January 2018 Newsletter

From the Director

January 2018

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends. As I was trying to figure out what to wear on a warm Christmas day I received a picture from my step sister in Spokane where it was snowing.  It also snowed on my cousins in Portland.

Thank you so much for your generosity with our December charity project!  We filled bags with socks, hats, gloves, diapers, small toys and games.  When Annie Burnham took the gifts into each classroom she talked with the children about children that don’t have homes. She engaged them in a conversation about caring for others then let each child put a toy in the gift bags. Your donations went to the Homeless Camp at Father Joe’s Village. Your generosity kept children warm and happy during this Christmas season.

Once a month we have a fire drill at school. I go through the school with a fire dog puppet to notify them of the drill.  The children and their teachers stop what they are doing and walk to the steps in front of the church.  Once we have gathered we sing a song together.  This month Mrs. Pedersen with the help of Wyatt led the children in a new song about a shark.

The children have been decorating trees and the play structure with garland and brightly colored balls.  They also have opportunities to decorate in their classroom.  There is a variety of creative interpretation that they have to negotiate!

January 17 & 18 are Pajama Days at preschool.  If your child doesn’t want to wear their PJ’s bring them in a bag and put it in their cubbie. Sometimes they change their mind when they see their classmates in PJ’s. We will be making pancakes in all the classes.  I will be sending out a notice about the pancake mix to the families with children that have food allergies.

There will NOT be classroom cooking on January 4 because we will be making pancakes on both PJ Days.  The snack for Thursday, January 4 will be cottage cheese and apples.

The College Park Preschool Parent Group meeting will be Wednesday, January 10th at 7:00pm at the Bruton’s home 7659 Blue Lake Drive, La Mesa.  I hope you will be able to attend to plan the next events and enjoy the evening with preschool parents.

“Too often we give children answers rather than problems to solve.”

Roger Lewin


December 2017 Newsletter


December 2017

I hope everyone enjoyed their warm Thanksgiving week.  The children will be preparing a Christmas present for their parents.  We want them to learn that one way to show their love for their family is by making something special for them.  We also don’t want their day filled with “have to” projects which won’t allow them the freedom to explore the things that are important to them.  It is a dance we all do in December.  The teachers are also talking about how this is a surprise for mommy and daddy.  Even with this reminder many children just can’t help themselves and end up telling you what they are making.  You can still be very surprised when you open it.

IMPORTANT   If you are leaving for Christmas break before the last school days, December 14 & 15 please notify your teachers so they can have everything ready for you to take home.

In your cubbie you should have found a lavender flier explaining our annual charity project.  This year we are collecting for the Homeless Camp in Golden Hill. Each class room will be bringing in different items.  Let your child go shopping with you.  Yes, it is hard for them to not keep the gift but this is a learning opportunity for them.  Each teacher will be reading the book,  Fill A Bucket to their classes and be creating opportunities to discuss giving back and the power of generosity.  When everything is collected the children will have an opportunity to stuff the gifts into a nylon backpack purchased by the Parent Group.  Again, they will be reminded that they are giving to someone in need.  Thank you so much for supporting the worthy project and helping the children learn how to care for others.

In the art studio the children had an opportunity to paint with plungers.  It was out for a couple days with different paint colors each day adding more layers. The boy on the left want to paint in the middle of the paper so he tried throwing it to get the plunger past his reach.  One child asked, “What are these” and another child answered “They’re the thing you use to clean the potty”.  The art studio teachers then told the children that these plungers have never been used in a potty, they are just for painting at preschool.

The children in room 5 enjoy the small obstacle course set up in their classroom.  They are learning to balance as they walk on uneven surfaces and gaining confidence to jump off.  In the beginning some children need to hold onto a teachers hand and gradually can jump off on their own.  This kind of activity also helps child develop confidence in their ability to try new things.  Each time they master a new skill their self-confidence also grows.  The children are also learning to wait their turn to start on the obstacle course to finally get to jump off.  They are motivated to stay in line because they really want a turn to jump.  So much development is occurring in this activity and the children are having fun.

