Managing and teaching in a shelter child center

Posts tagged ‘Family’

Not sure why I’m surprised when people do the right thing

But for some reason, I always am. So I have a lotof people to thank. As a result, this particular blog may seem like an Advertisement. its not. I am just truly grateful. SO here is an open letter

To all the Children’s Haven’s Angels, your kindness and generosity to the children in my center is amazing. I am so grateful I am speechless. I want to make sure that I thank you all.
First to our A. Nony Mouse angel that donated cash and kept our lights on last month. It was too much. I don’t even know who to thank. (Although I have an idea.) Putting that on the card was cute, buy the way!

Gladstone market, thanks for the rice, beans, tomatoes and kale! We had real food every day for two whole weeks! The kids are doing much better after having fruit and veggies instead of cake and not sure what all else.

Old Navy, Thanks for the uniforms for the older kids, and fall/winter outfits for the younger ones, infants and parents.

All u named stores that supplied back packs, school supplies. tech gadgets and toys, thank you, too. There were I believe over 100 of you and I don’t have the complete list.

Payless Shoes, thanks for the shoes, socks, hair things and jewelry.

University of the pacific school of dentistry, thanks for the dental work. The kids may not be thrilled about it now, but they will thank you later. =)
All of you have worked miracles for over 400 homeless kids and their families. I can never thank you enough

(Overwhelmed by your generosity) Teacher Turtle
!!!

Graduations Part 2

Yesterday was our first ever graduation!  It was wonderful. And definitely an emotional day.

It was held in our class, since the class is in a multipurpose gym. But it was decorated way differently than usual. We went all out for those four children. Caps, gowns, certificates, The whole nine yards. We even got them “kinder-packs”. (more on those later.)

The “ceremony” itself was brief. all the pre-k kids  sang the Winnie the Pooh song for the parents, the four graduates were brought to the back of the room and sort of bounced up to the front in a clump.Since  they’re 5, lines don’t quite happen yet. =) . Each child took their certificate, and joined the parents. a total of 15 minutes, I believe.

But it’s still one of those moments that you remember for being special. I will probably remember the smiles , the looks of pride that they had done something. (although they may not be clear on exactly what yet.) One child had their cap on sideways. One girl tripped on her gown. One skipped down the aisle singing I’m graduating, graduating, graduating. And knowing these particular kids makes it all the more meaningful. I just hope that some day, they will be doing the exact same thing for high school. Or maybe even college.

Now back to the kinder-packs. Each child got a backpack with the uniform for the school they will be going to, a uniform (all slightly large, since the kids will likely grow in two months),some books, two pairs of shoes, jackets, crayons, paper, and whatever was on that school’s kinder list. Also there were some toys. Also there was a card for each, saying how great it was having them in my class, and when they go to kinder, they can still come to my room for after school.

Gradiations! =D

Translation, Graduations!

Yes, 4 of my pre-k students who had the most challenges and would have been the most likely allowed to defer for an extra year have been accepted to kindergarten. For these four children the step into kindergarten is more like a giant leap. Not only are they all homeless, but they all have physical and emotional challenges that they average 5 year old doesn’t have. 3 of the 4 were unable to to do basic personal care when they arrived. And all were unable to socially younger than their ages. But all of them made it!

I’m embarrassed to say we almost missed it. Somewhere along the line we didn’t pay attention to how far they were progressing. It wasn’t until this morning, when I finally sat down and went over every ones progress cards that these 4 children met and even exceeded all the benchmarks to begin K-1. (our district is doing the experimental 2 part kinder)

So now I am about to notify 4 parents that their child will  be entering the “normal” school world, where they will be just like everyone else for a change. =) .It was only two weeks ago that on of the families was expressing their concerns that their child would never make it to non-specialized schools. And yes, I am also sending complete referrals to the schools with the education plans to continue the outstanding progress they are making.

I used to think that those big pre-k and pre-school graduations were silly. But now I am preparing one for my kids.=) I am trying to find four tiny cap and gown sets, and designing little certificates. Because this is what the other pre-k’s in my area are doing. And my pre-k’s are going to be like everyone else. Silly and over done? probably. But for kids who always feel inadequate and are always hearing, “sorry but we can’t afford..” it will mean the world.

Shelter stats,part 2

This is the debate where I live. there is so little funding that everyone’s fighting over slivers of the pie.I am trying to find out if others think we are a legitimate childcare/preschool center, and can therefore try for grants. We are already licensed, so we are recognized on the legal side. It’s the ECE community we seem to have some issues with.

We have amazing families here!

Seriously. I can’t praise our families nearly enough. It seems like they always come through in a pinch. Here a re just a few shining examples:

  • When I was looking at a bookshelf in a catalogue and commented that I wished we could get one, two fathers who happen to know woodworking built one. And its even better than the one I wanted to order.
  • There is a grandmother that bakes enough banana, persimmon, zuccini or pumpkin bread for the entire center,every two weeks!
  • Say field trip, get 70 parent volunteers.
  • there are always parents helping out with different activities,from clean up to dance classes.
  • its perfectly normal to have parents doing maintenance voluntarily on a weekend.
  • parents who speak more than on e language are willing to help translate all our handouts, so that Everyone can understand what’s going on.

And so much more! Thanks and whoo-hoo to the Elk Parents!

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