Lakewood Co-operative Preschool


March
2007

Newsletter


Where Families and Friendships Grow
Contents

Co-Chair's Note

Board Meeting Minutes

Auction Update

Brigita's Bit

Feed the Can Man, Man

Print Cartridge Collection

Special Events for March

Scavenger Hunt & Bird Feeder

Editor's Note

Cute Kid Pix

 

Co-Chair's Note

Dear Lakewood Families:

A few weeks ago I planted primroses and tiny daffodils in my porch planter pots while the sun was shining and the wind was warm—today I watched freezing rain and snow fall on them. I know it’s only the beginning of March, but I am really ready for spring. I’m ready to hang out with other families at the Lakewood playground after school and not have a cruel wind blow through my coat. Well, here’s hoping for “in like a lion and out like a lamb.”

What’s new at Lakewood? We had a successful open house and are getting a steady stream of applicants. There will be class visits with new families this month too.

The hiring committee for Teacher Erin's position is in place:

  • Krista Hudson, Bumblebees
  • Kara Dowidar, Crickets
  • Hannah Morgan, Dragonflies
  • Jane Schmidt, Enrollment
  • Melanie Fix, Enrollment
  • Christine Campbell, Co-chair
  • Birgitta Dahl, SCCC

And we’ve posted the job description on Craigslist, our own website, and through Lakewood families to forward as you choose. The job is open until March 31, and we’ll interview in early April. The committee will keep you posted as it moves along. Feel free to offer your input and suggestions to the folks you know on the committee. We’ll also have the top candidates come in to the two classes to teach a sample lesson, so many of you will get a chance to meet the potential new teacher then.

Each spring, LCP conducts an all-school evaluation; we’ll be sending this to you electronically. However, for purposes of anonymity, we’d like you to print it and hand it to your class chair at your March class meeting. There will be hard copies available at that meeting as well. We call this the “Busy Parents’ Evaluation”—you fill out only the sections that move you—either because you think something is great and you want to compliment it/make sure it continues, or because you think something is not working or really needs improvement. If you feel neutral or agnostic on something, just skip it. The only part you really need to fill out is the Parent Educator evaluation for Birgitta which is at the end – Seattle Central needs that. So, be on the look out for the evaluation and give it a little time and thought—the school is only as good as the ideas and suggestions we get from our community.

Have a great month,

Christine Campbell

Christine Campbell is Co-Chair of LCP and mother of loyal Dragonfly Charlie Budd. ccamp [at-sign] u.washington.edu

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“Youth is wasted on me,
and I'm OK with that.”

Jan 03 Board Meeting Minutes

Treasurer: (Leanne Corcoran)
Budget. We are doing really well. We are below projections on payroll. Tuition is deceptive because many families pay ahead. The only issue is the classroom supplies budget.
Tuition. The last big tuition increase was in 04-05. Our last tuition increase was small (05-06): $5 for Bumblebees, $7 for Crickets, $10 for Dragonflies; this didn’t really compensate for inflation and salary increases. We discussed having regular small tuition increases so we won’t have to break into our six month operating expense savings. Current hourly rates paid per class: $6.56/hour Bumblebees, $4.73/hour Crickets, $5.00/hour Dragonflies. Action: Leanne made a motion that for ’07-’08 we raise tuition from: $6.56/hour to $6.88/hour Bumblebees ($110/month); $4.73/hour to $5.00/hour ($150/month) Crickets; $5.00/hour to $5.10/hour ($245/month) Dragonflies. Jim Peterson seconded. Motion Passed.

Parent Coordinator: (Melanie Fix, Jane Schmidt)
Class structure for upcoming year. There will be simple age guidelines for choosing which class a child should attend next year.
2.2 Open House Planning. Volunteers, mid-year cleanup, and some special deep cleaning and display work are planned.

Fundraising: (Laura LaForte)
Fundraising information will be added to the new website.

Teachers: (Erin Robb, Jennifer Birkner)
Brigitta, our parent educator, is having coffee hours for parents in January. Request for a locking file cabinet for teachers’ office to secure valuable items.

Class Chairs: (Jurate Audejaitiene, Kara Dowidar, Brian Buckner)
Substitutes are working out well. Crickets are going to try out Elizabeth Sanders as a musical & Spanish instructor guest. Official order form template is needed. Job Coordinator expecting a baby. Someone else will assist on 07-08 job assignment.
Action: Rochelle and Kara will work on order form template.
Action: Jim and Christine will meet with Amy Zern regarding job assignment.