It is now the month of December and everyone gets very busy trying to do all their regular stuff plus prepare for the holidays.  Adults can get overwhelmed “trying to do it all” and we’re not always patient with our children.  Adults (like me) want everything to be perfect for our precious children because we want them to know we love them.  I have learned (rather slowly) that children will be happy without all of the things that I think will make their day perfect.  So I lovingly invite you to find ways to not fill every second of your day.  Find time to just be with family without multi-tasking during that time.  I know it isn’t easy.  Research has shown that being in the moment is the most important thing for children.  They will remember those times more than they will remember how the house was decorated, how perfect the tree looked, or how many side dishes were prepared for the holiday meal.

Below is the December school calendar.

May you feel the peace, love, and hope that are at the heart of this very special season!

November 2017 Newsletter


November 2017

Pumpkins and bike 10-2017In the fall we add pumpkins and hay bales to the outdoor community classroom (AKA playground).  The children uses baskets, bikes, wagons, and hands to move them from place to place.  In the class rooms they have seen and felt the texture of different pumpkins, cut open different colored pumpkins and made guesses about the color of the inside of the them.  One class made guesses about whether a pumpkin will sink or float in a water; what is your guess?  Pumpkins float.

Picnic bubbles 2017Picnic parents 2017On October 14 we had our first annual All School Picnic sponsored by the parent group.  Allied Gardens Park was a beautiful setting and the weather was perfect!  Preschoolers, siblings, and grandparents created BIG bubbles, had their arms airbrushed with various characters, got to know one another, and ate light snacks.

Bubble Recipe

3.5 gallons water

40 oz. Dawn dish soap

8-10 oz. vegetable glycerin

12 oz. water based lubricant

For thickness you can add 2 tablespoons corn starch or baking powder for every gallon of mixture

Thank you Rebekah and David Rose for this recipe.

Open House 10-24-17 #4

October 20 & 24 was Open House at the preschool.  Children showed their parents and siblings their classrooms and engaged in activities. Parents had an opportunity to talk with the teachers and other parents. Play dough is fun and relaxing for young and old alike.

Open House 10-20-17 #1

November 9 Staff Professional Growth Day

November 10          Veterans Day

November 20-24    Thanksgiving break

See calendar below


October 2017 Newsletter


October 2017

The children are settling into preschool.  The new children are learning to trust their teachers, figuring out the routine of the day, exploring new materials, and making new friends. The returning children are comfortable exploring their new classrooms and making new friends.

In the Bee class the children were painting with magnets.  The paper was sitting on top of a box, children spooned some paint onto the paper, and placed a magnetic ball on magnet painting 9-20217the paint.  Using a magnetic wand the children moved the ball from inside the box resulting in a lovely painting. It was a challenge for the children to get the concept of moving the ball from underneath. This project helped develop eye-hand coordination, introduced the concept of magnets, and added a new dimension to creating art.

There are spots available in PlayBall.  PlayBall is a comprehensive sports and movement program geared towards young children. Classes are taught on Monday and Tuesday upstairs in the Faith Family Center. Heather Hansen is the owner and coach.  She has been teaching classes here for many years.  There are sign-up sheets in the preschool office. You can call Heather for more information at 925-997-1768.

FINALLY we got sinks for the art studio!  There is a low sink for the children to wash their hands and a deep sink for the teachers to wash all the art materials.

REMINDER: If your child is coming to Early Care, Lunch Bunch, or After Care you sign-in on the clipboard in the preschool office.  When you come pick up your child the clipboard will be on the playground. When taking your child to Early Care please go to one of the teachers, tell them your child is here, and you have signed them in.  A full signature is required whenever signing in/out. 

The outdoor community classroom (AKA playground) is set up just as purposefully as the indoor classrooms.  The teachers set up water play the first couple weeks of school because it is a very calming activity and helpful for those children who may be feeling a little anxious being away from their parents.  playground water 9-2017Water play also lets the children explore concepts like volume, gravity, and bouyancy.  Children need to first experience things before they can grasp the explanation, like why things float. Preschool is all about the exploration of the child’s world.


