Governor's Year In Review featuring The New E3 School

Many of you were with us when we launched WE3: Women Elevating Early Education last spring. The First Lady of Virginia, Pamela Northam was with us at The New E3 School to kick off the initiative. 

Governor Northam's Year in Review will be given out this evening after the State of the Commonwealth. An image of the First Lady of Virginia visiting with our children on the nature playground will be featured. Many of you may not know this, she worked side-by-side with our architect, builder and me to create a place that would stimulate a child’s imagination and creativity more than a traditional playground. WE created an open-ended outdoor play area for children to make discoveries, explore and interact with their environment. This approach connects children back to nature and stimulates creativity and imagination. I like to refer to it as our “old school” playground. It reminds me of how I grew up exploring, running, climbing and using my imagination outside.

WE wanted you to be the first to know that our school is featured. WE are excited that the First Lady of Virginia has made expanding access to high quality early education a priority. Our cause could not have a better spokesperson or leader. If you haven’t toured The New E3 School, email me at lhoward@e3va.org and let’s set up a visit. 

With gratitude,

Lisa

Lisa Howard  
President & CEO
E3: Elevate Early Education & The New E3 School

Posted on January 9, 2019 .

Gingerbread House-Building & Decorating Event: Thank You!

Our Gingerbread House - Building & Decorating event was a hit with the neighborhood & New E3 School children and families.

It was fun to see the excitement that filled our school on Saturday. The adults and children equally enjoyed the holiday activity stations & decorating the gingerbread school modeled after The New E3 School.

Thank you to those of you who gave your time on Saturday as volunteers. And a special thank you to all of our sponsors. The fun-filled day would not have been possible without YOU!

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 Merry Christmas & Holiday Cheer to All! We look forward to seeing you in 2019.

 With gratitude,

Lisa Howard

President & CEO

E3: Elevate Early Education & The New E3 School

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Posted on December 20, 2018 .

Holiday Traditions

We have many family traditions, but a few of my boy’s favorites are seeing what the elf left in the Advent calendar (not so much anymore), building a Lego Christmas village, building & decorating gingerbread houses and making (and mostly eating) homemade cinnamon rolls on Christmas Day. Every year since my two boys were young the activity that seemed to grow in popularity was building and decorating gingerbread houses. Over the years, we invited friends, family and neighbors to join us in the festivities. As the boys grew older, we started having a competition to see who could make the best one.

This year I asked my youngest son, Liam what he thought we should do for our annual event. He replied, “ I want to build the biggest gingerbread house ever!”  I think those holiday reality baking shows are influencing him. A few minutes later he was texting a dear friend and almost-like –a –grandmother his idea. It wasn’t long before it became a BIG idea and a BIG event. And, that is how the gingerbread house-building idea was born.

Then we all starting talking and thinking about how we could make this an event for our children and families at The New E3 School, the neighborhood of Park Place and ALL children in the community. As the plans evolved, we realized that we were going to need an architect and builder. T + M Architects and Hourigan Construction stepped up to help us make this plan come to life.

My two boys, Zack and Liam, Caroline McCartney, John Tymoff with Tymoff Moss Architects and I had an official meeting to brainstorm ideas and determine next steps. That is when it was decided that we should design and build a gingerbread house modeled after our school. The children and families of The New E3 School became involved in the planning too. We made a list of all the supplies we would need from plywood to graham crackers and candy. Then we came up with a plan on how to raise the money to make sure that ALL children and families could participate.

Now, we are asking YOU to help us create a New E3 School family tradition. Will you?

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We hope to see you @ The New E3 School on December 15th!!

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to all!

Lisa Howard  President & CEO, E3: Elevate Early Education & The New E3 School

Lisa Howard

President & CEO, E3: Elevate Early Education & The New E3 School

Scholarship & Financial Assistance Application Deadline

We believe that every child, regardless of their zip code, deserves a high quality early education. That’s why we want to make sure all children have the opportunity to attend The New E3 School.  

