4.24 2020

Week six: staying connected during social distance

Dear community,

We hope that you continue to be healthy, safe and well. As we continue to experience distance, from one another, our routines, our communities, we hope that, more than anything, you are continuing to experience your worth. You are so loved and missed.

“Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we are not alone.”-Fred Rogers

In the attached pdf, please find activities, resources and information including Sesame Workshop, Reggio Inspired Math, COVID-19 testing sites, and how-tos for cultivating the Quaker value of STEWARDSHIP.

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Quicklinks to resources:

4.17 2020

Week five: staying connected during social distance

Dear community,

May you continue to reach deep into the wells of inspiration and hope that live within, and discover an abundant source of light to guide you through your days. We hope that you continue to use this Newsletter as a source of positivity, and find the same joy that we do in our continued connections here and throughout the efforts of our amazingly, dedicated community. We thank you again, for all of the wonderful photos, videos, and communications being offered through ClassDojo and ZOOM Meetings. Seeing the children and hearing updates from you is truly a joy. We are wishing you all the very best!

In the attached pdf, please find activities for children and adults (including links to free science experiments), awareness resources (including Clifford Beers Clinic COVID Compassion Line), and information on emotional wellbeing, specifically on cultivating the Quaker value of COMMUNITY.

FCfC_week5

Resources include:

NPR: Why Narratives are Powerful for Children
Little Scientists: Free Science experiments
New Videos Up on The FCfC YouTube Channel
The ABCDE’s of Family Climate
Clifford Beers Clinic COVID Compassion Line
Free Grab & Go School Meals
Tenants are Given 60 Day Grace Period to Pay Rent
DOL says unemployment payment backlog solved by computer fix
Discussing and Supporting Social Emotional needs during COVID-19 released by CT SDE
Your Productivity Doesn’t Determine Your Worth
Emotions at Home – How do we Want to Feel?

4.10 2020

Week four: staying connected during social distance

Dear community,

We reach out in hopes of your continued safety and well-being. Spring continues to bloom all around us, bringing the anticipation of brighter days ahead. We hope that you find time to get outdoors, safely and responsibly. May you continue to breathe, and take in the small gifts that nature presents; a warm ray of sunlight through a window, a faint, fragrant breeze, the chirping of a robin or chittering of a squirrel, the rustling of branches as they prepare for new life. We hope that you continue to find joy and light in each coming day, and look forward to reuniting with you all as soon as possible.

In the pdfs below, please find activities for children and adults (including Week of the Young Child Daily Themes), awareness resources, mindfulness moments (such as “going on a mindfulness safari”), and information on emotional wellbeing, specifically on cultivating the Quaker value of EQUALITY.

FCfC_week4
FCfC_familyactivities

Resources include:
New Videos Up on The Friends Center for Children YouTube Channel!
“I’m a little seed” by Nicole from Preschool 1
“The Carrot Seed” by Ruth Krauss read by Jan from Pod 4
Pepper and Soap experiment showing the importance of washing hands
Mindfulness Poses
Week of The Young Child – Overview and Daily Themes
Acoustic Mornings with Papa Tom
The FCfC COVID Emergency Fund – En Inglés y Español
The Disproportionate Racial Impact of COVID-19
Local Mental Health Resources
Explore Healthy Lives CT for Free Wellness Assessments and Resources
Mindfulness Safari
14 Mindfulness Tricks to Reduce Anxiety

4.3 2020

Week three: staying connected during social distance

Dear Community,

As we have journeyed through another week, separately, yet still together, we would like to say first and foremost, how much we are truly missing all of you. We hope you are beginning each day with this small act of courage and hope, and are meeting each day as it comes. We are beginning to hear birds chirping outside and can feel the slight breeze through a cracked window. Plants are sprouting as bugs and insects begin to whizz through the air. We hold on to these signs of spring as signals of hope and renewal. They fill us with positivity as we envision being back together with all of you, at FCfC.

In the attached pdf, please find activities for children and adults  awareness resources (including Five Steps to Mindfulness), and information on emotional wellbeing, specifically on cultivating the Quaker value of INTEGRITY.

