February 2015

January 29, 2015


From the President

This month, I am not going to beat around the bush! To start off… we need your help (of course!). But this is an easy request!  The preschool has had a Facebook page for quite some time, but it was rarely used. Moving forward, we are utilizing it more to connect with our community and advertise marketing- and enrollment-related events. Our registration information is already posted, and soon the parent education speakers will be added (only those open to people outside the preschool). For those of you on Facebook, please “like” us here and share the information. The Facebook page will be closely monitored and only used for events open to the community. There will never be information posted about the kids, such as their photos, field trip details, or any other in class activity that shows kids present.

Next up for news… an offer of money. We are a member of the Council of Parent Participation Preschools of BC, and the Council is a member of the Parent Cooperative Preschools International. Both organizations offer bursaries to anyone directly involved in the preschool (family, teachers, staff) to pursue early childhood education related courses. To learn more, go to their two websites: www.cpppreschools.bc.ca and www.preschools.coop, or send Shelley an email and she will send you the information she has. Here is a copy of their January 2015 Newsletter for additional information.

The Parent Cooperative Preschools International is hosting it’s annual conference in Metro Vancouver this year, and we are thrilled to be participating. Taking place at the end of April, there will be education sessions, business meetings and networking opportunities. We are thrilled to be one of only a couple of preschools which will host the delegates for a tour of our space. We will be sure to send out more information as details are confirmed. As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to let Shelley know.

acqe7MRMiExecutive Search 2015-2016

As the school year is chugging along and gearing up for warmer weather fun, have you ever wondered what goes into making a preschool run? It’s more than the play dough, finger paint, and string cheese that keep this fine-tuned machine running. The Executive Committee is tasked with various responsibilities that affect our kids, the preschool, and our wallet. As this years VP, Rusty Rhyne is throwing up the search light for those dedicated, compassionate, or just plain curious parents who would like to be involved in the ever important crew that does the behind the scenes decision making. Talk to your teachers, class reps or Rusty about next years Executive Committee opportunities. You can reach him here: rusty.rhyne@gmail.com, 778-984-0525 or in his box (Preston, 3am).

auctionSilent Auction IMPORTANT Information

Date: Saturday, February 28, 2015 (Book your babysitter!)
Time: 7:00pm – 11:00pm
Place: Glenbrook Park Amenities Centre

The Silent Auction is fast approaching and the Special Event team is very busy running around town pick up some amazing and generous donations from the amazing business community here in New Westminster. It should be a very fun night!


This is a reminder that we will be doing a “First Pick Draw” at the February GM. Tickets are $20 each (please bring cash). The winner of the “First Pick” will be able to choose one item from the Silent Auction of their choosing (excluding live auction items).


Traditionally the evening ends with a very spirited Live Auction where some of the larger donations are auctioned off. If you have an item, or service that you think would work well for this, please contact Christina at christina_turton@yahoo.ca.

Tickets for the Silent Auction will be distributed first week of February, every family will be given 2 tickets. If by some chance you are unable to use your tickets, please return them to Christina (Delia, 3am). If you have friends or family who would like to attend the event, additional tickets will be available for purchase on a first come first serve basis. Again, please contact Christina at christina_turton@yahoo.ca if you are interested in purchasing additional tickets, price will be $10.00 per ticket (these will also be available to purchase the night of the February GM).

Just a note, we will be accepting cash or cheque the night of the silent auction.

We are looking forward to a great Silent Auction!

parent-teacher-14dnw1yParent & Teacher Meetings – February

Parent & Teacher Meetings will be held this month. The 4s class meetings will be held on February 10 and the 3s meetings will be held on February 11. The meetings are not mandatory, as we realize that we often have “informal meetings” with you on your duty days. We offer these meetings so that we can share and discuss how your child is developing, in a more formal way. There will be sign up sheets at the preschool for times. If you are attending a meeting please arrange for childcare for your children, as there will be preschool classes in session.

Calling all 4-Year Olds!