For those who qualify, scholarships and financial aid are awarded throughout the year thanks to the generosity of our donors.  Our Scholarship Committee awards scholarships through a needs-based process.  All families seeking scholarships from The New E3 School must complete a scholarship application, provide financial statements and supporting tax documents.  

The deadline to apply for the next round of scholarships and financial assistance is December 15, 2018. Please email dmaloney@e3va.org for more information and to apply.

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Giving Tuesday: Support TNE3S's Scholarship Fund!

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#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.

Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.

This #GivingTuesday, you can support children in our community by investing in The New E3 School’s Scholarship Fund.

This year, we were able to award children from low-income families scholarships to attend The New E3 School. We have watched these children reach developmental milestones, grow and develop key readiness skills in language, literacy, math, science and social skills.

Every year, we turn away many children and families who desperately need access to high quality early education. Your gift to The New E3 School’s Scholarship Fund will go towards providing a scholarship to a child from a low-income family in our community. Please join us this #GivingTuesday with a gift to The New E3 School.

Posted on November 27, 2018 .

Join Us for a Lunch, Learn & Tour of our State-of-the-Art School!

Are you a parent or grandparent with a young child age one to five?

Join us for a lunch, learn & mini-tour of our state-of-the-art school.

Find out what sets our school apart from the rest and what makes it a special place for children to learn, grow and thrive.


Thursday, November 29th, 11am - 12 Noon
The New E3 School is located at 2901 Granby Street
(next door to the Y on Granby)
.

RSVP TODAY!

 

Why The New E3 School?

Our innovative model is focused on the most important elements of high quality that lead to kindergarten readiness. At The New E3 School, our children develop the skills to become active, engaged, creative and successful learners. They will become critical and creative thinkers, problem solvers, communicators, and collaborators who love to learn, explore and work together.

The model includes:

·         STREAMin3 Curriculum developed by UVA's Center of Advanced Study of Teaching & Learning (CASTL)

·         Professional Development & Coaching to Ensure High Quality Teaching and Learning in the Classroom

·         Fresh & Healthy Snacks & Lunches

·         Nature Playground & Outdoor Classroom

·         Yoga & CrossFit for Kids

·         Year-Round Program

·         Assessments of Children's Development & Kindergarten Readiness

·         Mixed-Income Model School for ALL Children ages 1 to 5

 

Learn More About What Makes Us Unique!

We believe every child deserves a high quality early education. That is why we want to make sure all children have the opportunity to attend. For those who qualify, financial assistance and scholarships are awarded.

LEARN WHAT MAKES US DIFFERENT

Posted on November 19, 2018 .

Volunteering & Giving Back

At The New E3 School, we believe in giving back and know how important it is to support our community. We’ve held supply and book drives, we’ve participated in fundraising walks and had our own Giving Tree around the holidays. It’s never too early to teach children the importance of volunteering and giving back!

Age-appropriate volunteering is the perfect way for children to explore their talents and feel that they are a part of something larger than themselves. Getting younger children involved in the community through volunteering is a powerful way to teach them morals and empathy toward others.

The benefits of volunteering also apply to children who volunteer with their parents. Taking part in family volunteering opportunities is a great way for parents to spend time with their children doing something positive for their community.

Volunteer Hampton Roads Family Volunteer Day is later this month. We’ve identified volunteer activities for our youngest volunteers below.

Saturday, November 17, 2018, at Virginia Wesleyan University from 9 a.m. – noon

Registration is open to the public, visit Volunteer Hampton Roads’ Family VOLUNTEER Day page to sign up.

Family VOLUNTEER Day Events

Through this day of service, more than 500 volunteers will complete projects that will benefit nonprofits in Hampton Roads.

CHIP Rock Painting

Help CHIP "rock" by volunteering to paint rocks at this station.  CHIP will ask volunteers to hide the painted rocks throughout Hampton Roads to raise awareness on the importance of the first 2,000 days of a child's life.  We have a goal to paint 2,000 rocks by December 31.  Appropriate for children ages 5 and up. This project will take place at Virginia Wesleyan University from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Off-site Family VOLUNTEER Day Projects: Little Hands, Big Difference Day

50 volunteer spots are available for our littlest volunteers (age 10 and under) to participate in various service projects with the Junior League of Norfolk-Virginia Beach. Little Hands, Big Difference offers fun, hands-on volunteer activities for young children to include sorting food donations, writing thank you cards, making no-sew fleece blankets and more.  This event will take place from 10am-2pm at the Blocker YMCA Gym and is appropriate for children ages 2-10 years old.

