New Year. New Resolutions.
The new year inspires many of us to make changes. We pledge to improve our relationships, attitudes, and behaviors. This year, we want to share a few of the important resolutions PIC is making to become even safer and better in 2014.
In an effort to lessen the germ and toxin exposure to our littlest learners, we are asking staff and families to follow the criteria published by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. According to NAEYC, before entering infant classrooms, adults and children should "remove, replace, or cover with clean foot coverings any shoes they have worn outside that play area." Areas have been established outside PIC infant rooms to remove shoes and disposable foot coverings are available for use. Borrow a pair of booties and toss them back in the basket for re-use! For more information, read a recent article in the Philadelphia Inquirer on leaving germs and toxins at the door.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the use of microwave ovens is not recommended for preschool programs. The risks include heating foods in plastic containers and uneven heating (often too hot or not hot enough) when teachers have multiple meals to prepare. A better solution is to prepare foods that are to be eaten at room temperatures or send warm food in a thermos. For more details about food safety, see the Partnership for Food Safety Education website.
The Reggio Emilia approach to early education developed in Italy following World War II. Over time, it has become widely recognized as an innovative approach to early learning across the globe. Inspired by Reggio, PIC teachers are participating in a pilot program to transform their classrooms into more supportive and enriching environments based on the interests of the children. The Grasshoppers, Moonbeams, Peanuts, and Sunshines have begun to create more peaceful, inviting spaces for learning. Before the New Year, many plastic bins and toys were removed in favor of natural materials, and some rearranging has been done. Over the weeks ahead, we will share more information on our Reggio inspired classrooms. In the meantime, see other Reggio inspired projects and environments on Pinterest.
In 2014 the Parent Involvement Committee will launch an exciting new mentoring project to match new PIC families with those who already "know the ropes." The goal is to give families a good start at PIC and encourage involvement in the life of the Center. The Parent Involvement Committee will soon begin recruiting Family Mentors. Email Family Life Coordinator Lynne Piersol if you are interested in becoming a mentor and/or have ideas you would like to share with the Parent Involvement Committee.
Please let us know your thoughts or comments on any of these initiatives or suggest other areas of improvement by sending an email to Executive Director Debbie Green.