Annual Report Tucson J 2018 - Page 8

Special events created to articulate and support our play-based, emergent curriculum continue: Science Sunday, Curriculum Night, and Love of Reading Month. Science Sunday set the stage for early childhood science-based experiences with our own faculty and local professionals. Curriculum week returned giving an opportunity for families to visit their children’s class and participate in the curriculum for five full days. Love of Reading could not be done in one week, so we make it a month of wonderful reading events and guest readers. Manic Monday happens the first Monday of each month, and it is a time for the parents and caregivers to have a quick bite to eat before beginning their busy week. ECE directors are present for conversation and support. This is a great time to have informal conversations and for other department leadership to mingle with the families. We have also had guest appearances from nearby elementary schools including Tucson Hebrew Academy and Davidson Elementary. The discoverCATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) program, a JCCA initiative to fight childhood obesity and promote healthy eating and movement, is a strong part of everyday learning. Our program has kept children and faculty moving and eating in fun and healthy ways. In 2018 we sent two ECE faculty to San Diego for continued training in discoverCATCH. Enrichment classes for members and guests support our philosophy of wellness. These classes include children creating their own healthy lunches in Lunch Bunch twice a week, the Gardening Crew partnered with Children & Youth, and multiple fitness related classes. Our teachers have taken the opportunity to involve families with creating healthy lunches. The Lunch Box Committee is a volunteer group of teachers that meet, plan, research, and provide information for the families and staff of easy and healthy lunch options. This year they have increased their awareness to include healthy fitness support and recipes everyone can use at home. Our School Twinning program with Israel has continued and grown with many international friendships. Our preschool children communicate with their friends in Israel with videos and mail. Gifts are shared between our schools and knowledge of being under the same moon is shared. We have had the great pleasure and honor to continue to send educators to Israel to meet our twinning schools. In 2018 we sent one of our pre-k teachers and in 2019 we will send one of our ECE directors. In 2018 we continued with our Spanish Immersion Pre-K class. Native Spanish speaking teachers using emergent and process-based curriculum have successfully produced our second class of Spanish Immersion children! The first year was so successful that we added a Spanish Immersion three-year old class in the fall. Both classes are well-received and always at full enrollment.