January 2019 newsletter

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Early Childhood News!
January 2019

Geary County USD 475 Early Childhood Program

Happy New Year to our Little Jay Family!

As we enter the second semester of the school year, it’s a good time to re-visit all the ways that we can support the children’s oral language development, both at school and at home. Studies have shown that children who are read to regularly and engaged in conversation often during their early childhood years have larger vocabularies and are better prepared for school. Here are some simple ways that we can all support the EC students’ language development to set them up for success.
Talk, talk, talk. Experts suggest narrating your day as you go about your normal business. “Now it’s time to set the table. I’m going to put a plate and a fork out for everyone.” The children will hear your words and make a connection to what they see you doing. Read to your child every day. A great predictor of future reading success is the amount of time a child is read to
by an adult. Listen to music together. Lively songs such as “Old McDonald Had a Farm” that your child can sing along and be fully engaged in help them develop their oral language skills. Follow your child’s lead when choosing books and songs. Children often prefer to have the same story read to them many times. This is just as beneficial as reading a large variety of titles. Never criticize your child’s articulation or speech patterns. We don’t want children to become self-conscious to the point of not wanting to verbalize their ideas. It’s okay to model correct pronunciation or grammar, but we should do
so without pointing out their errors. Use computers and television sparingly. Even educational programming and games should be limited because they are not as beneficial as another person who can interact and respond to the child’s cues. Experts say that children between the ages of 2-5 years should watch not more than 2 hours of TV a day. We will continue to work as a team to set up our EC students for a smooth transition into success in Kindergarten and beyond!

ECC Class Schedule
AM Classes:
PM Classes:
Full Day Classes: 8:10-
Ms. Kim’s Classes: 8:00-


A Note from Nurse Tammy
Children love to get out and play in the cold and the snow.
It’s great exercise for them to build a snowman or go sledding.
Please keep these tips in mind to be sure your Winter
play is safe!
C—Cover your head, face, and neck since they are major
sources of heat loss.
O—Overexertion leads to sweating, which makes clothing
damp and chills you more quickly.
L—Layer clothing to protect against the wind and cold. Bottom
layers should be snug and top layers loose and comfortable.
D—Dry clothes are essential. Wear waterproof clothing and
insulated, waterproof boots and gloves.

Important Dates:

1/8 Students Return
1/10 Wear your Little
Jay shirt!
1/21 No School—MLK
1/24 Super Hero Day—
Wear your favorite
1/29 Kansas Day—
More information
to come!

There’s a lot of learning going on!!
Our next theme in Curiosity Corner is “Winter Wonders”. Our students
will learn about the Winter season and how people and animals adjust
to the colder weather. The students will enjoy learning more about all
the fun Winter offers!

Wonderful Words in Unit 9
Winter Wonders
winter           freeze               migrate          flock
snow             snowflake        hibernate      coat
sled               down

Your child’s safety is a top priority!
As winter weather approaches and the possibility of slick roads is upon us, it’s important that we are extra vigilant about car safety. Children age 3 years and younger must travel in a car seat with harness straps until they reach the top height or weight limit allowed by the car seat’s manufacturer.
At that time, they should transition into a booster seat. Children should ride in a booster seat until the age of 8 unless they weigh more than 80 pounds or are taller than 4 foot 9 inches. Booster seats are important for young children because they allow the seatbelt to fit them properly. All children under the age of 13 should travel in the back seat every time they are in the car. During
the winter, it’s also important to take into consideration if your child’s coat is too bulky to allow them to be buckled in properly. If your child’s coat is extra thick, consider buckling them in without the coat and putting it over the top of the straps to keep them warm. Thank you for keeping these things in mind as you travel with your children to keep them safe.


During the Winter season, there are times that school is cancelled, delayed, or dismissed early for the safety of students and staff. A convenient way to receive this information is to sign up for notifications through the district
website. Families can go to http://connected.usd475.org/ and click on notifications. You can choose specific
schools that family members attend to receive notifications from or the district as a whole, USD 475. The RSS feed
will send you notifications when announcements are made that affect your children’s school(s). This will provide
your family with the most up-to-date information in regards to school cancellations and schedule adjustments due
to weather conditions.