Report from PAC Representative: PAC meetings with representatives from other co-op preschools have not been that informative this year. Could be better use made of this forum. Let Jocelyn know if there is information you’d like her to request.

Art Room Floor: New piece of linoleum will be purchased and laid (loose over carpet per Church’s instructions) before the Open House. Teachers will approve sample.

New Web Site: Mark Pottier has draft of new web site up. A few pieces, such as final enrollment forms, are still missing. Laura’s idea for Get Involved section will be submitted. Question about adding more diverse photos.
Action: Christine moved that we launch the site as soon as Mark gets important missing pieces. Jocelyn seconded. Motion passed.

Rochelle Brown is LCP secretary and mother of Cricket Elise. jbandtheroche [at-sign] msn.com

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“After all, children like your Timmy are our nation's future, and that's why I'm moving to France.”
 

Auction Update

On Friday, May 4th, the Rainier Club will wine us and dine us with delicious hors d’oeuvres and a great selection of wine, beer, soda, and coffee. We’ll enjoy a sweet ending with our annual dessert dash. Bakers of sumptuous confections wanted! Procurement is going well but we still need lots of items. We are collecting procurements until March 15th. You don’t need to have turned in your actual item by March 15th, just the procurement form. A new folder to collect procurements has been placed on the Auction space located near all the class news.

All parents must purchase two tickets for the annual fundraiser, but there will likely be room to invite additional guests as well. Tickets for our special event will go on sale April 1st. Line up your babysitters now because this is a fun party for grown-ups only! Stay tuned for more news and information.

Laura La Forte is the mother of Dragonfly Talia and Bumblebee Santo. sllaforte [at-sign] comcast.net

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“Can't we take the minivan? This thing doesn't even have a DVD player”
 

Brigita's Bit

Are We Raising Another “Me” Generation?

Many of you must have come across a recent newspaper article (Seattle PI, February 27th) citing that today’s college students are more narcissistic and self-centered than their predecessors, and that this trend could harm personal relationships and American society. This claim is based on a large study (lead researcher: Jean Twenge, San Diego State University) asking over 16,000 college students all over the country to react to statements like “If I ruled the world, it would be a better place”, “I think I am a special person”, and “I can live my life as I want to”.

Twenge, who has also written the book Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled- and More Miserable Than Ever Before, claims that today’s narcissistic college students tend to lack empathy, react aggressively to criticism, and favor self-promotion over helping others.

Twenge and her fellow researchers trace the “narcissism and self-centeredness phenomenon” back to the so called “self- esteem movement” which was strong in the 1980s, asserting that the effort to build self-confidence had gone overboard. One of the examples Twenge cites is the preschool song “I am special, I am special. Look at me. Look at me.” (tune: Frere Jacques). Yikes! This assertion is like a stab in my heart. I know for a fact that I used to sing this song with my preschoolers and I know all of my children (who are now in their twenties) sung this song.

But my generation of parents also made other mistakes that could have contributed to raising a generation of self-centered and narcissistic young adults: We praised our children lavishly and we indulged them quite a bit! Having said all this, I want to defend my generation of parents and I want to put your worries about raising self-indulgent “brats”to rest.

First of all: Few of us parents build up our children’s self-esteem to an extreme: Yes, we make sure our children know they are special, but we also let them know that their siblings, their families and their preschool friends are special “all in their own ways”. In terms of praising children I think you parents are doing an excellent job. We know now that over-praising a child is not good for their self-esteem. We know that praise needs to be specific to a behavior (“I like the way you put the plates on the dinner table”) and that sometimes acknowledgement is more appropriate than praise (“Look at you: you already put your coat on. You are ready to go!”)

I think we should all pay close attention to the “over indulgence syndrome”. Children are becoming a more rare commodity in our Western society and we as parents are not allowed to raise our children using our common sense and the good parenting skills we may have picked up from previous generations. We are constantly bombarded with information about “how to promote our babies brain development”, “how to find the best preschool for our child”, or “how to help our kids get into the best college!”

