Mid-November and info on Empathy (Nov. 8 post)

Hi CCP Family,

      Please note the title of each blog.  I've added the Conscious Discipline skill, mentioned in the blog, to the title.  That way you can scroll back through the blogs and easily find that C. D.  information if you want to refresh yourself and practice a particular skill.

Please remember that there is no preschool on Monday, Nov. 12.  It is Veteran's Day.

      Families, we sincerely appreciate that you are keeping children home when they are sick.  Thanks for letting us know when your child will be absent.  We miss them and worry about them when they're not at preschool.  After all, we are a preschool family!

      I sincerely enjoy the days when I have time for an extended visit in each classroom.  The learning that happens through play is amazing!  This week I visited some super heros, wearing capes, who were also serving pizza! :-) First I had to “read the menu” of course! Then a decision was made to have a picnic in the same area. Hmmm…eventually they worked it out to have a “pizza picnic.” It was wonderful to hear the conversations and vocabulary, witness the imaginary scenes unfold, and watch children problem-solve when the scene did not quite go their way.  This is just one of the many times this week I was allowed to join a group of children in play.  I realize the honor given to me by the child's invitation to play.  I am grateful to our CCP teachers for setting up such intentional and inviting environments where children can learn huge lessons through playing with their friends.  I wish you could be here to see it all, but I hope you can appreciate some of it through my description.  It is a joy to be part of this preschool!

I will be out of the office on Friday, Nov. 9, but Melissa will be here should any needs arise.

Teachers, we have a brief staff meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 13.

       The CCP Board will meet on Monday, Nov. 19 at 7:30pm in Ascension Hall.  We need all members to be present to discuss the proposed budget for 2019-20.

       Remember you can check your classroom calendar on our website.  When you receive the email notification that your child's teacher has updated her blog, be sure to click through to the website so you can see photos, sign-ups, and calendars.

       Let's think about empathy for a moment (summarized from Conscious Discipline, Chapter 8) ....It is easy to offer empathy for a child who falls and skins her knee.  It is easy to offer empathy to a child who is sad and missing her dad.  It is sometimes more difficult for us to offer empathy to the child who just said "I hate you" or called you "Stupid!" But actually Empathy is just as essential for the child who calls us stupid as it is for the child who skins her knee.  Resisting the urge to attack those who attack us is a huge task, yet to teach children self-control, we must learn and model the skills ourselves. Diligently practice empathy through the D.N.A. process with angry children to help them learn to calm, self-regulate and heal.  (For more on the D.N.A. process, see my post from September 20 or go to www.consciousdiscipline.com.) As with all the skills in Conscious Discipline, our intent is critical to the use of empathy.  If our intent is to make children stop feeling a certain way, we will try to use empathy and our tone of voice will betray our motive.  Empathy is bigger than obedience.

        From Creating the School Family (p.305).... "Empathy asks us to be willing to give up our thoughts and feelings temporarily in order to more accurately understand those of others.  It asks us to quiet our own minds so we can listen from our hearts instead of our heads."

Enjoy your long weekend and I wish you well,




November 1 - Noticing vs. Judging and upcoming Book Fair!

Dear CCP Families,

Our costume days at preschool were so much fun! Thanks for watching or helping with our parades. I think everyone had a great time! Hope your Halloween night was safe and fun!

There is a lot of info in today’s post, but definitely take some time to read and study the Conscious Discipline moment on NOTICING VS JUDGING at the bottom. This is a skill that the teachers and I are practicing everyday at preschool. It will be helpful to you at home also!

BOOK FAIR - Elise Gentile, our Usborne rep, will set up the BOOK FAIR in Ascension Hall on Monday, Nov. 5. You can pop by at pick-up time Monday or anytime Tuesday or Wednesday! (Bring your card or checkbook!) Online ordering is also available. Books make great Christmas gifts! Details are in the packet I put in your cubbies. If you need another packet, just ask!