If you are in the 4 year old classes and haven’t yet already done so, Kindergarten registration for 2015/2016 is open – click here to register! Get the tissues ready, your little ones are growing up 🙂

Preschool Registration Deadlines

Alumni Families:
For those families who have previously attended the preschool (either old siblings, or the parents), but who are not longer current members, registration is Wednesday, February 11 from 7:00 – 7:30 PM. Alumni families have priority status from February 11 – 13, so please be sure to register on time to reserve your place.

General Registration:
For those families who have never been preschool members. Registration begins Saturday, February 14 from 8:00 – 11:00 AM and will be ongoing until the classes are filled.

Registration fees for the 2015-2016 preschool year are $100.00 and are due at the time of registration. Monthly fees will be voted upon by the membership during the May AGM (current fees are $145 for the 3 year old classes and $175 for the 4 year old classes).

imagesFor the Tax Man – Tuition Receipts for 2014

For those families that require a receipt for their 2014 preschool fees, please send an email to the following address:  qpps.receipts@gmail.com. In your email please include the following information:
1. Your name (the way you would like to see it on the receipt, include both parent’s names if you want both names on the receipt)
2. Your child’s name (if you had more than one child that attended the preschool in 2014 then please provide that information)
3. Your child’s class (3AM, 3PM, 4AM, 4PM)
We will send the receipt back to the email address from which you sent the email. Receipts will be available starting March 1.   Please limit the use of the above email address to receipt requests only (as much as you might be itching to share your latest internet meme – this isn’t the email addy to do so!)

16e1ab2Parent Education

Remember Kristen, the Child-Feeding Expert?

Kristen Yarker visited us last month to talk about tips on snacks, or rather “opportunities to eat”.  There were some great suggestions that came out of the group discussions we had, especially for those of us keen to move from the less healthy eating habits we fell into over the winter break. After the presentation, Kristen had some parents ask about how to get kids to sit at the table to eat. She has a blog post she would like to share that addresses this topic:


Kristen’s website (www.kristenyarker.com) is packed with information. There you can also sign up for her monthly newsletter “Small Bites” which includes:

  • Recipes – each with exclusive finger food and deconstructed versions
  • Answers to real questions from real parents
  • Inside scoop on events and workshops
  • Exclusive pricing on Online Seminars

What’s Up for February?

Dawnn Whittaker, founder and senior consultant with Cheekychops (www.cheekychops.ca) will present a child sleep seminar that addresses sleep issues with a variety of ages.  She encourages us to come with our questions!

Dawnn has worked as a day nanny, live-in nanny, baby nanny, overnight nanny and a trouble-shooting nanny for families in the UK, US, Australia, and Canada. She also consulted for nanny agencies. With her biting British wit, she dishes out straight talk with a spoonful of sugar and a side of spunk. For about 20 years, she enjoyed being everybody’s favourite go-to gal for childcare and baby advice. Then she had her own babies, and things changed. Even with all her expertise, Dawnn discovered first-hand what it felt like to be wracked with the challenges of being a good Mom, a likable partner, and the woman she expected herself to be. Dawnn founded Cheekychops in 2006. She is motivated by empowering people to be the best parents they can be. Cheekychops promotes: education, flexibility and self-sufficiency, and she has built a company that is entirely run and operated by women who are devoted to both their families and the Cheekychops mission.

Dawnn lives in Langley, BC, with her husband, three children, and the family dog. Learn more about Dawnn and her sleep coaching philosophy in this Global News report. For Dawnn’s seminar, we have a limited number of tickets available to family, friends, alumni or community members who are not currently QPPS members. Tickets are $10/each and must be reserved ahead of time with Tasha at tashamurray@outlook.com.

And in March….

At the March 3 General Meeting, Dr. Errin Pfeiffer from Family Eyecare Centre at Royal City Centre will make a short presentation on children’s eye health.

If you have any questions or comments about parent education, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Tasha!

Springfield-LFL-2Need Something to Read?

