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Winter 2016 2016 Tuition Assistance Auction A party with a purpose. A way to make
Winter 2016 2016 Tuition Assistance Auction A party with a purpose. A way to make

Winter 2016

2016 Tuition Assistance Auction A party with a purpose. A way to make a difference.
2016 Tuition Assistance Auction
A party with a purpose.
A way to make a difference.
Dr. Valaida Wise, NCRC Head of School
ake a second to recall some of your own earliest memories, maybe
when you were four or five years old. What are the special mo-
ments? The moments that even today, decades later, you can still re-
Your generosity and participation allows
NCRC to continue to make a meaningful
impact in the community.
member? Memories are interesting things. We create them constantly.
The preschool years are special for children in a variety of ways but they
are also a special time for parents as well. It’s a time to create the kinds
of memories that will last a lifetime. During this time in a child’s life, they
are eager to share everything with you. They want you involved in their
lives, they are eager to have you come to their classroom. And for them,
whatever you do is amazing, even if your singing is a bit off key. Your
child looks forward to walking to school with you, holding hands that will
soon be separated, receiving goodbye kisses – fleeting moments, soon to
be eschewed in favor of being seen as big boys and girls.
The Auction on Saturday, February 20th at the U.S. Chamber of
Commerce raises hundreds of thousands of dollars to help stu-
dents who would otherwise not be able to attend our amazing
school. This year’s theme is a celebration of the wonderful founda-
tion our children receive at NCRC and recognition that given the
opportunity, all children can blossom.
The relationships you’ll form with other NCRC community members, in-
cluding families, teachers and staff, are also unique and can last a life-
During the live auction we will ask folks to raise a paddle to Fund A
Scholar, the evening’s main fundraiser where attendees are
asked to make a donation directly to Tuition Assistance Fund. Year
after year, the participation is overwhelming and is a direct reflec-
tion of our community’s strong support for our mission and values.
time. Your child is at the center of your universe and for many of you,
these early - challenging and amazing - years are uncharted territory.
Together, with others in our preschool community, you reveal tips and
tales of this stage of life. It’s a shared experience, not ever to be replicat-
ed. Sure, there will be other friendships that grow out of your children’s
relationships, but you’ll probably never again gather on the steps of their
school, watching your children interact with others in the community,
growing in so many ways every day.
Parents rarely let go of their children,
so children let go of them.
They move on. They move away.
The moment that used to define them are covered
by moments of their own accomplishments.
So many NCRC alumni and their parents have commented that their most
treasured friendships began at NCRC. In fact, I know of a group of grand-
parents who met at NCRC when their own children attended and they
continue to vacation together every year to this day. And parents con-
stantly tell me that while they love their children’s new schools, they
can’t seem to capture the feeling of community and camaraderie of
NCRC.
It isn’t until much later, that children understand;
their stories and all their accomplishments,
sit atop the stories
of their mothers and fathers,
stones upon stones,
beneath the water of their lives.
Paulo Coelho
The memories you create today at NCRC will be relived for many, many
years to come. The preschool years are such an important bridge be-
tween a child’s reliance on his or her caretakers and their necessary next
steps toward independence.
So, do not squander this time because it won’t last forever. Enjoy it.
Immerse yourself in it. Breathe it in. Make memories.
Family Work Day Pumpkin Party Winter Celebration By Dayna Grayson When my son was a
Family Work Day
Family Work Day
Family Work Day Pumpkin Party Winter Celebration By Dayna Grayson When my son was a Bunny,
Family Work Day Pumpkin Party Winter Celebration By Dayna Grayson When my son was a Bunny,
Family Work Day Pumpkin Party Winter Celebration By Dayna Grayson When my son was a Bunny,
Family Work Day Pumpkin Party Winter Celebration By Dayna Grayson When my son was a Bunny,
Family Work Day Pumpkin Party Winter Celebration By Dayna Grayson When my son was a Bunny,
Family Work Day Pumpkin Party Winter Celebration By Dayna Grayson When my son was a Bunny,
Family Work Day Pumpkin Party Winter Celebration By Dayna Grayson When my son was a Bunny,

Pumpkin Party

Family Work Day Pumpkin Party Winter Celebration By Dayna Grayson When my son was a Bunny,

Winter Celebration

By Dayna Grayson

Work Day Pumpkin Party Winter Celebration By Dayna Grayson When my son was a Bunny, he
Work Day Pumpkin Party Winter Celebration By Dayna Grayson When my son was a Bunny, he

When my son was a Bunny, he thought the Pumpkin Party would be a party for pumpkins. Well, by all accounts, the pumpkins at the Pump- kin Party this past October had a great time. They left NCRC bedecked in all sorts of colorful and glittery finery, while the human guests claimed for themselves the pony rides and hay maze and bounce house. The joyous perspective that our young children bring to the Pumpkin Party, in combination with the participation of so many families is what makes the Pumpkin Party feel a little magical.

