by Kerrie Houseworth, Monkey Class Teacher
Many studies indicate that labeling students can have a detrimental effect on their self image, and, ultimately, their success. While this is often true, the Monkey Class is reversing this negative potential. Instead, we are using labels to identify positive behavior.
We are kind. We are loving.
We are sensitive to the needs of others.
We are “Bucket Fillers”.
The Monkey class has always tried to focus on the behavior we want to see. We just haven’t had a label for it. This past year, after reading the book Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud, and a short lesson on kindness, we decided to make a pledge that we will be Bucket Fillers.
Earlier this week, I sent an email to our current families about The School of Grace Annual Art Show and Silent Auction. Soon after, I received this response from one of our parents:
“Thanks to you and the staff for all the hard work you have done and will do this week to make the Art Show a success. It is one of my favorite events. I vividly remember touring SoG with my oldest daughter when you were preparing for that year’s art show. I left thinking, “I want my child to be part of this.” I had not felt that way about any facility I had previously toured. It was evident that this was about children and allowing them to grow and thrive in the most developmentally appropriate way possible. Most facilities and programs I visited touted having Smartboards in their classrooms or teaching the entire Kinder curriculum to their students in the pre-k 4/5 year old class. Those things did not impress me, either as a parent or an educator. SoG did and I know I have given my girls the best possible start by sending them to you! I can’t wait for May 1st when I can celebrate with my children. They love sharing their work and the pride and excitement they feel is so evident. A thousand thanks for the extra hours you all spend putting it all together. It is very appreciated. -Ann G.”
On Sunday, we will gather as a preschool family to celebrate children. Come join us at 12:15 for the reception. I am certain that you will see children who have been allowed to grow and thrive, whose creative ideas are encouraged and who are proud to share their work.
Lynn Hess, Director
By Erin S., parent and Board member
When preschool students really start establishing friendships it is such a magical journey to be apart of. One of my favorite aspects of having a child at The School of Grace is watching my daughter’s friendships blossom and grow. Being a part of a parent participatory school has allowed me to get to know the special kids my daughter talks about. When she comes home and talks about a certain friend I feel like I already know that friend. It gives me the chance to be involved in conversations and laugh along with the stories. I feel like all the kids from school have a special place in my heart just as much as they do hers! The days I get to spend with my daughter in the classroom cannot be replaced and are a truly unique, bonding experience.
By Brittany Notch, Tadpole Class (2/3 Year Olds) Teacher and parent of a child in the Monkey Class (3 ½-5 Year Olds)
Working with children between the ages of six months to five years, there are often surprises. When we keep our eyes open to the wonders of God’s love, amazing surprises are revealed within our preschool. We have an Easter tradition at The School of Grace, where friends, teachers and Helping Parents participate in a Palm Parade during Music Class, the week before Easter. We hold our palm prawns (felt palm leaves) and instruments (typically jingle bells strung on pipe cleaners, which are easy for tiny hands and fingers to hold) as we wave our palm prawns, ring our bells and sing the first verse of “Jesus Loves Me” over and over. Before we begin the song again, we pause and shout, “Hooray for JESUS!”
“Learning Through the Arts at The School of Grace” -Kris M., parent and Board Member
The Arts–music, painting, dance–are front and center at the School of Grace. On a recent morning as Helping Parent, I witnessed the impact this exposure to the arts has on our students. A refugee student, who spoke little English and knew little of the arts when he joined three years ago, expressed his sadness in morning circle when he learned there was no time for art that Wednesday. What wonderful growth this child has experienced at The School of Grace.