I have talked to the software company about the tuition statements being received by some families but not others.  I learned that now I can see in my outlook sent file if your statement was emailed.  So I can confirm it went from my computer to your server.  If it isn’t in your spam folder there may be something in your filtering setting that’s keeping the email from being received. I am emailed tuition statements today. I sent them in 2 batches this time to see if that makes any difference.  If you don’t receive it please let me know.

The College Park Preschool Parent Group meets once a month to plan activities for the school.  Please join the group, we can use your help in big and small ways.  The meeting dates for the year are: October 4 at 9:15am,  November 1 at 7:00pm,  December 6 at 9:15am,  January 4 at 7:00pm,  February 7 at 9:15am,  March 7 at 7:00pm,  April 4 at 9:15am, and May 9 at 7:00pm.

I post reminders for you on the main gate, please take time to read them.  I leave them up for a week or less and try to change the color of paper so you know it isn’t the same message you already read.

Open House at Preschool will be October 20 at 6:00pm for the M-W-F classes and October 24 at 6:00pm for the T-TH classes.  This is a time to explore the classroom with your child, meet other families and have a brief chat with your teachers.  The art studio and playground will not be open.

I will be out of town Thursday and Friday visiting family in Spokane Washington.  Susan Gonzales will be in the office in my absence.

If a teacher is indeed wise she does not bid you

to enter the house of her wisdom, but rather leads

you to the threshold of your own mind.

Kahlil Gribran


February 2016 Newsletter

With input from families and staff the preschool board approved a new Summer Fun format.  We will offer 2 three week sessions this year, June 21 – July 7 and July 11-28.  You may attend one or both sessions.  The fee for 1 session will be $270.00 and $515.00 for both sessions.   The hours will remain the same, 9:00am-1:00pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Registration begins April 11.

The preschool board also set start and ending dates for the 2016-17 school year.

  • September 8 & 9                Meet and Greet Teachers and Families
  • September 9                        Parent Orientation
  • September 12 & 13           First days of school
  • June 14 & 15                       Last days of school

The preschool board has hired Peggy Peloquin to be the art studio teacher on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  We are thrilled to have Peggy back on staff.


SuperheroesFriday night is our annual all school family dance.  Put on your super hero costume and join the fun! We still need help with setting up, serving food, and cleaning up.  Please contact Angie Mulder 619-890-8365 or Lara Carpenter 858-336-244 if you can help.  We need your help to make this a fun and successful evening.  Super heroes drawn by Alonso Nunez (Adrian’s dad) last year in the Wild Things class.

Parking has been a challenge at pick up on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  I am working with the church and we think we have got the problem fixed.  I will continue to monitor the situation.  There are a few of the old laminated parking passes that Deb issued when she was the director.  Please turn them in to me and I will issue you the current sticker.  I have had questions about parking in our lot for an event at SDSU.  Our preschool passes are only good during preschool hours.  There is a $5.00 pass you can purchase for parking in the evening.

SAVE THE DATE  The annual spring fundraiser sponsored by the Parent Group will be an adult only evening event this year.  Mark your calendars for May 13 and get a babysitter now.  Details will come later.


ValentinesThe love of a family is so uplifting,

The warmth of a family is so comforting,

The support of a family is so reassuring,

The attitude of a family towards each other molds

 one’s attitude forever towards the world.

By Susan Polis Schutz






January 2016 Newsletter

From the Director

January 2016

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends. I enjoyed having all 3 of my grandsons here along with their parents for the first week of break. Christmas with little ones is so special.  We had piñatas this year; one for the children and one for the adults.  It was fun for young and old alike.

charity #2Thank you for your generosity with our December charity project!  We filled 66 bags full of toys, books, art supplies, and everyday necessities like socks and toothbrushes.  The children learned to give to someone less fortunate than themselves.  In the Bee class the children gave the item a hug before putting it into the bag.

cooking #2 12-15Monthly classroom cooking is a fun way for children to learn math concepts like fractions and measurements.  Scientific concepts are seen when mixing ingredients together and observing the change after it has been cooked.  The children like eating a snack they have prepared and sometimes more willing to try something new. The Wild Things learned the concept of kneading the dough.