FALL BACK! - Remember to "fall back" one hour on your clock at bedtime on Saturday night as daylight savings time ends on Sunday, Nov. 4.  I love this season, but I don't like that it will be dark before dinner!

ILLNESSES - It’s that time of year……We have had quite a few children out sick recently. There have been fevers, colds, upset tummies, and hand, foot, & mouth. Thanks for keeping your child home whenever s/he is sick. The other families are so appreciative. Children may return to school when they have been fever and symptom free for a minimum of 24 hours. (With hand, foot, mouth, we usually recommend about a week at home until all blisters have dried and crusted over and fever is gone.) We are encouraging children to wash hands frequently and to “catch” their coughs/sneezes in their elbows.

Looking ahead….

MONDAY, NOV. 12 - Veterans Day. Preschool is closed.

TEACHERS - We have a brief staff meeting on Nov. 13 - 12:30-1:15

CONSCIOUS DISCIPLINE MOMENT - Finally, let's look at the difference between noticing and judging.  "Noticing continually activates children's prefrontal lobes and strengthens their executive skills of sustained attention, empathy, and problem-solving.  However, it requires adults to consciously change our habits and rewire our brains to notice instead of judge." (Conscious Discipline, p. 128)

       Judging actions as satisfactory creates children who are always looking for approval from the outside.  Noticing creates self-awareness and healthy attention, an important executive skill.  Noticing is descriptive and directs and sustains the child's attention like shining a flashlight on something.  Adults essentially "hold their flashlights" on the desired goals until children can hold and aim them on their own.  The difference is subtle at first.  However words are powerful and "noticing language" is more specific and gives the child more information to help to focus the child's attention on the positive.  Especially today, when the media tends to focus its attention on violence, aggression, sex, and appearances, our noticing supports children's attention by helping them aim their flashlights on the desired positive goals.

       Here are some examples....Instead of saying, "Miley, I like the way you raised your hand," try saying, "Miley you raised your hand like this (demonstrate) so I knew you needed help."  Instead of saying, "Good job Emma!" try "Emma, you worked hard on question 2 until you figured it out. That took persistence!"  Instead of "Tom, you are a good helper," try "Tom you got paper towels and cleaned the water off the floor so everyone would be safe from slipping."  Instead of "Thank you for pushing in your chair," try "Frank, you pushed in your chair so our dining room is safe."  And a final example, instead of "Good job with the napkin," try "You folded the napkin and set it next to your plate.  Now you're ready for snack!"

       I wish you well as you try aiming your adult flashlight on the positive by using noticing language with your child! 


CCP Halloween, Book Fair, Handwriting Readiness & A NEW Question!(Oct. 25 post)

Hello CCP Family!

        October is full of preschool fun! The month is going so quickly. Hope you and your child are noticing the changes that fall brings in our environment. It’s a lovely time to take a walk and find crispy leaves and round acorns with or without their tops!

COATS & CLOTHES - Please update your child’s change of clothes for the fall/winter. Also, we DO go outside everyday. Please send a jacket (with your child’s name in it) to use on the playground. Even if your child doesn’t want to wear it in the morning, please put it in the cubbie just in case!

HAPPY DAN THE MAGIC MAN - We enjoyed Happy Dan’s funny magic show this week! There is no better sound than that of children’s laughter! Glad several TTH families joined us for the show, too!

        HALLOWEEN PLANS - Follow your teacher's instructions for when to wear costumes to preschool.  Our oldest students, the Ducks & Whales, will "parade" down Market St around 9:20 on Wednesday, Oct. 31.  Feel free to watch & wave or walk with us!

USBORNE BOOK FAIR - We are so excited to have Elise Gentile bring her high quality Usborne books to CCP! You can browse and purchase books at drop off and pick up times right in Ascension Hall on Nov. 5-7. You can also order online. There will be a flyer and details in your cubbie soon. These would make great Christmas gifts!

