December 20, 2019
Even though winter doesn’t officially start until tomorrow, the weather outside is surely telling us differently. We are grateful to Lawrence Academy for keeping a watchful eye on us, especially during these cold and stormy days. They have been monitoring and tweaking the heating system to keep us warm inside and plowing and caring for the parking lot to keep us all safe outside. We do try to use the playground whenever the temperature allows. As you can imagine, dressing children in snow clothes is a show all by itself. Even with a couple of “no school” days, classrooms were busy making gifts and cards, sharing in community outreach, singing and dancing, and sharing in special snacks and activities. We culminated our time together this week with festive school-wide sing-alongs today. Thank you to those who were able to join us, and to Chris Doherty, Kindergarten Assistant Teacher for leading us in song!
Despite winter conditions, our Forward Motion Project is moving right along, finishing foundation work and trying to keep ahead of the frost. Read about our project on the www.gcsforwardmotion.org page, and see our progress in our “Moving Forward” Photo Journal to keep current.
What an exciting day of training during our Curriculum Day together as a staff earlier this month. Thank you for allowing us to gather as a group for learning and growing together. A large part of our day was devoted to reviewing children’s assessment criteria and written observation forms that families will receive at the end of January. We also explored storytelling and literacy through The Story Preservation Initiative, health/ safety and child supervision trainings, and then finished up the day with our Occupational Therapy Consultant, Sue Lizotte, on the topic of child-centered goal setting.
HOME TOUR NEWS
Even though it seems like forever since we packed up the boxes from our Home Tour, we are still celebrating the success that it brought. We can’t express enough thanks to the board, staff, families, room parents, and the community for all that they gave. It has become a tradition in so many households to come back to tour and volunteer each year. Many hands make light work, and we couldn’t have done it without so many amazing volunteers. With the final numbers in, the tour brought in just over $30K for our fabulous school. It was our most successful tour yet on all levels. Our scrips program also brought in just shy of $1,000. While we work hard to keep our tuition competitive, our nonprofit budget does have a significant shortfall, and we reply on these fundraising events to close the gap. Thank you all for your participation!
GREETINGS FROM PATTY BARR
I am delighted to be back again for another year of Imagimotion Kidz
classes, AKA “Patty Barr” at Groton Community School. We have been enjoying the new space for classes in the Children’s Library.
During the classes, the children work on their coordination, motor skills, strength building, and develop flexibility and endurance. Each child can also practice focusing, listening, and following directions, as we play games, follow an obstacle course, build a variety of skills, and have a fun time together.
A fun activity this year was playing with bean bag turtles as we tossed them in a variety of ways and caught them… most of the time! The children thought of unique ways to toss, spin, or balance them on their bodies. They were focused and working on improving their eye-hand coordination.
On another week we talked about and acted out some of the ways the trees and animals change to accommodate the coming of winter. The children twirled leaves between their finger and thumb as the leaves fell from their tree, danced and shook streamers as squirrels with bushy tails, flew around the room with scarves as birds migrating, and bear walked to the pond to catch fish before hibernating.
Parachute play was another activity loved by all the children. We shook the parachute, with foam balls on top as “popcorn.” It made us all a little crazy as the balls bounced higher the harder that we shook them. Then on to the games of going under and on top of the parachute, as others made “bubbles” or held up the parachute. It took a lot of upper body and arm strength to shake and move the parachute.
Woven throughout the class are simple mindfulness moments. We do “alligator breathing”, “smelling a flower” followed by “blowing a candle,” or sitting very quietly to hear the sounds around us. It is amazing how these simple activities can help the children become focused and calm.
Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to spend time with your children.
Congratulations to the Bonczar Family on the birth of their daughter, (sister, Taylor, is in the Toddler Class) and to the Barie Family on the birth of their son, Daniel (sister, Eliza, is in the PM Pre-K Class).
Thank you to the following families for their donations to GCS this month: The Bach family, Morris family, and Debbie MacDonald for holiday snacks for staff, the Ciccone family for paper cups, the Cooney family for spare boots & mittens, and to the Giattino and Pugh families for toys & curriculum materials.
Wishing you all some time for rest, recovery, and good will. Keep warm – just think, only 91 days until spring!