Our volunteers did a wonderful job coordinating, working with the chil- dren in class to create party decora- tions, and, of course, helping during the event. A big thanks goes to Su- zanne Badoux, Carleese Dixon, and Troy Richardson, who manage the infrastructure—the equipment, the logistics, the supplies, the decora- tions. My fellow organizers—Kimberly Lohuis and Sue McNeill—and I are grateful to all those who pitched in. We are so glad all of you came to party with the pumpkins!

By Susan Laws

all of you came to party with the pumpkins! By Susan Laws The Winter Celebration this

The Winter Celebration this year had two key highlights. First, it was a wintery WARM celebration on a balmy day in early December. Secondly, Mr. Lilo was the main attraction, leading us in songs from his soon to be released CD and a variety of fun holiday favorites. For the Winter Wonderland theme, each class decorated an animal that brightened the walls of the Motor Room during the sing along. In between sessions, children and parents filled up on coffee, cider and donut holes, as we all kept the cold weather away for another month!

By Jen Dryer Oh The Places We’ll Go Child Development Through the Seasons February 26th
By Jen Dryer Oh The Places We’ll Go Child Development Through the Seasons February 26th
By Jen Dryer Oh The Places We’ll Go Child Development Through the Seasons February 26th

By Jen Dryer

Oh The Places We’ll Go Child Development Through the Seasons February 26th March 11th April
Oh The Places We’ll Go
Child Development Through the Seasons
February 26th
March 11th
April 8th
May 13th
As busy parents you can’t al-
ways come to us, so NCRC
comes to you through our
downtown brown bag lunch
program. Once a month, School
Counselor, Judith Wides, and
Dr. Val Wise speak to parents
and their colleagues on a wide
variety of topics—from talking
to children about the difficult
questions they ask to executive
function in the preschool child.
1725 Eye Street, NW
Suite 300
Fathers, Grandfathers,
& Fatherly Figures
Breakfast Series
March 4th
April 29th
May 14-15:
Dads Team Camping Trip
Started in 2013, this monthly
breakfast series invites adults
and children to come togeth-
er and explore “daddying”
and the role of father figures
in our children’s lives.

PARENT ASSOCIATION There’s still time to get involved!

It was probably three days into my older son’s first year at NCRC as an AM Rainbow that I distinctly remember a quiet moment after drop off. I climbed into my car and sat silently as tears of relief rolled down my cheeks. This was Zack’s third school in as many years, and I was truly awed by NCRC. The staff’s deep comprehension of child development, thoughtful interventions and child-led curriculum was far beyond any preschool I had seen. The gratitude I felt, and continue to feel, for having found this amazing little school tucked into this charming Cleve- land Park neighborhood is hard to describe. Having already been recruited as a room parent, I felt warmly wel- comed into the community, and I often joke that I not only sipped, but gulped the NCRC “Kool-Aid.”

Fast forward two years later, Zack is a happy and well-adjusted kindergartener at our local public school, and I am drinking ever more heartily the NCRC Kool-Aid. I have no doubt that during Zack’s past two years as a Rainbow and an Explorer, I learned as much as he did from NCRC, from tips to help him pump his legs on a swing more effectively to effective strategies to help him self-regulate when feelings became intense. I can confidently say that being a part of the NCRC community has made me a much happier, more supportive and better parent.

When the NCRC staff counseled me into enrolling my younger son, Max, in the Early Beginnings (EB) program this year, I had mixed feelings. I felt profoundly sad that his developmental and learning differences were so signifi- cant that he could not be with his age-level peers. With the benefit of hindsight, I now see that NCRC was right. Judith, NCRC’s guidance counselor, explained all that we (me included) would be getting from this program. I’m not sure that most NCRC parents realize the depth of EB and how it serves children with developmental and learning challenges so uniquely and comprehensively.

EB includes weekly supplemental group support sessions every Thursday for the four Early Beginnings students and 45 minute sessions with Becky Marquez, NCRC’s Speech and Language Therapist, and with Marian Brice, NCRC’s Occupational Therapist. Parents get to sit in for a 30-minute session in the Bunny room and then the par- ents meet together with Judith to talk, share, and learn in order to better address the issues with which our chil- dren grapple. But wait, there’s more! Roughly one Tuesday a month, the Bunny teachers actually come to our house to support the work Max is doing in class and help me see how I can best support this work at home. I haven’t heard of any other preschool that offers this level of support. Learning to heed the suggestions of NCRC’s expert staff, I again had that moment about a month into school this year, when I sat in my car quietly and cried tears of gratitude that Max has had the opportunity to be part of this program. His growth since September has been truly remarkable.

It bears noting how unique NCRC is – as a parent advocate for those with children with developmental issues ages 0-3, I’ve spoken to many parents and they are consistently astounded by the level of support that NCRC offers children. That NCRC creates regular opportunities to address the struggles, stresses and weight we bear as parents is just one of the myriad ways NCRC supports and develops the whole family and community. Between the Grandparent Scholar series, drop-off discussions in the playhouse, Downtown Brown Bag lunches for parents, and all the many opportunities for parents to get to know one another, NCRC is in a class by itself in the ways it educates, develops and nurtures the whole family community. Enjoy the Kool-Aid—this one is actually good for you and the whole family!