        CHAPEL "HAND PRAYER" & SONGS- Ladybugs, Ducks, and Whales are learning a special prayer in Chapel.  We use our fingers to help us remember the things we want to pray for.  I put the words in your cubbies so you can pray this prayer at home, too.  Ask your child to sing some of our Chapel songs for you.  They may remember "God Made Us Wonderful" or "God Made Birds, God Made Bees."

        READY FOR HANDWRITING? -  Since readiness for learning handwriting occurs at different ages for different children, educators and parents need to be aware of prerequisite competencies for handwriting readiness.  Dr Marianne Gibbs recommends children possess the following prerequisites in order to be set up for success in handwriting skill acquisition: 

  • Established hand dominance when coloring, drawing, or using a fork (may not emerge until 4.5 - 6 years old)

  • Ability to cross the midline

  • Ability to use two hands in an activity

  • Ability to coordinate eyes and hands together

  • Functional pencil grasp

  • Recognition of similarities and difference in forms

  • Ability to understand directional terms

  • Orientation to print

  • Recognition of letter forms and sounds

  • Ability to copy basic shapes: vertical line, horizontal line, circle, plus sign, slanted lines (forward and backward), square with defined sides, X, triangle with defined corners

  • Ability to maintain proper sitting posture

  • Interest in handwriting

  • Ability to attend to a task for a minimum of one minute (for purposes of receiving formal instruction in handwriting)

As you can see, there are a lot of prerequisites to teaching handwriting! At CCP, we spend a lot of time developing the muscles needed for handwriting by using tongs, playdoh, pegs, clothespins, and other fine motor activities.  We play games to encourage children to cross the midline of their bodies, develop eye-hand coordination, and learn directional words and concepts.  And you thought we were just playing! ;-) When children are ready in the Duck and Whale classes, we teach them a functional pencil grasp using the "busy fingers and the sleeping fingers."  All these skills come before children are ready for actual handwriting instruction.  So while the children think they are "just playing," we are actually preparing them for later handwriting, reading, and general school success!  Respect your child in his or her developmental journey toward handwriting readiness.  Don't rush!  Every child learns and develops at his/her own pace.

          A NEW IMPORTANT QUESTION - Finally, I want to suggest that we ASK A NEW QUESTION!  Dr. Becky Bailey tells us that when we ask the questions, "How can I get this child to _____?" or "How can I make this child ______?" then our brains begin to come up with every feared, forced, coercive, or manipulative strategy we have ever learned.  If we ask a new question, we will get new answers.  By asking ourselves, "How can I help this child more successfully _______?" then we ask our brains to come up with a different set of answers.  These new answers will be more creative, will ask us to reflect on the child's needs, and will result in developmentally-appropriate discipline strategies. (p. 200, Conscious Discipline) Give this new question a try!

Have a good weekend and I wish you well,



CCP - Weather Drills and School closed Friday (posted Oct. 17, 2018)

Hello CCP Family,

Here’s my Thursday communication a day early! I wanted you to be sure to see the section on “fall break change” below….

        WEATHER DRILL - This week we practiced a weather drill.  The children walked calmly and safely.  It took about one minute for everyone to reach their safe weather room.  We will continue to practice all the ways we have learned to stay safe at school.

        FALL BREAK CHANGE- Originally we were closed on Thursday and Friday for fall break. However, we have missed so much preschool due to hurricanes that we decided school will be open on Thursday, Oct. 18 just as a gesture of good will and understanding.  On Friday we will remain closed to allow our staff to attend the Durham-Orange Preschool Association teachers' conference.  We truly value this time to study and network with other preschool teachers and directors from Durham and Orange counties. Please wish us well as we learn together.

       FALL FESTIVAL - Come enjoy the fall festival at Christ Church from 12:00-3:00 this Sunday, Oct. 21. There will be food and fun for all ages! It appears that real fall weather will arrive just in time!

       STAFF MEETING - Teachers, we will meet on Tuesday, Oct. 23 from 12:30 - 3:30 in the Disciple room to update our CPR certification.