New Westminster has a great new community project that you can enjoy or take part of. They are called Little Free Libraries and they are starting to pop up in in the neighbourhoods around town. Here is a video about the project, so keep your eyes open for these unique and fun libraries to share with your kids. http://vimeo.com/72957294


Skalm_2Cut Away!

Ever wondered when and how children learn to use scissors? Here is a great little article Teacher Donna has dug up explaining the positive learning benefits of this crafty task.

The opening and closing motion of cutting with scissors helps children develop the small muscles in their hands otherwise known as fine motor skills. These muscles are crucial for holding a pencil or crayons and gripping and manipulating objects.

Cutting also helps develop eye-hand coordination as children hold the paper with one hand and cut with the other while tracking the movement of the scissors with their eyes.

Another important skill that is developed through cutting is bilateral coordination. Bilateral coordination involves using both sides of the body at the same time while each hand is performing different tasks. For example, to cut a square, the child must hold the paper with one hand and turn it while the other hand is not only opening and closing the scissors but also moving along the line. Easier said than done!

Learning how to use scissors plays an important role in developing the fine motor skills young children need in order to hold pencils and crayons. Having strong fine motor skills will help children as they begin the tricky process of learning how to print and write. It might sound easy, but teaching young children how to cut with scissors is a very complex task.

The sequence of scissor learning is the order in which cutting skills should be introduced to young children:

Rip, Snip, Fringe, Straight lines, Zig zag lines,

Curved lines (circles, waves, hearts), Right angles (squares and rectangles)

Ripping sturdy paper such as construction paper is the perfect activity for young children to engage in before being introduced to scissors. Children exercise their tripod grasp- or their thumb and first two fingers as they grip the paper to rip it. Ripping also requires children to move their hands in opposite directions at the same time which helps develop bilateral coordination skills. Cut sturdy paper into strips and invite children to rip away! When they demonstrate they are ready, move to larger pieces of paper.

Snipping is the act of opening and closing the scissors one time only which results in successfully cutting something. Snipping will help children develop the muscles in their hands necessary to cut longer lines later so their hands won’t become fatigued. Fringe is repetitive snipping without cutting the paper in half.

 Tips for Teaching Scissor Skills

*Provide high quality scissors for beginners
*Always supervise
*Wrap electrical tape around the thumb hole so children will know where to put their thumb.
*Use a song or chant to remind kids where their fingers belong.
*Start with snipping things like paint chips, play dough, and straws.
*Draw lines with a ruler on construction paper and cut into strips with a paper cutter. Place stickers between lines on the strips and invite children to snip on the lines. Use a ruler to draw evenly spaced line from the bottom of a square piece of green construction paper up two inches. Then, place insect stickers at the top of each line. Invite children to fringe the paper by cutting on the lines
*Save the fronts of old greeting cards (age appropriate of course) and invite children to cut as they choose. Cards are thicker and provide more resistance and stability that helps beginners hold the paper and maneuver the scissors.
*Provide activities that use tools such as tongs, hole punches, tweezers, eyedroppers, and clothespins to strengthen fine motor skills.

20821299The Book With No Pictures

Okay, so this is the latest hot item quickly selling off bookstore shelves. If you are a parent reading this book, it can be VERY intimidating. So, please ignore the ad part towards the end, but the beginning of this video is a fabulous example of how to read this book. And it should be – it’s the author himself, B.J. Novak, reading his book “The Book With No Pictures.” Teacher Jenny read it to the am class (a family brought it in) and it was such a hit, she has ordered a copy for the preschool. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cREyQJO9EPs

Piratey,_vector_version.svg3-Year Old Class Information

This month our programming was loosely based around the themes of  Pete The Cat and pirates. Because of these two themes we were able to also  expand our themes and further explore the topic of boats, animals, feelings, maps and our world and colour mixing (blue + red = purple).

Hand and Foot painting was a HUGE success. Our 3s certainly love to create in a very tactile way.  After Teacher Jenny shared with us  Pete The Cat: I Love My White Shoes  written by Eric Litwin, Pete The Cat and his white shoes led the way to most of the children exploring red brown and blue paint with their hands and feet! What better way to get messy and creative than hand and finger painting and best of all barefoot painting! We then extended the theme with jungle and farm animal foot prints and singing Old MacDonald Had A Farm.

