in Sequim, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31. A donation of nonperishable food will be collected at the door and will donated to Sequim Food Bank. The family-friendly, all-ages event will include a rock climbing wall, pony rides, a ferris wheel and indoor games. Prizes and candy will be given to attendees. Family-friendly costumes are encouraged. Food and drink will be available for purchase. AUTUMN, continued on Page 11  >>

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10  PENINSULA FAMILIES TODAY  October 2015

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For more information, visit www.thekingsway.net. The annual Sequim Merchants Trick-or-Treat will be held at a variety of Sequim businesses between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31. The free event, sponsored by the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce and Sequim Merchants, will feature business owners who post a picture of a pumpkin in their window handing out treats to children.

$5 per child. Adults can accompany their children through the maze for free. Snacks and drinks are available for purchase. For $5, visitors can launch three small, hard pumpkins — called ironsides — from a catapult, aiming for a barrel in a field. If a pumpkin lands in the barrel, the shooter gets $100. People can view chickens, bunnies and pigs. Draft horse rides are available some weekends. Group field trips are available upon request. For details, phone Teresa Lassila at 360-461-0940.

Community Hospital’s Spoon’s Cafe, 530 Bogachiel Way. Children ages 2 to 16 years can bring their carved pumpkins to the hospital’s cafe by 1:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30, for the chance to win cash prizes. The first place winner will receive $15 and a second place winner will be awarded $10.

A Halloween pet costume contest will be held at Forks Outfitters, 950 S. Forks Ave., from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31. The contest will be organized by Forks High School seniors Paislee Gilstrap and Alexis Leons as part of their Haunted Hallways will take place in Sequim High senior project. The Naval Elks Lodge No. 353 Fifth Floor School’s H Building, 601 N. Sequim Ave., between 1 p.m. Haunted House, 131 E. First St. in Port Angeles, will be The contest entry fee will be by donation of pet food or and 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31. a monetary donation. Photos of people and their pets also open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Oct. 23, 24, 29, 30 and 31. The family-friendly event will feature an array of will be offered by donation. A child-friendly haunted house will be offered from activities. There will be prizes and “treats” for pets. 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31. Attendees are asked to bring nonperishable goods to be All funds raised will assist Friends of Forks Animals’ Entry costs are $5 for children and $7 for adults. donated to Sequim Food Bank following the event. Profits benefit the Elks National Foundation and local work on the West End. fellowships. A Halloween Bash will be held at the Carroll C. An all-ages pumpkin decorating and carving For more information, phone 360-457-3355. Kendall Unit Boys & Girls Club in Sequim, 400 W. Fir contest will be held at Clallam Bay Library, 16990 state St., from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30. The Port Angeles Downtown Association Trick-or Highway 112, beginning at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28. The event is open to the public. Decorators and carvers are invited to submit creations -Treat will occur from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31. Children must be accompanied by an adult. during the library’s hours of operation until judging The free event is open to costumed youngsters Admission costs $1 per person and includes 10 game commences at 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31. accompanied by parents or caregivers. tickets. This fee does not include concessions. All entries must be received no later than 4 p.m. Stores bearing a “trick-or-treat” sign on doors or Additional game tickets can be purchased at the rate Saturday, Oct. 31. windows will offer treats to costumed children. of $1 for 10 tickets. Prizes for the most unusual and the most intricate Downtown streets will remain open to traffic so care pumpkin will be awarded in three age divisions: youth should be exercised when crossing streets. A trip to the Pumpkin Patch, located on the corner of (12 and younger), young adult (ages 13 to 17) and adult Kitchen-Dick Road and U.S. Highway 101, is a must for (18 and older). A Truck or Treat will be held at the Assembly of many area residents. Only real pumpkins, vegetables and fruit may be used. God Church, 81 Huckleberry Lane in Forks, from 6 p.m. Although no general admission is charged to the Artificial craft pumpkins are not eligible. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31. annual Pumpkin Patch, which is open daily from noon to The event will feature a variety of treats, indoor games 6 p.m. through Halloween, fees are charged for activities. and other activities and is free and open to public. For details about additional upcoming events on the U-pick pumpkins cost $.50 per pound. North Olympic Peninsula, visit www.peninsuladailynews. Admission to the patch’s children’s straw maze costs com or www.sequimgazette.com. A pumpkin carving contest will be held at Forks

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Special Sections - Peninsula Families Today, October 2015  

i20151021120116400.pdf

Special Sections - Peninsula Families Today, October 2015  

i20151021120116400.pdf