April 5, 2024 


Dear PAWS Families,

The Solar Eclipse is a big topic of conversation these days, with the Solar Eclipse showing on April 8th!  It is anticipated to start in our area at 2:15pm with the maximum view of 92.55% eclipse at 3:29pm. I am sharing a few things families can do from www.healthychildren.org to support our preschoolers and help to keep them safe while enjoying the solar eclipse experience.


Like many families, you may be excited to see a solar eclipse with your children. Here are some tips to help you experience this rare event safely.

Viewing the eclipse while protecting your eyes:

There are a few ways to view a solar eclipse without risking permanent vision problems from damage to the delicate tissues of the eye, including the retina and the cornea.

Remember that it is never safe to look directly at the sun, even during a solar eclipse. Only during “totality,” when day suddenly becomes night with no visible light from the sun for a few minutes, is it briefly safe to look at the sun completely blocked by the moon. Still, use caution even then.

For younger children, consider making the eclipse glasses more secure by crafting a wider shield from paper plates. For more fun, your kids can even decorate the shield

Image of paper plate “eye shield” credit: NASA

Otherwise, a solar eclipse should only be viewed with eclipse glasses or binoculars that have a solar filter meeting the ISO 12312-2 international standard.

(Image from: https://mynasadata.larc.nasa.gov/phenomenon/solar-eclipse/interactives of the correct eyewear to use during an eclipse)

Your eclipse glasses should have the ISO number and logo, and the manufacturer’s name. Also, check your eclipse glasses for any damage.

Be sure that you and your children are wearing the solar filter before looking towards the sun. Then, continue to wear it until you look away from the sun.


Younger kids & those with developmental disabilities

For younger children, consider making the eclipse glasses more secure by crafting a wider shield from paper plates. For more fun, your kids can even decorate the shield (see this hands-on activity suggested by NASA).

You can also help prepare children with autism or other developmental disabilities for the eclipse experience with a social story like this one. This social story was written for central standard time. You will need to adjust the times in the story to eastern standard time.


Make Pinhole Projector:

Another way to experience a solar eclipse indirectly is by using a pinhole projector. This can be as simple as a small pinhole in an index card to project the image of the sun onto any surface with your back to the sun. DO NOT look at the sun through the pinhole. Here is a step-by-step video with directions on to make a pinhole projector with an empty cereal box.

(Image from YouTube video of a pinhole projector made from a cereal box.)


Teach kids about what it means to be in the moon’s shadow: from Austin American-Statesman

“At its very simplest, when the moon gets in between the Earth and the sun, and the moon appears to pass over the sun as seen from Earth, then we get a solar eclipse,” Nichols told Scientific American.

(Image from: https://mynasadata.larc.nasa.gov/phenomenon/solar-eclipse/interactives of the Moon passing between the Earth and the Sun.)


As always, feel free to reach out with any questions, have a great weekend, stay safe and enjoy the solar eclipse at home on Monday afternoon with your children!



‘Becca Z.


Important Dates: WPS Calendar


April 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 – No School – April Break

May 27 – No School – Memorial Day

June 12th – Last day of school for students (assuming no more snow days) 

June 19 – No School – Juneteenth

June 20 – Last Day of School – Half Day (assumes 5 contingency/snow days)


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PAWS UP for April 5, 2024 (Solar Eclipse)
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