HAPPY DAN THE MAGIC MAN! - Roger Way (aka Happy Dan) is a very funny magician! He will perform for preschoolers in Ascension Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 10:00. TTH children are invited to join us with your adult. We will share this show with our neighbors from Chapel Hill Daycare.

      "When we calm our body and mind, we manufacture predominantly alpha and theta brain waves, signifying that our mind is alert, yet relaxed.  This state of relaxed alertness is the optimal learning state."  (Managing Emotional Mayhem, p. 81)  At CCP, we often stop and breathe (S.T.A.R. -Smile, Take A deep breath and Relax) to calm our bodies and bring us to this state of relaxed alertness so we are ready to learn. Adults, taking a breath before addressing your child will allow you to be in a more relaxed state so you can respond with teaching rather than react to an incident.

        Pause a moment to be a S.T.A.R. and I wish you well.  



October 11, 2018 - post includes info on the skill of Assertiveness

Dear CCP Family,

     Thank you for meeting with your child's teacher at conference time this week.  We truly appreciate your time and your willingness to partner with us in your child's preschool education.

I’m truly sorry that we had to close today. As I’m writing this, it sure seems we could have made it through the school day. However it is our policy to follow CHCCS since they have more information about incoming weather conditions than we do. Also when local schools close, we have to consider how many CCP teachers would either be absent or would have to bring their own children to preschool. In addition, when the decision involves ice or snow, we have to consider the conditions of the church building and parking areas. We do not take the decision lightly. I am sorry for the inconvenience it may cause you and I sincerely appreciate your understanding.

     911 and Stop, drop, and roll were heard throughout the building as CCP children role-played being fire fighters this week!  We have practiced a fire drill and know how to exit the building safely. We are also reading our weather drill books in preparation for our weather drill next week. We know lots of ways to stay safe!

     CCP Board of Directors will meet on Oct. 15 at 7:30pm in Ascension Hall.

     On Friday, Oct. 19 the teachers and I will be attending the annual Durham-Orange Preschool Association's teacher conference.  It is a great privilege to be able to gather with over 200 area preschool teachers for a time of sharing and professional development.  We appreciate your support as we learn together.

Amanda Morgan of notjustcute.com will speak on developmentally appropriate practices at the Chapel Hill Bible Church on Thursday evening, October 18 at 7:00pm. This is sponsored by the Durham-Orange Preschool Assn. Please send your payment ($10/person or $15/couple) made to CCP by Monday morning at 9:00 if you’d like to attend. I’ll send your name and payment to the Association.

Christ Church will hold a Fall Festival on Sunday, October 21 from noon until 3:00. A flyer was placed in your cubbie last week with all the details. Lots of preschool families attended last year! There will be games, food, and good music! (Even our own Ms. Rebecca will perform with lots of opportunities for singing and dancing along!)

     I will leave you with a word about the skill of assertiveness, paraphrased from Dr. Becky Bailey.  There are 3 voices that we can use to communicate - passive, aggressive, and assertive.  The goal of passivity is to please others.  Using a passive voice relinquishes your power by leaving decisions to others.  Aggressive communication aims to win by overpowering.  Aggressive people often speak for others and they frequently use the words "always" and "never" as forms of attack.  Assertiveness allows us to express our needs, wants and desires constructively, without devaluing the other person's needs, wants and desires.  Assertiveness teaches others how to treat us.  The goal of assertiveness is clear communication that paints a picture of what we want others to do.  It has a voice tone of "no doubt" and comes from an intention of helping children be successful instead of making them behave.

     How can we give assertive commands successfully?  By using an assertive voice worded as a command.  Commands are about non-negotiable compliance.  (Requests offer a choice.) We don't want to confuse children by wording commands as requests if there is really no choice.  For example, "Keith, would you take out the trash?" actually meant, "Get up now and take the trash to the curb."  There was really no choice, so an assertive command works better.  Usually safety issues need to be worded as commands in an assertive voice.  "Hold my hand while we cross the street."  "Put your notebooks away and line up for lunch."  "Walk in the hall just like this." (demonstrate what you want the child to do.)  These are phrased so there is no question, no doubt.