Learning About Weather!

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Last week we learned all about the weather. We created weather scenes, read and sang songs about weather and even explored different types of clothing to wear in the weather.

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STREAM Skills: SCIENCE & READING

CORE Skills: THINK & COMMUNICATE

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Activities to try at home:

  • Dance in the rain

  • Observe the weather- is it sunny? cloudy? rainy?

  • Try on different types of clothing- rain jacket & rain boots, winter coat & gloves

Posted on October 15, 2018 .

Our One-Year-Olds Are Learning TOO! Along with Our Twos, Threes and Fours

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All too often when I am giving a tour of the school, I am asked, “What kind of learning is truly happening in a one-year-old classroom?” The simple answer is A LOT! The research is clear that learning begins at birth. Babies learn early learning skills through everyday activities with adults. Brains are built over time and responsive interactions between babies and their parents, family members, caregivers and teachers are a critical ingredient to building a child’s brain. These positive interactions shape and build the brain. Early experiences matter and impact learning, behavior and health later in life.

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While visiting the one-year-old classroom at various times while they were “studying” birds, I was amazed by the activities, interactions between teachers and children and the interest of the children. Teachers and children were:

·         Building bird feeders with different materials

·         Listening to a story, “The Best Nest”

·         Reading a rhyming book about a hungry cat on the prowl for wild birds

·         Looking at images and real birds as an inspiration to create art

·         Using paint brushes and choosing colors to paint with

 And check out the final product from the two-year-old classroom…

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Now that is learning! Our children were artists, scientists, mathematicians and engineers exploring and working together during the STREAM activities as they were learning about birds and the world around them through play.

Lisa Howard, President & CEO

Lisa Howard, President & CEO

Posted on October 1, 2018 .

Music & Math Activities to try at Home

Music is one of the first ways children experience math. Without thinking, our bodies react to music. When we hear music, we rock our babies, clap along, and even look toward the source of the sound. These responses are reactions to musical elements such as steady beat, rhythm, and melody, all of which reflect mathematical concepts. Even the youngest of children can respond to music and the mathematical principles behind it. Here are three musical elements that relate to math and some suggested activity ideas from the National Association for the Education of Young Children to try at home.

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Steady Beat

What it is: Steady beat is what you respond to when you hear music and start tapping your toe. The steady beat is repetitive and evenly spaced. Listen to “Old MacDonald,” “Bingo,” or “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” and you will hear the steady beat.

How it relates to mathematics: Emphasizing the steady beat by clapping or moving to the music supports children’s development of one-to-one correspondence. One-to-one correspondence is matching up one thing with something else, such as one clap for each syllable. Clapping to the steady beat also is a way to emphasize the math concept of “more.” Through music, toddlers can show they understand what “more” means even when they do not yet understand numbers. For example, if you clap once and then ask, “Can you clap more than I clapped?” a toddler will most likely clap more than once.

Activities to try: While singing a song, emphasize the words that fall on the beat by stomping or clapping on each beat. You can even have children stomp or clap harder on the downbeat (the most accented note in each measure). There is no wrong way to do this, so feel free to experiment.

To work on one-to-one correspondence, try having your child repeat a basic clapping sequence. Ask, “Can you clap as many times as I do?” As your child gets better at this, you can add rhythm to your clapping. You could also play a drum or even sing instead of clapping.

Songs that build on themselves, such as “There Once Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly”) help children grasp the idea of “more.” After each verse or every few verses you can ask, “What’s next?” or “Should we sing more?” Songs that invite children to join in with each verse also promote this concept.

Rhythm

What it is: Rhythm is similar to but different from the steady beat. A song’s rhythm varies, while the steady beat is constant.

