June 12 - Gus Kalikas and the members of the Crusader Athletic Leadership Council, C.A.L.C., joined the Preschool for their annual Field Day. Field Day is a morning of fun-filled activities including; Soccer, Ring Toss Ball Relay, Bean Bag Toss, Obstacle Course, Ice Cream Relay, Basketball, Parachute, and Scooter Relay. The children rotated through the activities from soccer to scooter relay utilizing gross motor skills. The members of the C.A.L.C were integrated within each station interacting and assisting the students with the activities. Both the children and student athletes enjoyed the experience and learned a lot while doing it!
A special thank you goes to Caleb Bain, Physical Education Teacher, who organized, set-up and cleaned-up the successful event, as well as the C.A.L.C. members for all their assistance and helping hands!
Key Club Visit
June 7 -The Key Club, headed by Ellen Zamboni, School Counselor at Arthur L. Johnson High School, presented to the children of Clark Preschool a unit on “Stranger Danger.” Like its sponsor, Kiwanis International, the club’s main objective is to assist in carrying the mission of serving the children of the world.
The high school students; Francesca Luongo, Nicole Pysznski, Kadijah Tosun, and Miles Jean-Louis provided hands-on service to teach the children about signs of suspicious human behavior to protect them from potentially dangerous strangers. The students performed the famous European fairytale “Little Red Riding Hood,” demonstrating the overt warning about talking to strangers. Following the performance, the students talked about the meaning of the term “stranger” and practiced role-playing situations to reinforce safety rules. The Key Club students kept the children riveted on key messages with the activities providing multiple ways to absorb the concepts and ensure their learning.
Keeping lines of communication and conversation open with children is very important. Teaching stranger safety to children needs to begin at preschool age and continue as an ongoing process as they get older. And of course, as always take the time to really listen to what your child has to say!
May 18 –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 26th, “Take Our Daughters & Sons to Work Day,” 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 is the largest Italian-American service organization in the United States. The Clark members, Joe Arancio, Anna Pace and Ralph Bernardo accompanied Fred Gallo and John DiPietro from Café Gallo, to demonstrate pizza making to five individual groups of children. The children were entranced by the chef’ John tossing and spinning the dough in the air. The pizza dough was kneaded and 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.
April 18 – 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 and changing batteries, fire drills, firefighters as community helpers, equipment, and gear.
He reinforced the principles of STOP, DROP and ROLL:
Stop! Do not run, if your clothes catch on fire.
- Drop to the floor in a prone position.
- Cover your face with your hands to protect it from the flames.
- Roll over and over to smother the fire. Don't stop until the flames have been extinguished.
At the end of the presentation Firefighter Barry welcomed the children to touch and try on his gear!
On April 17, Canine Police Officer Gialanella, Officer O’Grady and Officer Yasinski from the Union County Sheriff’s Office visited the Clark Preschool for Community Helper Month. Officer Yasinski 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 Yasinski, Officer O’Grady and Officer Gialanella and their dogs kept the children riveted during the presentation and sparked their curiosity with questions at its conclusion.
Autism Awareness Day
On Wednesday, April 11, 2018, the Clark Preschool “Lit It Up Blue” by wearing blue in celebration of the Clark School District’s Autism Awareness Day. Autism affects 1 in 68 children nationally with New Jersey having the highest rate, 1 in 41 children. Autism Awareness Day highlights the growing need, concern, and education about autism and issues within the Autism community.
Mrs. Moscarella’s class, Mrs. Koepfler’s class, and Mr. Lowe’s students participating in LEAPP from Valley Road School, as well as, Mrs. Bitran’s class from Franklin K. Henley School and Mr. Kalikas’s Arthur L. Johnson C.A.L.C. students joined the Preschool in numerous events throughout the morning to raise awareness for autism. Through awareness credible information, education, public policy initiatives lead the way to lifelong individualized services. 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, Ms. DeVizio and Mr. Bain, PE teacher, for their efforts in organizing and orchestrating this fun-filled event as well as the C.A.L.C students for their assistance throughout the event. The students were active participants and happy to join in with the FUN! “It was pleasure watching the High School Student Athletes as they interacted with the young children, and I think both groups not only enjoyed the experience, but learned a lot while doing it.” Special thanks to our distinguished guest, Superintendent Edward Grande, for helping make this event possible and for all his support throughout the school year.
On Friday, April 13, the Clark district staff will be raising funds to donate to Autism New Jersey, a non-profit agency committed to ensuring safe and fun filling lives for individual with autism, their families, and the professionals who support them.
On February 13, 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 your children lifelong healthy, dental habits. Visit them email@example.com. Look for the dental goodie bags in their back-packs and ask your child about the dental visit.
January 17 - The Power of Books.
Reading to children is a very important pre-literacy activity. Stephanie Azzaro, the Clark Public Library Children’s Library Associate visited the Clark Preschool Classrooms for story time and a brief talk about the library. The children were delighted with Ms. Stephanie’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 many ways. Some benefits of reading to preschoolers are a higher aptitude for learning, reinforcement of basic sounds that form language and the attainment of valuable communication skills.
On February 25th, please join the Clark Public Library for “Take Your Child to the Library Day.” Each child that checks out a book on this day gets entered into a drawing to win a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card! A field trip to the library is planned for the spring.