     Using an assertive voice as an adult models assertiveness for your child. Assertiveness lets you set your boundaries on what behaviors you consider safe, appropriate and permissible.  It enables you to say "no" to your children, and teaches them how to say "no" to others.  

     I hope you and your families have a safe, restful weekend.  I wish you well.


October week 2 - Fire Safety and Conferences

Hello CCP Families!

        Hope you've had a great first week of October! I do hope we will see some cooler weather soon! Thank you for paying your tuition on time. (If you’ve forgotten, you have until noon tomorrow, Friday, Oct 5, to drop your check in the tuition box and avoid the late fee.)

        A friendly reminder....it's time to get your flu shot!  Let's all stay healthy and avoid absences from the flu if we can.  Hope you will join me in protecting your family and our preschool family from the flu!

Individual photos went well. I’ll send a link soon by email where you can look at the photos and puchase them if you choose to.

        Here are some reminders for the upcoming week:

  • Saturday, Oct. 6 - Optional Family Photos with David Gellatly in the side yard of the church. Smile! Please arrive on time so everyone can have their full session. Even if there is a little rain, David can take your photo under the bell tower.

  • Tues & Wed, Oct 9 & 10 - Ladybugs, Ducks, and Whales will have brief conferences with your lead teacher. (Frog families will get an email in the fall and have scheduled conferences in the spring. However, if you need to see Ms. Julie now, just contact her to arrange a meeting.) You can find your teacher in the church office building 105 across the street. Your children will be cared for in their regular classroom by the assistant teachers and a substitute.

  • There will be a blood drive in Ascension Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 9

  • The fire truck will visit CCP on Thursday, Oct. 11 around 9:30. MWF classes, please feel free to join us with your grown-up. (Remember, we have to be patient. Sometimes the fire truck gets a call and we may have to wait a few minutes.)

  • Looking ahead: CCP Board will meet on Monday, Oct. 15 at 7:30pm.

  • Looking ahead: Fall break for students on Thursday & Friday, Oct. 18 & 19. Teachers will attend the educational conference provided by the Durham - Orange Preschool Association.

        From Dr. Becky Bailey's Managing Emotional Mayhem, p. 41..."If a child signals sadness, anger or embarrassment, an attuned adult can pick up on this communication and coach the child through her discomfort to an integrated state.  The child will learn emotions are a bridge between problem and solution, reducing the likelihood of a reactive or impulsive response."

        Emotions serve a vital purpose!  We need to feel them, accept them, and they will dissipate.  They are the bridge between problem and solution.  Here's the secret....we don't want to get stuck on the feelings bridge, hanging on to our suffering and rehashing our problem.  Instead we want to identify and name the feeling.  Then relax and re-frame the problem.  Then move more easily to choose a satisfactory solution.  Let's help our children learn to walk across the feelings bridge!  (paraphrased from Dr. Bailey's Conscious Discipline, p.221.)

Have a wonderful weekend and I wish you well,

Debbie Arena

Here comes October! Photos and Fire Trucks (9-27-18 post)

Dear CCP Families,

        September went by so quickly!  Here comes October and it's full of great preschool fun!  Mark your calendars or update from our website google calendar....

  • PHOTOS - Wed, Oct. 3 for Whales and MWF classes (individual pics during the school day)

  • PHOTOS - Thurs, Oct. 4 for Ducks and TTH classes (individual pics during the school day)

  • OPTIONAL FAMILY PHOTOS - Saturday, Oct. 6 - Find Photographer David Gellatly in the side yard at Christ Church. Please sign up here and arrive on time so everyone can have their full 10 minute session. (There is no sitting fee and David does fabulous work!)