How it relates to mathematics: Rhythm helps children learn to recognize one-to-one correspondence and to identify and predict distinct patterns. Being able to recognize and anticipate rhythmic patterns helps children remember or predict the words to a song or a rhythmic story.

Activities to try:  Even newborns can learn about rhythm as their parents sing lullabies to them. Rock with your child while you sing, and pat gently on your child’s back so that he can simultaneously hear and feel the patterns in the music. If the words themselves make a pattern, your child can also see a pattern in your mouth movements. Here is one example of a song you could sing:

(Sung to “Hush, Little Baby”)

Verse 1:   Little baby, don’t you cry. Little baby, don’t you cry.

Pattern:           A               B                     A              B

Verse 2:  Mama loves you don’t you cry. Mama loves you don’t you cry.

Pattern:           C                     B                      C                     B

Invite toddlers and preschoolers to repeat, predict, and/or extend rhythmic patterns. For example, sing “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” with your toddler. Stop after “With a moo moo here,” and wait for your child to repeat the phrase or extend the pattern of the song by adding “and a moo moo there.’”  

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Melody

What it is: The movement from one note to another is the melody of the song, or in other words, the tune. Consider the familiar song “Old MacDonald Had a Farm,” focusing on the repetitive pattern “E-I-E-I-O.” You may notice that the first E and I are repeated on a higher note, the next E and I are repeated on a lower note, and the O is sung on an even a lower note. This is the song’s melody.

How it relates to mathematics: Children can use melodies to recognize patterns, such as how notes are repeated within a song.

Activities to try: Offer instruments like a xylophone (or piano, if you have one in your home), shaker, drum, or even a pot and a wooden spoon to play a song. Ask your child to play her instrument at a specific note of a simple song (such as on “star” of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”) as you play the rest.


Dr. Eugene Geist is an associate professor in The Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education and Human Services at Ohio University.  Dr. Geist teaches in the Early Childhood Education program, the Curriculum and Instruction graduate program and the Teacher Education Honors Program. His areas of expertise include child development, constructivism, and the development of mathematical knowledge in young children. 

1Bonny, J.W., & S.F. Lourenco. 2013. “The Approximate Number System and Its Relation to Early Math Achievement: Evidence From the Preschool Years.” Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 114 (3): 375–88.

Posted on September 12, 2018 .

The Importance of Play

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Play is universal among most living species.  Puppies, kittens, monkeys and fish play and children across all cultures and throughout the generations have played. Research proves that play has a significant role in the development of humans and animals alike.  Among the many benefits of play are stress reduction and the promotion of social skills and cognitive development.

Unfortunately, unstructured play is becoming something of a lost art today. An increased focus on academic achievement, scheduled activities like sports, and technology have taken the place of free, child-centered, imaginative play.  Changes in the family structure and parents’ fears of unsupervised outdoor exploration also add to the reasons children don’t play like they once did. No matter the reasons, the reduction in the amount of time young children spend in play is proving to be problematic.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is addressing this issue through research and recently published an article called, “Clarion Call to Encourage Play.” The article asserts that play is a natural tool for children to learn and cooperate with one another, problem solve, negotiate and develop resiliency.  It is the way that children throughout the ages have learned how the world works.  In a study of rats, it was found that play made the brain more adaptable later in life – especially with social skills and executive function (Pellis, Pellis, & Himmler 2014).

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High quality early education programs use guided play in their instruction.  Play-centered curricula allow children to direct and choose their own exploration within an environment set up by the teacher with a learning goal in mind.  Playful interactions between children and adults create and support the development of social skills and provide an environment where healthy development and learning can occur.  Guided play allows teachers to reinforce important skills without taking over, allowing a child to enjoy and engage in activities of their choosing.  Guided and free play is especially important for vulnerable populations like children from low-income environments, those with disabilities or children who have experienced trauma and is more effective for learning language, word usage and vocabulary (Toub et al. 2016; Han et al. 2010).

While there is much to learn, it is clear that diminished play time both at home and in school is detrimental to the healthy development of young children and notable institutions like the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association for the Education of Young Children are carrying this research-based message about the importance of play to educators and parents.  Read, “Clarion Call to Encourage Play” and “The Case of Brain Science and Guided Play: A Developing Story” here to learn more about the importance of play.

