I hope you all enjoyed the gorgeous weekend that just passed and were able to take advantage of an extra day to spend with family and friends. We were able to share a beautiful Remembrance Ceremony together at our Memory Garden in honor of Memorial Day. We sang patriotic songs, shared the Pledge of Allegiance, and listened to some sincere words from our special guest, Major Casey Freeman (daughters Chelsea and Sydney are in the Purple and Pink afternoon programs). He reminded us all about the important meaning of this day, how many families miss their loved ones when they are serving, and he helped children from each class to place American flags in our garden. Major Casey also shared his advice to children about saying hello and thank you when they see someone in service uniform. On display for our morning event was a handmade quilt created by the Aqua Room, which proudly illustrates “This Land is Your Land,” with items that have symbolic meaning for the song, book, classroom and school. It was such a labor of love by the teachers, children, and quilter Donna Halloran, grandmother to Brayden. Please stop by the front hall where it is now hanging for a chance to admire their handiwork!
It is that time of year when we begin to celebrate and share memories of our year together. Children’s End-Of-Year Observations were just delivered to families. I hope you are able to see the many wonderful gains they have made, close friendships they have formed, and perhaps some goals for future growth. Speaking of friendships, we hope to see lots of friends at our annual GCS Family Picnic this Friday at the town field and bandstand behind the Groton Public Library. Musician Mr. Vic will be there for children’s music and entertainment. Don’t forget a blanket and picnic dinner, and GCS will supply popsicles for children.
GCS Family Survey
Also, on the horizon is our annual Family Survey. We truly rely on your thoughts, feedback, ideas, and suggestions as we plan for the future and strive to be the best that we can be for the children, families and the community. Please keep your eyes open for our annual survey that should be in your “inboxes” at the start of next week.
Sincere thanks for the fabulous turnout during this year’s Spring Spruce Up. So many wonderful families, board members, staff, and even a high school alum turned out to accomplish great things together, from sprucing up our front gardens and playground, to repairing boards on the gazebo, and sanding/staining the children’s picnic tables. Events such as this one plays a tremendous role in helping to keep our tuition costs down. We are grateful for Emily Crouse and Dan Quinn, our GCS Board “Building and Grounds” Co-Chairs for organizing this event and the many helping hands. Thank you to Drew Barron, Toby Bartlett, Shannon Baxevanis, Jen Burke, Jesse Cotter, Emily & Pat Crouse, Neil Fredette, Becky Freeman, Aaron Green, Ed Hand, Colin Igoe, Matt Lynde, Erica McConnell, Lon Novak, Paul Pugh, Heather Spinney-Laidlaw, Lisa Stafford, Brie Weider, and Scott Winroth.
Sue Lizotte, Occupational Therapy Consultant
Another year at GCS has come to an end for me. After 20 years, I continue to be amazed at how our collaborative efforts create such creative programing for the children at GCS. I’m a behind-the-scenes person that I’m sure some of you are unaware of. I go into all the classrooms and work with the staff in a strong collaborative/coaching role to provide helpful strategies to incorporate into classrooms to enhance the meaningful and purposeful occupations of children in their play, learning, and social interactions. We touched on lots of topics during our lunchtime trainings this year. For example, we introduced the creative uses of pool noodles to enhance learning opportunities. We also focused on supporting children’s different sensory processing styles (the sensory bystander, sensory seeker, sensory avoider, and sensory sensitive) by embedding activities into the classroom routine to help children self-regulate during the day, attend and engage in learning experiences, and “wake up” or “calm down” their bodies.
Research is beginning to reveal the importance of the mechanics of vision, such as how we sustain focus on an object, how our eyes scan (a skill necessary for reading), how well we are able to adjust our focus from near to far (playing sports, catching and hitting a ball, copying from a board). Deficits in visual skills can create behaviors often associated with attention disorders. Just think about it…if you can’t see well, it’s hard to participate successfully. To foster pre-reading skills and an academic foundation for all children, we discussed ways to incorporate and strengthen visual skills through playful activities such as sitting on a ball and tapping or hitting a suspended ball, playing flashlight games, I Spy, and threading pipe cleaners through a straw.
I enjoyed getting to know and playing with your children and seeing them grow during the school year. Have a wonderful summer and I look forward to seeing many of you next year!
Congratulations to the Blaisdell family on the birth of their daughter, Adalyn (brother, Blake, is in the MWF Blue Room class)!
A special thank you to our Extended Day program for helping to beautify our Memory Garden and sharing their handmade red, white, and blue wreath. And thank you to our front entrance decorators, Kathy Bellorado & Courtney Schmitt.
Thank you to the Martino-Blast family for spare clothing, to the Spar family for staff treats, and to the Winroth family for craft supplies.
Until next time,
Linda Kosinski, Director
Dates to Remember
- Friday, May 31st
GCS Wet & Wild Day
- Friday, May 31st
GCS Family Picnic
5:30 PM @ Town Gazebo
- Monday, June 10th
Board Meeting – 7:30 PM
- Wednesday, June 12th
Last Day of School