  • FIRE TRUCK VISIT - Thurs, Oct. 11 around 9:30 - If you attend on MWF, please feel free to join us at 9:30 on Thursday to see the fire truck and fire fighters. We usually meet in Ascension hall for a few minutes and then go class by class to see the truck. (Remember, sometimes the truck has an emergency so we may have to wait a bit if they get a call.)

  • FALL PARENT-TEACHER CONFERENCES (for 3’s and 4’s) - Tues & Wed, Oct. 9 & 10. Please sign up for a short “getting to know you” meeting with your child's teacher. You can find the link to the signup genius on your class page. (Your child will attend school on normal schedule that day with the assistant teacher and a sub.) Conferences will be held in buildng 105 across the side street from the church.

  • LOOKING AHEAD - FOR PRESCHOOL PARENTS: Amanda Morgan from NotJustCute.com will speak on Thursday, October 18 at 7:00pm at The Chapel Hill Bible Church. She will take a look at why society is in such a rush, and why kids benefit from protected childhoods. This is sponsored by the Durham-Orange Preschool Association. The cost is $10 per person/$15 per couple. Please make check to Christ Church Preschool and bring to Debbie by Monday, Oct. 15 at 9:00am. (I will put a flyer in the cubbies next week.)

  • FLU - It is time to protect your family from the flu! Please get the flu vaccine to protect your child, your family, and our preschool family. Thanks! I got mine last week. The local drugstores usually have the vaccine, as do the local doctors’ offices. It only takes a few minutes to avoid having a week-long serious illness!

        Teachers, please remember that we have staff meeting Tues, Oct. 2 at 12:30 with lunch provided! :-) Thanks for lunch CCP! This meeting will only last one hour.

        Beginning the day with a connection activity between the teacher and the children stimulates the impulse control systems of the brain and generates a neurochemical bath that says, "Pay attention, this is fun."  (Creating the School Family p 149)

"Discipline is like the 'slow-slow, quick-quick' of a country western two-step.  The 'slow-slow' is building the relationship.  It does not happen overnight but slowly over time.  The 'quick-quick' is the specific skill set we need to handle the upset and conflicts that arise within the relationship."  ~from Baby Doll Circle Time, p. 32

I wish you well,


Sailing through September! (9-20-18 post) & the D. N. A. method

Hello CCP Family,

     We are settling into our preschool routines despite the interruption from Hurricane Florence!  The children are becoming comfortable and confident with their friends and teachers and the tearful goodbyes seem to be fewer.  Everyone appears to know they are safe and loved here at CCP.  We are surely on the way to becoming a school family, a process that can take about 4 to 6 weeks.

Next week we will practice our first fire drills. The teachers have read and re-read the book about fire drills to prepare the children. It is typically a very routine experience and the children find it interesting, rather than frightening.

The deadline for Spirit gear orders has been EXTENDED to Tuesday! I sent an email earlier today with details, but forms are also available in the preschool office. Order your items today!

     Mark your calendar…..Our fall photographer, David Gellatly, will be at preschool on Oct. 3 (Whales & MWF classes) and Oct. 4 (Ducks & TTH classes).  Ms. Melissa and I will take a few children at a time to have their individual photos made. (You can dress them up if you want...we will avoid messy paints that day.)  Then I'll give you the link to find your photos on David's website for viewing and purchasing if you desire.  There is no sitting fee and David does very nice work!  In addition we will have an optional family photo day on Saturday, Oct. 6.  If you want to bring your family, please click & sign up HERE.

     Thank you kindly for your donations to CCP!  This is our low-key fundraiser so you don't have to sell items or do other types of fundraising.  We can accept your donations anytime throughout the year.

     Our fall "Getting to Know You Conferences" are Oct. 9 & 10.  Ladybugs, Ducks, & Whales, your teacher will provide a sign up link on your class page.  (Frogs will receive some communication from Ms. Julie in the fall, but will not have formal conferences until the spring.)  Of course, if anyone wants to see Ms. Julie or any teacher anytime during the year, then just make an appointment directly with the teacher you need to see.