References:

Pellis, S.M., V.C. Pellis, & B.T. Himmler. 2014. “How Play Makes for a More Adaptable Brain: A Comparative and Neural Perspective.” American Journal of Play 7 (1): 73–98. http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1043959.pdf.

Toub, T.S., B. Hassinger-Das, H. Ilgaz, D.S. Weisberg, K.T. Nesbitt, M.F. Collins, K. Hirsh-Pasek, R.M. Golinkoff, D.K. Dickinson, & A. Nicolopoulou. “The Language of Play: Developing Preschool Vocabulary Through Play Following Shared Book-Reading.” Manuscript submitted for publication, 2016.

Posted on August 31, 2018 .

TNE3S WORKOUT OF THE DAY (WOD)

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Warm-up:

  • Run around cones

  • Kangaroo jump

  • Skip

  • Chasse

 

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Skill: Squat & Hurdles

every time your hear FREEZE, grab a beanie from the center and put it by your cone

  • 10-8-6-4-2 Squats

  • Jump over cones back and forth (each child has their own cone)

Hungry Frog GAME:

lily pads set down everywhere, balls and beanies are scattered. Kids must follow the lily pads to pick up the food and give to the bullfrog. (pick up one item at a time)

10 Things Every Parent Should Know About Play

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1. Children learn through their play.
Don’t underestimate the value of play. Children learn and develop:

Cognitive skills – like math and problem solving in a pretend grocery store

Physical abilities – like balancing blocks and running on the playground

New vocabulary – like the words they need to play with toy dinosaurs

Social skills – like playing together in a pretend car wash

Literacy skills – like creating a menu for a pretend restaurant

2. Play is healthy.
Play helps children grow strong and healthy. It also counteracts obesity issues facing many children today.

3. Play reduces stress.
Play helps your children grow emotionally. It is joyful and provides an outlet for anxiety and stress.

4. Play is more than meets the eye.
Play is simple and complex. There are many types of play: symbolic, sociodramatic, functional, and games with rules-–to name just a few. Researchers study play’s many aspects: how children learn through play, how outdoor play impacts children’s health, the effects of screen time on play, to the need for recess in the school day.

5. Make time for play.
As parents, you are the biggest supporters of your children’s learning. You can make sure they have as much time to play as possible during the day to promote cognitive, language, physical, social, and emotional development.

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6. Play and learning go hand-in-hand.
They are not separate activities. They are intertwined. Think about them as a science lecture with a lab. Play is the child’s lab.

7. Play outside.
Remember your own outdoor experiences of building forts, playing on the beach, sledding in the winter, or playing with other children in the neighborhood. Make sure your children create outdoor memories too.

8. There’s a lot to learn about play.
There’s a lot written on children and play. Here are some NAEYC articles and books about play. David Elkind’s The Power of Play (Da Capo, 2007 reprint) is also a great resource.

9. Trust your own playful instincts.
Remember as a child how play just came naturally? Give your children time for play and see all that they are capable of when given the opportunity.

10. Play is a child’s context for learning.
Children practice and reinforce their learning in multiple areas during play. It gives them a place and a time for learning that cannot be achieved through completing a worksheet. For example, in playing restaurant, children write and draw menus, set prices, take orders, and make out checks. Play provides rich learning opportunities and leads to children’s success and self-esteem.

Read more from The National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Posted on August 21, 2018 .

Calling All Early Educators in Hampton Roads!

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The evidence is clear – high quality early education experiences help children develop foundational readiness skills that are highly predictive of educational and workforce success.

A well-developed curriculum and teachers trained and supported in using the curriculum effectively are the centerpieces of high quality early education.  Teachers educate children better using the guidance of a proven curriculum.  Researchers at UVA’s Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning, in collaboration with E3: Elevate Early Education contributed years of knowledge in developing an innovative, engaging and interaction-based curriculum model using the latest developmental and early education research.  The STREAM: Integrated, Intentional, Interactions (STREAMin3) Curriculum focuses on five core skills that form the building blocks for later learning and six STREAM skills that prepare children for success in kindergarten and beyond.  The model includes a variety of activities and routines for children and, coaching, assessments and professional development for teachers.

