The Elm Tree Newsletter
As summer rolls around, transitions begin to change the face of Elm Tree. We will be saying goodbye to many of the children who have become regulars at the Elm Tree, including Jackson at the end of June, August and Hayden at the end of July and several other friends departing in August. We have already bid farewell to Liam, Riga, Wyatt, Doug, and Audrey, who we may see on occasion with drop-ins or visits. These departures, however, make room for the opportunity to make new friends. Some of you may already have met Ryen, the first of our newcomers. He and his family are alumni of the Elm Tree, as his sister Avery graced us a few years ago. We look forward to making more friends as the summer continues and wish the best for our little ones leaving.
In hopes of more efficiently communicating with parents on a daily basis, we will begin offering Teacher-Parent Communication Logs as a way to keep each other informed of your child’s daily happenings. These communication slips will be hanging next to the daily sign in sheet. If you are interested in knowing more about their day, fill in your child’s name and date at the top, and briefly answer the first few questions. Place the slips in your parent pocket and we will be sure to fill in our portion by the end of the day. This is not intended to take the place of a conversation at drop-off or pick-up, but will perhaps offer a bit more detail on your child’s daily routine while in our care when our busy transition times don’t allow for an extended check-in.
There are a few important things for parents to be aware of as we enter the summer season at the Elm Tree. First and foremost is the application of sunscreen. Though we try to work around the most intense hours of sunlight during the course of the day, we do spend a great deal of time outside. It is therefore important that children arrive at the center in the morning with sunscreen already applied. We will apply a second coat of sunscreen after nap, before we return outside at the end of the day. Also, if your child has a sunhat they are particular about, let us know, otherwise they can pick from the collection of sunhats that we have. Finally, we do play with water more and more as the weather gets hotter, so we ask that all children have a change of clothes or two, ready to go, in their diaper baskets. Please check their basket in the bathroom ASAP and bring in an extra set of clothes if needed. Thanks for helping us make it possible to have as much fun in the sun as we can this summer. (Also, please remember to label everything so it doesn’t end up in our lost and found pile.)
Gardening season is now in full swing, and in case you haven’t had a chance to check out the Elm Tree garden in the back yard, please take a look! We have some plants in and a lot of seedlings that are starting to poke up out of the ground. It’s an exciting time of the year full of planting activities and gardening projects. We want to let all families know that they are welcome to join in our garden. We hope everyone knows that this is their garden too and anyone can come plant, weed, water or enjoy the garden’s beauty whenever they would like. There are so many ways to be a part of this project and participation on any level is welcome. Whether you want to bring in plants or seeds, plant something you or your child are interested in or just visit the garden and see what we have been growing, let us know. If there is a specific way you would like to be involved, please mention it to Sarah or Sandy. We will have several family gardening days coming up this summer for midseason planting and other activities, but you don‘t need to wait for a designated gardening day. Keep an eye out for the notices that will be posted as these weekends approach, and again, feel free to make this your garden too!
After months of planning and collaboration, we are finally ready to begin work on the Outdoor Learning Environment. The design from Native Edge was the backbone for what we have begun developing, starting with what seems most pressing. We are anticipating the cost for completion of the first phase to be in the $10,000 range. This includes building a trellis over the sandbox, a porch in front of the playhouse, a new climbing structure, a toy storage shelter, a berm, as well as purchasing tummy swings to replace our current swing set. The timing of this project depends on fundraising efforts and volunteer assistance. There are many different opportunities for families to contribute their time, tools, and expertise and all are welcome. Monetary donations are also welcome and are tax deductible.
The Elm Tree’s annual Yard Sale is being planned for Saturday, July 12th , 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. If you have any gently used items that you would like to donate to the yard sale, they can be dropped off the evening of Friday, July 11th or early on the morning of the sale. Unfortunately, due to lack of space, we will not be able to accept items before this date. Any donated materials should be clean and already priced upon drop off. We will be happy to provide a price sheet for reference. This is another great opportunity for parents to get involved as we will be looking for volunteers to organize, set up, help with the sale, and clean up afterwards. We’ll be posting a sign-up sheet shortly.
Attached is an addendum to our Elm Tree policies regarding required service hours. Please read, sign and return to the Elm Tree by July 1st. Let us know if you have any questions or concerns. We are planning a Parent Community Night in early July where we will discuss this, the outdoor learning environment, and several other topics in more detail. We are hopeful many of you will attend and will let you know the specific date asap.
On another note, Ariana will be out of the country for two weeks beginning next Thursday, June 19th and returning to the Elm Tree on Monday, July 7th. During that time, Doreen Trees (former ET director) will be the “go to” person in case any issues arise that the rest of our wonderful staff needs assistance with. Doreen will also be filling in as teacher during this time period so will be available on-site as well.