UCSD is conducting research to study how children learn language and process music.  In December you received information and a consent form.  If you want your child to participate in this study please return the signed consent form to the office by January 15.

Mark your calendars for the annual CPP Dance on February 5th.  The theme this year is Super Heroes.  For those of you new to CPP this is our annual family night. We dress up, adults and children, gather in the fellowship hall which has been decorated, eat, dance to the music provided by the DJ (one of our preschool dads), and have photos taken.  It is a fun night especially watching the children dance and play with their friends.  If you are interested in helping with the event please contact Angie Mulder our Parent Group president.

elevator 2015Rainy days are bothersome for adults but the children love it.  If you have the opportunity when you’re home let your children splash in the puddles and play in the rain.  It rained one day when my grandsons were here and they went out and had fun playing in puddles.  Then I brought them in for a warm bath.  At school the children like riding in the elevator to go upstairs to play in the Faith Family Center during their outside time.  The outdoor teachers set up activities for their gross motor skills and small motor skills.  It looks like we will be up there most of this week.

Are your younger children on the school wait list?  Registration for the 2016-17 school year will start at the end of February.  Younger siblings get priority registration.  If you haven’t put them on the wait list now is the time to do so. Come in the office to fill out the form and pay $10.00 (cash or check).  I use the wait list to get the names of the siblings so you get their registration packet at the same time as the returning students.

In The Parent’s Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents, William Martin suggests…

“Do not ask your children to strive for extraordinary lives.

Such striving may seem admirable, but it is the way of foolishness.

Help them instead to find the wonder and marvel of an ordinary life.

Show them the joy of tasting tomatoes, apples, and pears.

Show them how to cry when pets and people die.

Show them the infinite pleasure in the touch of a hand.

And make the ordinary come alive for them.

The extraordinary will take care of itself.”





February 2015 Outdoor Explorations

Outdoor Discoveries News from the Outdoor Classroom College Park Preschool

The Outdoor Classroom has been a busy place, especially in the Nature Space! Over the holidays, a mud kitchen was added and the climbing/exploration area got a bit of a makeover. The students have been amazing their teachers, Mrs. Kathie and me with their creations and engineering in the nature space! What might look like simple playing is anything but! It is true that they are playing: choosing what to do and enjoying it. They are also observing, interacting, absorbing, exploring, and most importantly: learning!IMG_3295

Both gross and fine motor skills are represented in the children’s work in the nature space. The climbing area and exploration trails (which we affectionately call “Narnia”) provide the children with ropes, hills, stumps and trees with which they can use their bodies to navigate in a big way.

Down at the mud kitchen, there is much picking plants, mixing, measuring and use of kitchen utensils like whisks and mixers. This requires some forethought and problem solving on their part. I watched in amazement while a group of boys retrieved water from the hose last week. There is a “dog lick” on the hose to allow the water to pour slowly rather than spray all over. This group of children waited patiently as each friend got their water. They took turns without us reminding them to do so! This focused work has been a joy to watch as it unfolds.IMG_3307

Please make sure to stop by the hallway to the Wild Things classroom where our school lending library resides. There is a documentation board with many pictures of the goings on in the mud kitchen that you won’t want to miss.

As always, thank you for sharing your children with us at College Park. They are the highlight of my day!