Grandparent

Gingerbread

House

Workshop

and the whole family! Grandparent Gingerbread House Workshop Volunteering Is a great way to connect with
and the whole family! Grandparent Gingerbread House Workshop Volunteering Is a great way to connect with
and the whole family! Grandparent Gingerbread House Workshop Volunteering Is a great way to connect with

Volunteering Is a great way to connect with parents and teachers. There are several fun NCRC events still to come this year and we would love to have your help! Please contact:

Laura Desai: lauradesai@gmail.com Debbie Foster: bernstein.deborah@gmail.com

would love to have your help! Please contact: Laura Desai: lauradesai@gmail.com Debbie Foster: bernstein.deborah@gmail.com
A spiral is a snuggling shape… coiled tight, warm and safe, it waits for a

A

spiral is a snuggling shape… coiled tight, warm and safe, it waits for a chance to expand.

A

spiral is a growing shape… it unwraps itself one soft curl at a time.

It

is a strong shape… A spiral reaches out… exploring the world.

It is graceful and strong… it is bold… and beautiful… forever expanding

strong… it is bold… and beautiful… forever expanding J o y c e S i d

Joyce Sidman, Swirl by Swirl

i d m a n , S w i r l b y S w i
i d m a n , S w i r l b y S w i

This fall the Explorer class’s interest in snails involved getting “up close” to group of snails they hosted in the class- room. They spent time learning about the different parts of a snail with one particular detail sparking a whole new dimension in their learning — a spiral. They first observed this shape on the snail’s shell and explored sorting shells during their weekly Loose Parts investigation into groups with and without spirals.

This detail from the snail study suddenly began to appear all around, especially as the Explorers read Tomi

Ungerer’s captivating book, Snail, Where Are You? A child watching a millipede noted to a teacher, “He is making a spiral!” as the insect coiled up along the side of a bug catcher. Another child discovered a spiral in a chrysanthemum growing on the playground. A spiral was spotted in the design of a metal plant- er in the classroom. One by one, the spirals appeared and it was a joy to see this wonder inspire a love of learning in the children. In response to the Spiral Detective assignment—find as many spirals as you can at home—many parents wrote expressing not only how much their child enjoyed this activity, but also the joy many parents took in sharing this experience of school-to-home learning. It made for a week of rich conversations and delightful discoveries at school and at home!

Connections, partnerships, and knowing what others need—this is the NCRC experience. From the Bunnies learning to recognize emotions to the Explorers discovering the secret lives of living things, we are pondering how we are all connected.

Our students depend on their teachers and their parents for learning facts and developing social language to communicate their wants and needs, to ex- press their thoughts and ideas, and to relate knowledge they have all learned. Navigating social and emotional needs is complex, but with everyone’s input and support, our classes are successful.

Author Joyce Sidman’s eloquent text about spirals in nature could easily describe the journey of NCRC students. This is a time to celebrate and nurture each child’s “unfolding” of social-emotional development, independence, motor skills, and cognitive skills. We envision the school year as a spiral that

offers a warm safe place with opportunities to connect with one another, nurture relationships, expand self-esteem, nurture creative thinking, and build a

love of learning that will last forever.

By the Explorer Team

Lisa, Julie, Patrick, and Kateof learning that will last forever. By the Explorer Team By Michael Korns This year the

forever. By the Explorer Team Lisa, Julie, Patrick, and Kate By Michael Korns This year the
By Michael Korns This year the NCRC Advancement Team and the Annual Fund Committee set
By Michael Korns
This year the NCRC Advancement Team and the Annual Fund Committee set a new goal of
100% Parent Participation in 100 Days, ending on December 31, 2015. Previously, the Annual
Fund was solicited throughout the entire academic year; however, the decision was made this
year to wrap up the Annual Fund early to give the school more clarity on its finances for the
upcoming year and allow us to spend the rest of the year thanking you for your gift, and
demonstrating how we’re putting it to work.
We are very happy to report that we reached 94% parent participation. We are all very proud
of the wonderful NCRC community, and appreciate your support in raising these much needed
funds.
As you may know, the $300,000 Annual Fund is included in the annual NCRC operating budget,
and is the single most important source of revenue aside from tuition (which accounts for
about 80% of NCRC’s costs). These funds help support the SOS Team and music, library and
motor programs; provide competitive salaries and professional development for our wonder-
ful faculty and staff; purchase much needed classroom supplies; and maintain the school’s
buildings and playground equipment.
With everyone’s support, there is still time to reach 100%
parent participation by the end of the school year.
As third year parents at NCRC, Katherine and I are continually grateful that we found such a
wonderful environment for our boys, and for our family as a whole. The greatest testament to
what a magical place NCRC is for young children is watching our boys bound up the stairs each
morning, eager to see their teachers and friends, smiling from ear to ear.
to see their teachers and friends, smiling from ear to ear. THE PRESCHOOLER TEAM Grace Chen,

THE PRESCHOOLER TEAM

Grace Chen, Robert Davis, & Jen Dryer

We welcome all contributions and suggestions, big or small. Thank you!