FCfC_week3

Resources include:
“Little Cloud” by Eric Carle – Story and Activity from Therese
Sesame Street in Communities: Health Emergencies Videos for Children
Count, Breath and Relax with The Count and Cookie Monster
New Videos Up on The Friends Center for Children YouTube Channel
Early Childhood Self Regulation Podcast
FCfC COVID Emergency Fund – En Inglés y Español
Zero to Three – Tips for Families on Coronavirus
NHECC – Resources
An Important Message About the U.S. Census – En Inglés y Español
East Grand Avenue Bridge Rehabilitation Project Update – En Ingles y Español
Five Steps to Mindfulness – THICH NHAT HANH

3.27 2020

Staying connected during social distance: week two

Dear Community,

We hope that this blog finds you well, and would like to thank you all for your continued efforts to remain in contact with, and connected to us while we continue to maintain physical distance. From your responses to and involvement in our YouTube Read Alouds, to your very sweet ClassDojo photos, and organization of and participation in some virtual Morning Meetings, your efforts tighten the threads of the fabric which holds us all together. Thank you for keeping us together in spirit. You are so appreciated, and so loved!

In the attached pdf, please find activities for children and adults (including Make Your Own Mood Meter Sock Puppet), awareness resources, and information on emotional wellbeing, specifically on cultivating the Quaker value of PEACE.

FCfC_week2

Resources include:
Make Your Own Mood Meter Sock Puppet
Rotterdam Orchestra
Latest read alouds on Friends Center YouTube Channel
Netflix Documentary Series “Babies”
Parenting in the Time of Coronavirus
Free Soup Deliveries from Sopa Soup
Make Haven: Instructions for Sewing Masks
Congressional Support to fund early childhood education

3.19 2020

Staying connected during social distance: week one

Dear Community,

We hope that this blog finds you well. As we navigate these unprecedented and unusual set of circumstances, the FCfC Administrative Team would like to remind you that we continue to walk through the world together, as a community. Although you may be in isolation, you are not alone. You are loved and missed, and remain a valued member of our community and family. We encourage you all to keep your heads up and know that we look forward to resuming our normal activities at FCfC. We hope you are rested, relaxed and well.

In the attached pdf, please find activities for children and adults, awareness resources, and information on emotional wellbeing, specifically on cultivating the Quaker value of simplicity.

FCfC_week1

Resources include:
Ear Snacks
24 Best Podcasts for Kids of All Ages
The Feelings Book written by Tod Parr and read by Kathy
If You’re Happy and You Know It: Mood Meter Song with Jess
The Families First CoronaVirus Response Act
Grab and Go Meal sites

9.1 2019

No “please.”

“Please” and Other Ways of Gaining Cooperation
by Margaret Berge, Friends Center Social Work Intern

It is ingrained in us by society to use a polite “please” when asking for cooperation. The problem with this is that “please” isn’t honest or correct. It conveys a choice when there isn’t one. This can be confusing to young children, and even to adults.
Over the last few months, I’ve been exploring being purposeful with my language choices. The exact way that we phrase things makes a huge impact on how our messages are received.

For example, rather than saying, “Please go hang up that coat,” we can say, “Let’s go hang up the coat. I’ll go with you.” This is more direct and cooperative. Also, using contractions when appropriate helps make the communication more relaxed.

The attached pdf demonstrates my process toward being mindful and intentional about my phrasing choices.

For me, the exploration started with an interaction I recorded with a child in December 2018. Upon reviewing it, I became aware that I said, “please” a lot. A LOT. This started me on an exploration of what the word means, and what it implies. “Please” is certainly intended to be polite, modeling good manners. And it does these things. It also conveys the idea to the person you are talking to that your message is a request — one that they can either comply with, or not.

This awareness led me to consider phrases that I could use instead of please, which could convey the message I wanted to send without the ambiguity. I began to notice all the times I said “please” to friends and what we were doing in that moment. I thought about how I could reword it, and wrote a list of what I actually said, and ways I thought I could have said it better. I then went over that list with a fine tooth comb and refined it again, really digging deep into each word and message: what was intended, and what a child might hear. Did they really get the message? What was confusing? What was simple? What was difficult? And then I refined it again.

I’m still practicing applying these phrases, and finding that they are sometimes successful and sometimes not. But as I practice, this way of communicating becomes more naturally and consistently. And I say “please” far less often than when I started, with better results.

I’ve learned that when I change the ways that I frame the interactions with children, I am also changing the nature of my relationships. I started out in a place that was directive, yet passive. I was an adult asking them to comply with my wishes. By changing the ways that I phrase my words, I am able to be direct and keep the interaction calm, relaxed, and natural. In the end, the child cooperates, usually. This often can diffuse a situation with a child before it gets to a point where they feel stressed. My more mindful choices also allow space for the child to feel fully seen and understood. This helps a more meaningful relationship to develop between us.

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