Dear P.A.W.S. Community,

As the month of May comes to a close and we look ahead to June and the last few weeks of the school year, there are a few reminders and resources for you to use as you wish. Please read this newsletter for information about: Resources for Parents, Parking Lot Safety and “Get Ready Freddy”, Summer Fun, and Important Dates.

Resources for Parents

While I hope that our preschoolers are sheltered from any and all conversations about traumatic events or upsetting news, in light of recent local and international events, sometimes children may inadvertently overhear upsetting TV reports or conversations. I am sharing the following resource with you that comes from Harold S. Koplewicz, MD, president of the Child Mind Institute in case it might be helpful to you or others you know, when helping students cope with frightening news. Dr. Koplewicz writes:

We greet the news of last week’s attack in Manchester with great sadness and no small amount of anger and frustration. Families are facing the unimaginable: the loss of a child. Others comfort children whose friends and family died in the blast. Parents struggle with an impossible idea — how can we keep our children safe if they aren’t safe at a pop concert?

These are uncomfortable situations that raise uncomfortable questions. I can only assure parents and family members touched by this tragedy, or watching with concern from around the world, that a little knowledge and a lot of communication can go a long way. I hope you’ll read (or share with a friend in need) our article on helping children cope with frightening news. And if your family, your school or community needs more comprehensive resources on helping children through traumatic events, please visit our complete page of trauma resources.

We can’t spare our children pain, though we desperately want to. What we can do is help children cope and process disturbing events in the healthiest way.

Helping Children Cope With Frightening News

https://childmind.org/article/helping-children-cope-frightening-news/

What parents can do to aid scared kids in processing grief and fear in a healthy way

Trauma Resources

https://childmind.org/our-impact/trauma-response/trauma-resources/

Free, multilingual downloads of Child Mind Institute resources to help communities in the wake of tragic events

Hold Hands in the Parking Lot

When you are in the parking lot at P.A.W.S. please be sure to hold your child’s hand at all times. With many cars coming and going during arrival and dismissal, for safety sake, we request that you hold your child’s hand when walking in the parking lot. The P.A.W.S. parking lot is the perfect place to practice parking lot safety with you child. The good safety skills you practice while coming and going to school every day, will be helpful safety skills for your child to know when in other parking lots, too.

Get Ready Freddy!

The next time you are at P.A.W.S., you may see some garden decorations of cute, hopping, green frogs, near the walkway. The green frogs look like they have their hands up – ready to reach up and hold a hand! We have a little social story about Freddy the Frog, and his froggy friends, that we will be sharing with all of the children this week. Freddy the Frog and his froggy friends remind us how to be safe in a parking lot. Part of the story says:

When Freddy and his froggy friends get ready to go into the parking lot, Freddy’s caregiver says, “Are you ready Freddy?”

Then Freddy remembers the parking lot rules at school that say:

  1. Hop to a stop!

  2. Put your hands up!

  3. Hold hands with an adult!

  4. Use walking feet to walk safely to the car!

The little green frog visual reminders are there to help remind children, parents and caregivers to hold hands with their preschoolers in the parking lot. Each teacher will be talking to the preschoolers about holding hands with a grown-up in the parking lot, and we’d appreciate your help with this, too. There is a time and a place for preschoolers to assert their independence, however; a parking lot is not a safe place for our children to test limits or scamper and run around independently. We see many preschoolers walking several paces ahead of or behind their caregiver and it is a worrisome practice. Please use the time you have when walking with your child in the school parking lot to model and practice expected safe behavior when walking in any parking lot. Holding hands with an adult is an expected behavior in the parking lot at P.A.W.S. and we thank you in advance for partnering with us to ensure the safety of every child.

When you see the little green frogs along the walkway at P.A.W.S., use them as a visual reminder to remind your child to be “Ready Freddy” and hold hands in the parking lot. When your child sees the frog, we hope that the frog will serve as a reminder to him/her to think about being like Freddy the Frog – to wait for a grown-up and to hold hands before going into the parking lot.

Summer Fun – Reminders from Nurse Ann

We hope to be moving into more “summer like” weather soon and the children at P.A.W.S. will continue to go outside everyday weather permitting. As we partner with parents to be sure the children are protected from the sun, I would like to share a few ways to stay sun-safe savvy.

Please remember to:

  • Send in a water bottle to help keep your child hydrated and the teachers will be reminding students to drink water throughout the day. If you do not have a water bottle please let us know. We have a family who has kindly offered to provide a few new water bottles to the school, in case there is a child who needs one. Additionally, if your family is able to donate a new water bottle, Nurse Ann will keep them in her office to have on hand, should a child need one.

  • Please apply sunscreen to your child prior to arrival at P.A.W.S.

SPF 30 is recommended by most child care specialists.

  • Hats are always helpful to protect against sun rays as are sunglasses.

Please be sure to clearly label your child’s water bottle, hat, and sunglasses with his/her name.

We will monitor the weather and if it is too hot to go out we have indoor activities to provide to the children.

Stay sun-safe savvy – hydrate, wear SPF, and a hat and/or sunglasses!

Dates to Remember

Wednesday, May 31, 2017 – The teachers offer a fun afternoon activity to the lucky raffle winners of the PTO classroom activity raffle. Activities will take place in the teacher’s classroom, from 1:00-1:30, unless otherwise indicted by the teacher.

Friday, June 16, 2017 – The last day of school for P.A.W.S.!

We are looking forward to many fun learning opportunities during the remainder of the school year! Please be sure to take time to read and enjoy a book with your child each day!

Sincerely,

‘Becca Z.

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