  A CONSCIOUS DISCIPLINE MOMENT on OFFERING EMPATHY:   To offer children empathy, we must be willing to let them experience distress. (p. 236 Conscious Discipline) Dr. Bailey uses her D.N.A. method - Describe.  (Pause)  Name.  Acknowledge to offer empathy to a child in distress. Here's how it looks...

Imagine your child very upset, maybe even screaming and kicking!  First you breathe composing yourself.  Then you DNA - describe, (pause), name, acknowledge like this:

D. - Active calming, noticing:  "Your face is going like this.  Your feet are going like this." (demonstrate) Child will most likely look your way.  As soon as eye contact happens....

"Hit the pause button" here and download your calm to the child by softening your face and taking a deep breath.

N. - Offer empathy:  "You seem _______. (angry, sad, scared) " Then quickly move to....

A. - Problem solving:  "You wanted ______."  or  "You were hoping ______."

Remember, if we can name the feeling the child is communicating with positive intent, then we validate the child's experience and move the regulation process forward.  "You wanted ____" and "You were hoping_____" help us acknowledge the child's most heartfelt wishes and facilitate problem solving.  It is important that the pause comes after describing.  Then you move quickly from naming to acknowledging. In this way you move the child from the survival state, up through the emotional state, then quickly into the executive state where he or she can problem-solve.  

     D. N. A. takes practice!  Be gentle on yourself as a parent and know that there may be an oops along the way.  Keep practicing and it will become easier! If you'd like more information from Dr. Bailey, go to www.consciousdiscipline.com or ask me.  The teachers and I are still learning and we practice Conscious Discipline every day!  We are so glad to have these strategies to offer the gift of self-regulation to our students.   

I hope you have a fabulous weekend and I wish you well,








And we're off!

Hi CCP Family,

      We did it!  All classes have now experienced their first day of preschool for 2018-19!  There were a few tears, but nothing major and everyone ended their days successfully.  Adults, you handled the "good-byes" very well - positive, short, and sweet!  You have precious, lovely children and we feel very fortunate to have you as part of our school family.  Each day will get easier!

      NOTE:  DUCKS and MWF LADYBUGS, please remember that the parking lots will NOT be available tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 7 due to resurfacing.  Please park in the Park and Ride lot ($2) or in the central municipal lot and walk to the front door for drop-off and pick-up.

      We are only missing a few forms.  (We are required to collect new forms each year.) I have notified the families who may be missing one of the following: health form, emergency contact form, or a photo permission form.  We MUST have current forms to keep everyone safe.  Also, please make sure you have a weather-appropriate change of clothes at preschool.  Thank you.

       If you have a grandparent or nanny that you would like to receive preschool communications, please direct them to the blog pages - they can sign up for the email notifications at the bottom right of each blog page.  This will ensure that they receive the emails.  Please note that they need to do this for EACH email notification they want to receive. So if they want to receive notifications from Debbie and a teacher, they would need to sign up on Debbie's blog page AND the class blog page.

       I hope each of you had the chance to meet our new lead pastor, Ben Williams.  Pastor Ben is easily recognized because he wears a bowtie!  He truly has a heart for children and I am so excited for you and your children to get to know him.  Thanks to Pastor Ben and to our faithful friend, Ms. Jane, for helping us welcome everyone on the first days of preschool!

      Thank you for coming to the Parent Orientation meeting.  I hope you learned a lot about our school and especially about your child's class.  As I mentioned, one thing that makes us unique is using Dr. Becky Bailey's Conscious Discipline as our method of building resilient classrooms and teaching children the skills of self-regulation.  I will share more about this each week in my Thursday evening blog post.

       Today, I want to share this info about music research.  I thought it was important especially after Ms. Rebecca shared with us the importance of music at Parent Orientation.  Our music classes will begin the week of Sept. 17, on Mondays and Thursdays.  But, of course, all our CCP safekeepers use music in the classrooms everyday!

