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Early Childhood Center News

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October Happenings at the Early Childhood Center

November 27, 2011
Posted by Stephanie Ciccone


October was a very busy month at ECC! Lots of fun things happened. We started participating in the “Book It” program.  The "Book It!" program encourages reading in our schools. The students  who read for 20 minutes per day are rewarded with Pizza Hut coupons good for a free one-topping Personal Pan Pizza. “Book It” runs from October until March.


On October 14, we had a book fair. Each student was able to pick 6 books to take home to help build their libraries. Some kids decided they wanted to pick books for their siblings and other family members rather than all 6 books for themselves. The kids were very excited about their selections of books. Thanks to our Speech/Language Therapists for helping organize this book fair.

We participated in the National Mix it Up at Lunch Day on October 18.  Mix it Up at Lunch Day is a national campaign launched by Teaching Tolerance. It was created  a decade ago, Mix It Up at Lunch Day encourages students to identify, question and cross social boundaries and helps K-12 teachers develop inclusive school communities. All the kids ate lunch together in our gym at the same time, and were able to sit with whomever they wanted. The kids enjoyed baked ziti, salad, rolls, fresh fruit and chocolate milk.  The kids loved it!

On October 28, our program particapted in a Make A Difference day. In preparation for this day, the program collected newspapers and soda cans. The cans were returned and the money was used to buy cat litter.  We raised $20.00! On this day, some classrooms took the newspapers and cat litter and donated it to Scottsville Veterinary Hospital. Other classrooms went to Bailey Road Fire Department. While there, they got a great lesson in Fire Prevention, and ate lunch inside the fire station. The kids helped the firefighters by washing 2 fire trucks to help make them squeaky clean. Finally, another group of students made pictures which were framed and hung up in our Cutler building. The students also made activity packets to distribute to the children who attend our Outpatient Program. Then they had a cookie and punch reception with some of the outpatient children and staff. When the day was finished all the students in ECC received a Certificate of Participation. A great time was had by both staff and students!

On October 31, the students were able to participate in Trick-or-Treating within our program and the Cutler Building. The students received some nice treats and were able to show off their costumes. Some of our featured costumes were: Football players, cheerleaders, ninjas, rock stars, street signs, Facebook, smurfs, and superkids.

The month of October drew then end of a term of our student council. To celebrate a successful 6 months, the student council members went on a field trip to Lollipop Farm. While they were at the farm they gave the dogs some yummy dog treats.

At our monthly success assembly the new student council members were announced. These students will be part of the student council until a new term begins in April. Congratulations to all the nominees.  

We had our monthly Success Assembly. This month’s theme was Caring about Learning. One student from each class was nominated as their student who was able to be the most successful in achieving this. The Physical Education awards were again distributed along with our 25 Book Challenge accomplishments. We had another 125 book winner this month!

To finish the month off, teachers began benchmarking students’ achievement in ELA. These benchmarks are done at the completion of every unit, and the scores are used to see how much academic achievement each student has made. We have some really great readers who are making great success. Keep up the great work!

Well, we have been really busy this month. Look for more great things in November!

Question of the month: How do we help kids adjust to the time change? Please tell us your thoughts and suggestions.


September Happenings

October 10, 2011
Posted by Stephanie Ciccone

The Early Childhood Center has started another great school year. September was filled with Welcome Back and Getting to Know You activities. As we began the new school year, all classrooms constructed whole group lessons to help decide the “Classroom Rules”. These rules were established by the students and reinforced by staff. These rules are then posted in each classroom so the students can be reminded of them.


Our school uses PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports); our focus is on the three “C’s”. These C’s involve: 1. Caring about Learning, 2. Caring about Yourself and Others, and 3. Caring about the Environment. Each week during this month, the classroom staff worked with the students on how to successfully achieve these C’s. Lessons were taught to the students to encourage success. Teachers used role playing skills, and visuals to help the students understand. At the end of each month we had a Success Assembly to acknowledge the students who have shown success with the theme of the month.


Our Success Assembly this month focused on the theme, “Caring about Learning”. Each classroom nominated 1 student from their class who has shown the most success in achieving this theme. Also at the assembly, 1 student from each class is nominated by the Physical Education Teacher as the student who has shown the greatest achievement in Physical Education class for the month. The principal also gave out awards to the students who have met the “25 Book Challenge”. This challenge is for all students who read 25 books, and hand in their signed forms to the principal. For each time a student hands in another 25 book sheet their total number of books read increases. We had a 125 book winner this month! At the conclusion of the assembly, all students that have been able to stay in their classrooms and complete work for most of their day, are acknowledged as being on the “green wall”. The green wall is located in our hallway, and those students who have been announced will have their picture displayed on the wall for the entire month!


We had a “Mix It Up” day this month. This day happens once per month for 30 minutes. Students get to pick 2 activities of their choice to participate in; they are then assigned to one of their choices. Activities this month included: kickball, hamburger cookies, painting and much more. This monthly activity allows the students to interact more with peers outside of their classroom. 


That’s our exciting start of the school year. Check back soon for some of our updates for October.


If you are interested in volunteering in our program, contact Melissa O’Neill at moneill@hillside.com for more details.


Question of the month: Do you have any strategies to help promote success for our students? We are always trying different things to help our students, if you have a great idea that has worked for you please let us know.