Our pirate theme ideas included creating and decorating folded paper pirate hats and donning  eye patch dress up as well as searching for treasure. Children delighted in finding gold coins and other magnetic loot in our sand boxes and playdough. We talked about what a pirate wears including boots, striped shirts, vests, hats, patches, bandanas and we learned that they also carry swords and pistols. We also discovered that pirates can be brave and they can also be greedy, they can be scary and silly! Together we created watercolour art on maps and explored the world through “sailing boats” at the water table and spinning our globe and looking through our atlas. During circle time we enjoyed the books Tough Boris by Mem Fox and  How I Became A Pirate by Melinda Long.

Here is a movement song you can sing with your children at home!

If you’re a pirate and you know it

(In the tune of If You’re Happy and You Know It)

If you’re a pirate and you know it swab the deck, if you’re a pirate and you know it swab the deck, if you’re a pirate and you know it and you really want to show it, if you’re a pirate and you know it swab the deck!

*swab the deck (swish swish)*walk the plank (stomp stomp in one place)

*scout the sea (make your hands a telescope  

*shout AHOY (wave)

*row your boat (make rowing motion)

 Your teachers, Jenny and Donna

goat4-Year Old Class Information

We started the month of January with a few areas of focus: mapping and mazes and travelling, building structures and ice. Many of the children have spent time drawing maps to incredible places, stamping passports before going on their train travels, and building large structures of bridges and rockets together in the block area – lots of great debates of where certain blocks should go! We have enjoyed many new story books about going on adventures (from Barefoot Books – Thanks to Lena!) such as a “Wheels on the Bus” version that goes to Guatemala and the “Magic Train Ride”. As we have been doing adventures in class, we have also read about the adventures of “Sticky Beak” and “Oscar” as they have visited your homes…it is an exciting part of the day!As we continue into the month of February we plan to revisit the idea of sending notes to friends and family, and set up the post office again (as a few children have told us they have already been writing Valentine’s Day Cards). We will also continue our travels on our train, as well as to space, and possibly to other countries! During this month we do have a few special events including:

Valentine’s Day – If you and your child would like to hand out Valentine Cards, feel free to do so on February 13 (please do not feel that you have to hand out cards). If you do hand out cards, please ensure that there is one for each child (in the 4am class you will need 20 and in the 4pm class you will need 19). Please let us know if you need a name list. We will start our circle time a little later in order to allow everyone to deliver the cards. We are also hoping to decorate heart cookies that day (we are looking for one volunteer from each class to bake some heart-shaped sugar cookies…please let us know if you can).

Chinese New Year – we will have a simple celebration on February 18, including a special story and possibly a lion dance. If your family celebrates Chinese New Year, and you would like to contribute to our snack that day, please let us know!

Pajama and Pancake Day – it has finally arrived! On Friday, February 20 we will have Pajama Day at preschool, along with a yummy pancake snack. Please come dressed in your cozy pajamas and slippers that day.

During this month we will also be having Creative Movement classes at preschool. These will be taught by Mr. Trevor, a creative movement dance teacher on February 4, 11, 18 and March 4. The classes will be held upstairs in the lodge. On those days the children should come dressed in comfortable clothes. When the movement class starts they will take off their socks and shoes and do the class barefoot, so they don’t slip. Suggestions of what to wear: jogging pants and a t-shirt – if you have a girl that likes to wear dresses they must wear footless tights. We are looking forward to it!

Things to Remember:

  • Please remember to check to make sure that your child’s indoor shoes still fit.
  • Valentine’s Day – February 13
  • Chinese New Year – February 18
  • Pajama Day – February 20
  • Creative Movement Classes: February 4, 11, 18, March 4
  • Parent-Teacher Interviews on February 10 (please check sign-up sheet for times if you are interested)

Your Teachers, Barb and Eleanor

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