May 12 –Each year we acknowledge those special people in our lives on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Celebrating and honoring our families serves as an important learning experience and opportunity to acknowledge and appreciate the many caring adults who are in our lives. To honor the special people in our lives, the Clark Preschool children invited “one special person “ for tea. Mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts and uncles joined their preschooler for morning refreshments. The children crafted cards and presented them to their special person. Enclosed in the card was a tea bag with the sentiment, “a cup of tea to say thank you for all the things you’ve done and wishes that today will bring you happiness and fun.”
It was a happy day and the special guests were overflowed with emotion. It was a time for the children to let the special person in their life that they are loved and always appreciated.
On April 27, Jennifer Hrdina, Kessler Institute occupational therapist, visited Mrs. DeAngelis's class for community helper month. She presented a unit on her role within the school followed by an interactive activity on body awareness.
April 26 – Firefighter Barry, Mr. Kaverick, a Linden firefighter visited the Preschool for community helper month for a fire safety presentation. Mr. Kaverick described his role as a firefighter and as a dad of our preschoolers, Cashlyn and Brett. The fire safety presentation included an overview on fire prevention, what to do in case of a fire, activating 911, identifying smoke alarms, fire drills, firefighters as community helpers, equipment, and gear. He reinforced the fire safety ABC’s:
A-is for Alarm that lets you know there’s a fire in your home.
B-is for Beep, Beep, Beep, the sound the alarm makes.
C-is for Calm, as in calmly get outside when the smoke alarm sounds.
At the end of the presentation Firefighter Barry welcomed the children to touch and try on his gear!
April 21 - In commemoration of Earth Day and Arbor Day this year, the Clark Preschool planted a Flowering Dogwood Tree donated by Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders in Cooperation with the Union County Shade Tree Advisory Board.
Among those in attendance at the Clark Recreation Center, included Ralph Bernardo, Recreation Director, Adam Lambert, and the Preschool staff and children.
Arbor Day was first observed in 1872, by Julius Sterling Morton who worked to improve agricultural techniques throughout the United States when he served as President Grover Cleveland’s Secretary of Agriculture. His most important legacy is Arbor Day.
Earth Day is tomorrow, April 22. In New Jersey, Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April, and is an excellent opportunity to take stock of the trees on your property, inspect your trees and/or setting aside a special day for tree planting. The planting of trees not only improves the look of your property, but provides for wind and/or heat protection.
In addition, trees preserve topsoil, reduce erosion, moderate the temperature, clean the air, produce oxygen, and provide habitat for wildlife along with providing a renewable energy source by producing paper, wood, fuel and other products. This was a great way to get together and celebrate the importance of trees!!
On April 20, Canine Police Officer Giaianella and Officer Current from the Union County Sheriff’s Office visited the Clark Preschool for Community Helper Month. Officer Current spoke about her duty on the K-9 Search and Rescue unit with her dog and her role as a canine officer and handler. The dogs are trained and bred for their intelligence and strong sense of smell by their handlers. They care for their dogs 24/7, working with them during the day and when off-duty the canine officers and dogs go home together to their family, just like we do! Their working duties involve bomb investigations specialized patrol functions servicing the local Police Department Prosecutor’s Office, and the County Police within Union County.
Officer Current and Officer Giaianella and their dogs kept the children riveted during the presentation and sparked their curiosity with questions at its conclusion.
On April 19th, the Clark UNICO members celebrated “UNICO Community Service Month” by assisting the Clark Preschool children in pizza making followed by a pizza lunch in the Clark Recreation kitchen. UNICO, the largest Italian-American service organization in the United States, Clark chapter demonstrated pizza making to six individual groups of children. The children were entranced by the chef’s tossing and spinning the dough in the air. The pizza dough was then stretched into the pan. Tomato sauce, spices, mozzarella cheese and toppings were added by the children and baked in the oven. Everyone enjoyed eating a slice or two of the fresh baked pies. It was great to see the Unicans working and engaging the young children in this community service event.
On February 14, Melissa, Dental Hygienist from the Westfield Pediatric Dental Group visited Clark Preschool for Dental Awareness Month. Melissa demonstrated proper teeth brushing with Franasaurus the stuffed dinosaur, and followed up with a short video. She taught the children about the importance of flossing teeth daily and visiting the dentist regularly. She also talked about proper nutrition, nutrition labeling on foods and better snack choices according to their sugar content, Tooth decay is a problem for children but it can be prevented. Westfield Pediatric Dental office specializes in preventive dental care for children and young adults; teaching our children lifelong healthy dental habits. Visit them online at www.kidsandsmiles.com. Look for the dental goodie bags in their back-packs and ask your child about the dental visit.
On Thursday, April 6, 2017, the Clark Preschool “Lit It Up Blue” by wearing blue in celebration of the Clark School District’s Autism Awareness Day. Today 1 in 88 American children are diagnosed with Autism. Autism Awareness Day highlights the growing need, concern, and education about autism and issues within the Autism community.
Mrs. Moscarella’s and Mrs. Koepfler’s class from Valley Road School and Mrs. Bitran’s class from Franklin K. Henley School joined the Preschool in numerous events throughout the morning to raise awareness for autism. Some of these events were bowling, basketball, soccer, a scooter and ice cream relay, a coloring craft, ball toss, obstacle course, parachute, and crafting a puzzle piece necklace. The morning concluded with the students “blowing bubbles.” The “blowing of bubbles” symbolized the spread of hope, awareness, and acceptance for those who have autism. The students who participated in the event seemed to have a smile on their face from start to finish. It was a great morning all around!
I would like to thank special education teacher, Cristina Carrano and Ashley Tenpenny for their efforts in organizing and orchestrating this fun-filled event as well as Ralph Bernardo and his staff for their assistance and utilization of the recreation center throughout the school year. Special thanks to our distinguished guest, Superintendent Edward Grande, for helping make this event possible and for all his support throughout the school year.
Community Helper Month
Mr. Pardo, employed by ATT visited Mrs. LaManna's class to tell the children about his role as a community helper.
IMAGINE THAT field trip was a FUN and exciting experience for the children, parents and teachers. The children were encouraged to touch, discover, learn and explore in hands-on museum featuring over 50 unique exhibits. See attached photo's!
March 2nd - Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!
The Crusader Athletic Leadership Council participated in the Clark School District "Read Across America Day" at the Preschool The "Cat and the Hat," Lori Menzo, Preschool staff member, made a surprise visit to the classrooms and the C.A.L.C. members read multiple children's books, It was fun watching the High School Student Athletes as they interacted with the young children Both the children and the students enjoyed the experience and learned a lot while doing it! Dr. Seuss's birthday kicks off a month of read across the nation to raise awareness about the importance of children's literacy. Special guest readers will be visiting the Preschool classrooms throughout March, Research shows that early literacy plays a key role in the enabling of learning experiences that are linked with academic achievement, reduced grade retention, higher graduating rates and enhances productivity in adult life. Hats' off to READING!
The Power of Books
January 26 - Reading to children s a very important pre-literacy activity, Dierdre Morley, the Clark Public Library Children's Librarian visited the Clark Preschool Classrooms for story time and a brief talk about the library. The children were delighted with Mrs. Morley's book selection and her animated storytelling. Reading to your child is one of the most important things you can do to prepare them with a foundation for academic excellence. Books have the power to benefit preschoolers in higher aptitude for learning reinforcement of basic sounds that form language and attainment of valuable communication skills. On February 26th please join the Clark Public Library for "Take Your Child to the Library Day at 2pm for a free family concert followed by ice cream sundaes, sponsored by the Friends of the Library. A field trip to the library is planned for the spring.