Literacy News from Mrs. Julie
Happy January everyone! It doesn’t seem possible, but the school year is half over already! This month as I visit class-rooms for my literacy lessons, your little literacy learner will be learning about Phonemic Awareness. Phonemic Awareness is a very important pre-reading skill that focuses on the sounds that make-up the words we say. For example, we can take a word like “mat”, and then take away the first sound in the word and sub-stitute it with another sound, for example /b/. Then the new word becomes “bat”. It is a chal-lenging aspect of Phonemic Awareness, but it helps and strengthens their skill with rhyming and it also helps them learn to listen for those individual sounds in words. At home, talk about sounds they hear in words. You can practice identifying the sound they hear in the beginning of the word or at the end of the word. Play a game trying to think of as many words as you can that begin with the same sound. Make up silly names for items you’re buying at the grocery store that rhyme with the items real name to see if they can guess what you’re going to get. Take words such as “sat”, “map”, and “mart”. Have your child say the words, then replace the first sound in all three words with /k/ sound. The best thing about practicing Phonemic Awareness skills is that it is all done orally, just by listening to the sounds in the words. This means it can be done while driving, waiting in line at the store, and other times that you have just a few minutes. Give it a try and have fun with it!

Here are some books to make for a great read this month:
The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss The Snowy Day by Dr. Seuss
Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss
I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow by Lucille Colandro
Happy Reading with your Child!
Julie Gyuran, Early Literacy Specialist

Save the Date for the Winter Family Fun Carnival!
Mark your calendars for a fun family event specially designed for families with young children! This year’s Early Childhood Family Net-work’s Winter Carnival will be Saturday, February 16th from 9:00-12:00 at the Junction City Municipal Building at 700 North Jeffer-son St. There will be free games and activities for young children, door prizes, and information booths for parents. There will be live entertainment and snacks available for purchase as well. Get out of the winter cold and bring the whole family for some carnival fun!

Meet the Early Childhood Staff!
Mrs. Stephanie Diehl, Early Childhood Literacy Coordinator
My name is Stephanie Diehl, and I serve as a Coordinator in the Early Childhood Program. I have worked in the local district for 29 years, with the majority of those years supporting early intervention and education. My primary responsibilities in the Early Childhood Program are to support the implementation of the grants that we receive from the Kansas State Department of Education, and to facilitate student placements in the preschool classrooms. There is nothing more rewarding than connecting with families regarding their child’s placement in the program! In an effort to ensure that our preschool students enter Kindergarten with the skills they need to be successful, I also assist with the early literacy and early numeracy screening activities. If you have any questions or issues you would like to discuss, I can be reached at 717-4036 or at stephaniediehl@usd475.org.

Books Related to our Learning Theme
 “The Wonderful Gifts of Winter” by Dandi Mackall
 “I See Winter” by Charles Ghigna
 “Snowy, Blowy Winter” by Bob Raczka
 “Winter is For Snow” by Robert Neubecker
 “The First Day of Winter” by Denise Fleming
 “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats


From the Desk of the Principal: Mrs. Stephanie

Parents and Families,
As we enter the second semester of the school year, I would like to be sure that you are aware of two programs that are available to you as a parent of an Early Childhood Program student. We offer the Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) classes that parents can attend to learn research-based behavior management strategies to use at home. This program offers evening classes with childcare available to you as well as one-on-one sup-port for parents needing more intense assistance. We also offer a Parents As Teachers program. This program utilizes monthly or weekly home visits with a Parent Educator to provide information on child development, playgroups twice a week, ideas for parent-child activities that will promote language development and intellectual growth, as well as activ-ity ideas to encourage your child’s social and motor development. Please call or email ECC for more information about these programs!
Stephanie Bogenhagen
or stephaniebogenhagen@usd475.org

Winter Activities around Junction City
Winter is a great time to stay indoors and curl up with some favorite stories. Give your child a chance to watch you read magazines, books, and newspapers. Have a special place for books and magazines in your house. Make a “booklet” with your child by helping them cut out magazine pictures and paste them on paper.
When you are ready to brave the cold and snow, head on out to one of the parks in the community and try sledding. South Park has some slopes to do just that.
Manhattan’s City Park has the Wefald Pavilion and GTM Family Center. It is home to an Ice Rink (587-2747). They do offer ice skating lessons and are open Mon-Sun in the afternoon and early evenings. There is $2 fee for ice skating and $2 skate rental fee.