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The core skills in the curriculum include:  RELATE with peers and adults; REGULATE their emotions, attention and behavior; THINK deeply about the world around them; COMMUNICATE with others productively; and, MOVE their bodies to achieve goals.  The STREAM skills are: Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art and Math.

The STREAM model was originally developed with funding from E3: Elevate Early Education for use at The New E3 School, a state-of-the-art demonstration school for children ages one to five.  Upon entering The New E3 School, you will see the STREAM in action. Teachers at The New E3 School have been trained to use the curriculum and receive coaching and professional development regularly to ensure they are implementing it effectively to tap into a child’s natural talent, curiosity and ability and to benefit their learning.   The model is designed to support intentional, meaningful interactions between teachers and children while they are engaged in active, FUN experiences that promote problem-solving, curiosity and children’s interest.  Educators at The New E3 School employ the STREAM to develop children’s minds and thus shape their lives. 

If you are an early educator in Virginia, this is an exciting time for you.  The Virginia General Assembly, recognizing the importance of curriculum and teacher-child interactions as the primary ingredients of high quality early education, appropriated funds for 50 private- and faith-based classrooms to pilot the STREAM curriculum package including its’ coaching and professional development models. Teachers are paired with a trained coach who observes and analyzes their interactions with students in their own classrooms.  They work together throughout the school year to improve their teaching practice, increase the quality of their interactions with children and consistently implement the curriculum with efficacy. Professional development sessions are interactive and include an action plan and ongoing follow-up to related to goals set throughout the process. 

Early educators looking to take the level of quality in your school to the next level should consider partnering with UVA CASTL in this exciting venture.  CASTL is currently accepting applicants for participation.  Don’t delay expressing your interest as only 50 classrooms will be eligible for participation this fall.    

Participating programs will receive:

·         Complete STREAM curriculum package and materials.

·         Core & STREAM Skill Activities & Routines for the Classroom.

·         Professional Development provided by the experts at UVA CASTL online and in person that will increase teachers’ knowledge of child development and ability to identify and address children’s needs.

·         On-site coaching to improve teaching & learning in the classroom.

·         Administrator tools such as an implementation checklist designed to help. you tailor your assessments and supports for teachers.

·         Assessments of classroom quality and children’s readiness skills.

·         Compensation for any time teachers spend outside the typical work day.

UVA CASTL launches this opportunity first in Hampton Roads with informational recruitment events in Hampton and Norfolk this month before moving into other areas of the state. 

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Information for these events is as follows:

Peninsula Region: Tuesday, August 14 11:00-12:30 at The Downtown Hampton Child Development Center, 1306 Thomas St., Hampton, VA

South Hampton Roads: Friday, August 17 12:00-1:30 (lunch served) at The New E3 School, 2901 Granby St., Norfolk, VA

If you are interested in hearing more or being among the first in Virginia to gain access to this curriculum, please contact Kate Matthew at klt8z@virginia.edu

Stability CrossFit for Kids @ The New E3 School

Check out the Workout of the Day (WOD) with Coach Clarissa: 

Warmup: WOD Races (altogether)

Starting on one line….Skip, duck walk, bear crawl, frog jump, run to other side.

3 rockets + 1 burpee then do the race again.

Skill: Overhead Squats (OHS) + Mountain Climbers.

Split group into 2

Practice OHS while second group does their mountain climbers then switch.

Game: Balancing Acts (tight rope, juggling, still balance, etc).

Equipment needs: Painters tape, beanie babies, poly spots, cones, scarves.

It is all about fitness, fun and being healthy! We hope our children and families will make exercise a part of their everyday life.

 

 

Posted on July 19, 2018 .

Enrichment @ TNE3S…Calling All Scientists & Mathematicians!