"Research has found that learning music facilitates learning other subjects and enhances skills that children inevitably use in other areas," asserts Laura Lewis Brown in her article, "The Benefits of Music Education."

Brown quotes Mary Luehrisen, Executive Director of the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) on the benefits of music making as follows: "A music-rich experience for children of singing, listening and moving is really bringing a very serious benefit to children as they progress into more formal learning." Brown also quotes Kenneth Guilmartin, cofounder of an early childhood music development program for infants through kindergartners: "Making music involves more than the voice or fingers playing an instrument; a child learning about music has to tap into multiple skill sets, often simultaneously. For instance, people use their ears and eyes, as well as large and small muscles...Music learning supports all learning."

Source: "The Benefits of Music Education," by Laura Lewis Brown, PBS Parents

      Christ Church has their Sunday School Kick-Off for 2017-18 this Sunday, Sept. 9 at 9:45.  The preschoolers attend Sunday school in the same rooms we use for preschool. Sunday school lasts an hour.  Parents can attend the worship service during the same hour in the Sanctuary. If you don't have a home church, please come visit Christ Church! You can contact Ms Jane for more information - jreeb@christmethodist.org .

      Mark your calendar:  Preschool is closed on Friday, Sept 14 for teachers to attend the NCaeyc teacher conference where we will hear Dr. Becky Bailey in person!  Also, the CCP Board will meet on Monday, Sept. 17 at 7:30pm.

      I leave you with this quote from Amy Speidel (Loving Guidance Associate), "Our job is to be the mirror for children, reflecting their worth; what we reflect becomes what they believe about themselves."

Happy Grandparents' Day this Sunday!  I WISH YOU WELL!


Welcome to the CCP Family!

Dear 2018-19 CCP Families,

      We are so excited for this new school year to begin!  Each new year feels like a fresh start.  And this year we have many new friends to celebrate!  Welcome to our new families and welcome back to our returning families and staff.  It is going to be a great preschool year!

     Please make sure that you have turned in your health form, your emergency contact form, and your photograph permission form by August 30, 2018.  You may mail your forms or bring them on August 30 to either Playground Fun Day or our Parent Orientation Meeting. Also please be sure that you have read the Parent Handbook that was emailed to you early August.  It is a good resource and will answer many of your questions. 

     On Playground Fun Day (Thurs, Aug. 30) you may drop by between 9:30 and 11:00 am.  Start at the lower playground where you will be given a nametag.  Then you and your child may play on the playgrounds, have a snack and make your cubbie namecard in Ascension Hall, and take the card to your teacher in your classroom.  (The upper playground is best for children 2 years and younger.)  Playground Fun Day will end promptly at 11:00 a.m. so we can prepare to host all parents that same evening at Parent Orientation.

     Parent Orientation (also Thurs, Aug. 30) is your only required meeting for the entire year!  It is very important to attend because you will learn many details about your child's school day, you will get to know your child's teachers, and you will learn how the preschool family works together to give your child the very best preschool experience!  New families meet in Ascension Hall at 7:00pm and returning families will join us at 7:30pm.

     We still have room for a new Whale student (Monday through Thursday 4's!) If you have a friend with a child who is 4 by Aug. 31, 2018, please encourage them to contact me.

     I will do my best to keep you informed by updating this page weekly, usually on Thursday evening.  Your child's teacher will use her class page to share calendar events, information, and fun activities that the children have enjoyed in the classroom.  You will receive an email when there are updates.  We also welcome your communication.  You may reach us by email or the preschool phone 919-969-1690. If you want to reply to your teacher's blog post, please note that you have to click "email Ms. ____"  at the top of the page.  Please do NOT just hit reply as your reply to the teacher will be sent to me because of the way the website is configured.

     We are aware of the trust you have placed in us by choosing Christ Church Preschool for your child.  We are honored.  We sincerely look forward to becoming partners with you in your child's preschool education!

I wish you well,

Debbie Arena