~Mrs. Greaves

Director’s February Newletter

Many of you have not had the opportunity to hangout in our beautiful art studio so I thought I would take you “behind the scenes” with me. The Parent Group did the fundraising to pay for the studio to be created. I am forever grateful because the art studio is my favorite place on campus. The children learn that this a calm place for their creative spirits where they are free to move to different centers. Each day the teachers, Miss Cynthia and Mrs. Alicia set out different materials for the children to explore. Many of the things are set up for a week or two so the children have plenty of time to use the materials in different ways. Today when I was observing the children I watched a little boy connecting the colored markers end to end. He created 2 “sticks” of different lengthens and then put them next to each other and compared the lengths. ArtStudio1 ArtStudio2This is not what the markers were designed for however this child was being creative and using math skills to compare them. Markers get used in this manner all the time and I celebrate it when I see it because I know they are working “outside the box” with the materials and developing their eye hand coordination.

Another table had “repurposed” materials to tape or glue together. Building/creating with three dimensional objects is another level of development for children. Now they have to incorporation balance, gravity, and surface availability (where to put the glue or tape). This is a group creation that is being added to by many children.

  • February 24 & 25 will be school picture day. Many of you will want your child to look “perfect”. From my experience as a parent and teacher I have learned that the bump on the head that shows in the picture will illicit more memories than the “perfect pose”. I am not advocating for hurting children but rather put your mind at ease that however the picture turns out it will capture a moment in time that is worth remembering.
  • Are your younger children on the school wait list? Registration for the 2015-16 school year will start March 1st. Younger siblings get priority registration. If you haven’t put them on the wait list now is the time to do so. Come in the office to fill out the form and pay $10.00 (cash or check). I use the wait list to get the names of the siblings so you get their registration packet at the same time.
  • A word about registration for the 2015-16 school year. Children that are returning will get a registration packet in their cubbies on March 1st. There are only a few forms to fill out along with the nonrefundable $75.00 fee for returning children. Packets need to be returned by March 15th to keep your priority. After that I start calling families on the wait list. Many families like to request a teacher especially if an older sibling had that teacher. I like to honor requests whenever possible. If you have a request please write it on the registration card. Having said this I want you to know that if for some reason you don’t get your request all of our teaching teams are amazing and I am confident you will come to love the new teachers.
  • The Dance, Family Pajama and Pancake night is February 6th at 5:30 pm sponsored by the CPP Parent Group. Come in you PJs, children and adults for an enjoyable evening.
  • Attached is the February calendar and the art studio newsletter (sorry for the delay in sending it to you).

“As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has –or ever will have – something inside that is unique to all time. It’s our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression.” Fred Rogers

January 2015 Newsletter

From the director:  January 2015

Happy New Year!

The Preschool Parent Group rented a snow machine for use on the playground with the children. Since it was raining the first day of “snow” we took the machine upstairs and used it outside Faith Family Center under the overhang. Some of the snow was blown downstairs and I was able to enjoy the snowy view. image002 image004 image006The next day it went down on the playground were some children were “dashing through the snow” on tricycles while others swept, raked, and danced.

PJ Day at preschool will be January 13 & 14. The children love to come to school in their PJs. If your child chooses not to wear their PJs just bring them to school in a bag (the PJs not your child J). Sometimes they change their mind after seeing their friends.

Some of you have asked me about where you can donate gently used toys. This is a good time of year to help your child share toys with children who don’t have any toys as you make room for the new toys they receive for Christmas. Not an easy lesson but a good one when your child is ready. This church takes toys to Presbyterian Urban Ministries. If you have any donations you can bring them to the office and I will get them to the church member that takes care of donations for that ministry.

The first phase of the mud kitchen is in the Nature Space. Mrs. Greaves is taking each class down and introducing them to the environment. Thank you to the following people who were able to work on the spur-of-the-moment this past weekend to get our kitchen started: Andrew, Betsy, and Jackson Greaves, Gary, Jeanine, Kevin, and Justine Gutowski, Sondra and Henryk Pederson, and Aaron Barlett. A special thank you to Gary Gutowski for donating all the wooden pallets. There is more work to be done and parents will be notified when there is a work party. I know many of you want to see the space. Mrs. Greaves and I will set up some times for parents to visit the mud kitchen with Mrs. Greaves.

Brand new mud kitchen ready for dirt!

Brand new mud kitchen ready for dirt!

IMG_2870 IMG_2869 cropped-IMG_2297.jpg