My dad was one of five brothers. We always celebrated the holidays with his side of the family either a little before or just after the holiday. Recent emails about a holiday gathering of 'grown up' cousins bring back memories of those times. At each of the Tanner gatherings, rotated among 'Tanner' homes, all of us kiddos would receive just one gift each. At Uncle Jim and Aunt Betty's house, each gift was always tied to a very, very, very long ribbon. The different colored ribbons were always completely entwined with each other and wrapped around furniture and throughout their downstairs. It was something of a big, multi-colored puzzle which at times evolved into a game of Twister. Obviously, the fun wasn't really in the gift, but in the journey of finding your gift while maneuvering through the maze of ribbons, hoping not to get to someone else's gift by mistake.
I have thought a lot about those ribbons these past few days. The entwined unique ribbons seem like a perfect metaphor for the great things that are happening within our school community. So much has been going on as we work to honor each individual and group while collectively moving towards the ultimate gift of educating our young learners; Dr. Paul and his Second Step team honored almost 40 parents at two ceremonies just before our holiday vacation. Congratulations to Dr. Paul, Mrs. Kay (from URI) and the especially the many parents who navigated the six sessions of the Second Step Parenting education program. Meanwhile, all Kindergartners at Robertson and 4 year olds at Captain Hunt have had weekly Second Step Social Skills lessons with the URI interns. At the end of January, URI will be back to continue both the Second Step Social Skills lessons with our young learners, as well as the parenting program for Moms and Dads.
Teachers are continuing to be trained in the INCREDIBLE YEARS program. The training is being funded by the i3 grant, the same grant funds our amazing collaborators, Julissa (at Robertson) and Karen (at Captain Hunt.) The i3 grant also provides funding to train our Guidance Counselor/Head Teacher, Miss Nancy, Social Worker, Miss Cindy and School Psychologist, Dr. Dave and others to implement DINOSAUR SCHOOL. That program is designed to help our students who have been experiencing difficultly socially navigating their classroom community, it will begin in the next few weeks. Their parents will also receive assistance in acquiring the tools to help their children through an invitation to an intensive parenting education program.
Meanwhile, our Captain Hunt teachers have been busy helping children fall in love with print, while learning to identify their names, as well as the letters in their name. Our Kindergarten teachers have been focused on helping children to learn to read. (Kindergarten Parents, please help us by working with your child to practice rapidly naming their A-Z letters and sounds each morning or night. Please also help your child practice rhyming each morning or night, as well as clapping words into syllables.) A new Kindergarten Teacher, Mrs. DeKreon, joined our Robertson community in late December and a new preschool teacher, Miss Brittany, will join our early learning community in January. We will also welcome the return of two teachers, who have been on maternity leave to Captain Hunt: Miss Melissa and Mrs. Quinn.
Parents are busy helping in the Parent Hub Rooms at each school and in the classrooms. (Please contact Julissa, Karen or our Home School Liasion, Susana to volunteer. We LOVE PARENTS as partners.)
So much has been happening simultaneously, so many ribbons entwined (programs, teachers, collaborators, parents and students) yet, the journey to navigate this maze of entanglement is continuing as the faculty and I grow together with you, our families, while we focus on helping our children to, not only love learning, but to be learners who think and inquire about their world.
Happy New Year!
Beth Tanner, MS Ed
Follow Beth on Twitter : bethtanner@missrumphius722