It has been a busy start to the year for our early childhood programs. We welcomed 70 families into our weekly Early Childhood Family Education classesthe youngest child was only two weeks old! During ECFE classes, parents and children spend the first part of class exploring the activities set out by our licensed early childhood teacher. After a circle time that includes the name song and a story, the parents meet with our licensed parent educator while the children continue exploring the classroom with their teacher. Parenting topics this session have included birth order, family traditions, routines and rules, and temper tantrums.
ECFE not only provides a fun, learning time for parents and their children, it also provides a place where families can make connections with other families. Many parents have said the friendships made at ECFE continued through high school and beyond.
Creative Kids and Learning Together preschools are implementing a new Early Childhood SMART curriculum this year. SMART stands for Stimulating Maturity Through Accelerated Readiness Training. SMART is based on the idea that movement anchors learning. It pairs up academic skills with motor skills. Our staff were able to attend this training thanks to a grant from the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation.
For the past 19 years, the students in Creative Kids have made monthly visits to their "friends"at Oak Hills. Their first visit of the year was last week. The students make art projects with the seniors, sing songs, have a snack, and share MANY hugs.
We have many events coming up in the next few weeks. Our Community Halloween Party is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 25 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Jefferson. A huge thanks to Kraft, Beacon Promotions, Brown County Sheriff's Department, Hy-Vee, 3M, New Ulm Park and Rec, Perkins, McDonald's and the Optimists Club of New Ulm for helping make this event possible! Typically, 500-600 parents and children attend the party.
Other upcoming events include the Community Preschool Information Night on Oct. 29, Family Gym Night on Nov. 1 (sponsored by Allina Health Systems), and Bedtime Story Class at the Library on Nov. 13.
Finally, we will be holding our New Ulm Women's Expo and Craft Fair at Jefferson School on Saturday, Nov. 9. Table rental fees benefit our ECFE Program. We currently have 85 vendors registered. Last year over 1,250 shoppers attended!
Please contact the ECFE Office at 359-8417 with any questions. Be sure to "Like" us on FacebookECFENew Ulm.