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Whoa! That is one big rock. The Pretlow Planetarium @ ODU stopped by with a 65-pound meteorite. Our children learned that this rock made of stone or metal comes from outer space and landed on earth. They had a chance to touch, feel and talk about outer space and meteorites.

STREAM Skills: Science

Core Skills: Regulate- maintain focus and attention. Think- actively explore, observe and make predictions.

The Norfolk Master Gardeners paid us a visit to help plant flowers in our garden. Our children were having so much fun; they had no idea they working on math and science. While planting on our nature playground, they:

·         Matched & sorted

·         Observed & described

·         Compared objects

·         Followed simple directions

STREAM Skills: Math & Science

Core Skills: Regulate- use short-term memory and follow instructions.

Now, we have to water and take care of our garden. We are so thankful to have the Norfolk Master Gardeners come back every few weeks to help us care for our plants. At The New E3 School, our children are learning to respect and care for our environment.

Lisa Howard, President & CEO

Lisa Howard, President & CEO

 

 

 

Promoting Sense of Self

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Preschoolers are beginning to develop their own understanding of themselves as unique individuals.  This includes learning about the characteristics, skills, interests, and behaviors that they consider most important about themselves.  In addition, they are starting to develop an understanding of how they are different or similar to other people. Your child’s developing sense of self is heavily influenced by the way that the adults they value and interact with them. When you provide an environment that is filled with acceptance and respect for others’ preferences, thoughts, and other characteristics, it helps your child develop a positive sense of self. 

How you can support your child's development of this skill

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  • Encourage art activities to promote your child’s free expression. For example, activities like painting, drawing, singing, dancing, acting, etc.  
  • Use photos in your home to compare and discuss similarities and differences in “who we are.” 
  • Create activities at home where your child can communicate their likes, dislikes, or opinions. For example, allowing your child to taste different sauces or foods before dinner and asking their thoughts

Download our handout from University of Virginia's Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning for more on the development of these skills.

Promoting Healthy Habits: Food Choices

What you need to know: 

Eating healthy, nutritious foods supports children’s physical growth. In addition, it helps improve their energy, motivation, mood, and ability to focus.  When children form positive thoughts and habits around healthy eating, it makes it more likely that they will reach for healthy foods in the future.  You can support this development by involving your child in growing, cooking, identifying, and talking about healthy foods.  The best way to promote healthy eating habits is to offer nutritious foods multiple times and allow your child to decide whether to eat, what to eat, and how much to eat. 

How you can support your child's development of this skill:

  • Play with real and pretend healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables. 
  • Bring your child to grocery stores, farms, or markets to help them build an understanding of where to find and buy food. 
  • Read books about healthy food and where food comes from. 
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Model and Narrate Healthy Food Choices

  • Talk to your child about healthy food choices.  
  • Focus on pointing out the positive behaviors you observe. 
  • “It’s important to eat different types of foods. You’re eating fruits and veggies.” 
  • “We are growing tomatoes in our garden. They are healthy and yummy!” 

Present All Food as Attractive, Enjoyable Options

  • Celebrate the deliciousness and benefits of all foods. 
  • "Salmon and trout are both fish but taste different!” 
  • “This Indian food is spicy and yummy!” 

Development of these skills

Below are descriptions of how preschoolers’ understanding of healthy foods develops over time.  Each child develops in their own way and at their own pace, so it’s okay if your child isn’t showing the behaviors listed below just yet.  

 

Between 36 and 48 months, children may: 

  • Recognize that food and nutrition are important to healthy development

  • Often require adult guidance to make healthy eating choices

Between 48 and 60 months, children may: 

  • Show greater understanding of how foods and nutrition help the body grow and be healthy

  • Make healthy eating choices both independently and with support

  • Tell the difference between some healthy and unhealthy foods  

  • Control how much they eat based on hunger and fullness

CrossFit for Kids

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We are excited launch our CrossFit for Kids program with Coach Clarissa from Stability CrossFit this week. The goal of our CrossFit for Kids program is to introduce kids to CrossFit concepts within a play-based environment that teaches the basics of functional movement, develops motor skills and helps them to think of exercise as being FUN! The classes will be held in the Kiva or the nature playground.