Our children also are supposed to own the clothes that are fashionable in the “kid world” have their personal TV in their bedroom, and later, the cell phone, the laptop, the iPod and whatever new gadget is marketed next. Thank your lucky star for the co-op preschool experience. As a community you still have a very strong grasp on what the priorities are when it comes to children and family. Love your kids and your family, use a lot of common sense in child rearing, be part of a strong supportive community of families, and trust that your children will grow up to be productive, thoughtful citizens even if we can’t always give them the “perfect childhood experience”.

Brigitta

Brigitta Dahl is in her seventh year as the parent educator for LCP. Questions welcome at 206-328-0960 or bdahl [at-sign] comcast.net.

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Feed the Can Man, Man

St. Patrick's day this month! Me love that. Corned beef, cabbage, guilt-free ethnic stereotyping—it all good. But no beer for me. Me still making amends for last year's bender. With all those cans in my tummy, several people injured by my projectile vomiting. Made bar look like flooded mini-mart.

How about baby food this month? But no more trash. Me no recycling box. Make sure stuff full when you feed me.

The Can Man lives near the LCP entrance. He's a recognized expert on eating packaged cuisine still in the package. CanMan [at-sign] canman.com

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“I promised myself it would be different with my kittens, but then they lost their mittens and—Bam! No pie.”

Print Cartridge Collection

Recycle your printer cartridges and raise money for LCP. Bring in your empty inkjet and laserjet cartridges to school, and Cartridge World will reimburse us.

Thank you to all those who have been feeding the Cartridge Collection Bin in the entry way at school.

Don't do a lot of home printing? Collect them from work. Have family members bring them in, too. And, if you or a family member purchases cartridges from the Wallingford Cartridge World Store (www.cartridgworldusa.com), 5% of your purchase will be donated to LCP.

Kim Frappier is the mother of Cricket Henry. kfrapp [at-sign] comcast.net

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“A reminder to parents in the front row of this evenings bath: You will get wet.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


“Long story short, goodnight moon.”

Special Events for March

From the Special Events Corner, I offer you the following:

Killer Outdoor Fun:
Deane's Children's Park (Dragon Park) on Mercer Island.
Check out this recently renovated park nestled on Mercer Island. Your kiddies can run through forested paths on their way to a "treasure hunt." Who knows what may turn up? Swings, climbing wall and their very own MANSION! (kidding about the swings...)
5500 Island Crest Way. www.ci.mercer-island.wa.us

March 16th: Baby Get your GROOVE on! That wacky, wacky group the Wiggles will perform at the Everett Events Center. This is a spendy event, with tickets running $18 - $35.
www.everetteventscenter.com

March 17th, 12:30p: Saint Patrick's Day Parade
Come march, Irish or not, to celebrate the guy who chased away all of the snakes.
www.irishclub.org

March 17th, 1-4 pm: Baby Loves Disco
Another PAR-TAY for the hip toddler and parent crowd, at Heaven (the club, silly!)
www.babylovesdisco.com

March 18th, noon to 6:00p: Saint Patrick's Day Festival
So, you don't need to be Irish to party like one. Drop in to the Seattle Center to enjoy some great Irish-themed FREE activities.
206-684-7200

See, the PLAY'S the THING-
The NW Puppet Theatre- a much loved resource! will stage Puss and Boots: The Creole Cat beginning March 2.
www.nwpuppet.org

Seattle Children's Theatre will also stage "Everyone Knows What a Dragon Looks Like" beginning March 22nd. Geared for the 4+ audience

And Goodnight Moon closes March 10th!
www.sct.org

March 22, 11a: Tugboat Story Hour
Story time aboard the 100 year old tugboat Arthur Foss. Find it at the South Lake Union Park, next to the Center for Wooden Boats. FREE Second and Fourth Tuesdays.
www.cwb.org

March 24, 2p: The Great Airplane Scavenger Hunt at the Museum of Flight www.musuemofflight.org

March 26: Whirligig The Seattle Center's annual spring break bouncy party. Kids get their pick of many inflatable bouncy things. Pay $7.00, remove shoes, and pray to the Almighty that no one touches anything!
www.seattlecenter.com

Cool Community Events:
March 10, noon to 2p: Recess Monkey Benefit Concert
$5 is all it takes to help support local grade-schooler in his fight against brain cancer.
Experience Music Project
www.kyleroger.blogspot.com

March 24, 10a to 1p: Car and Booster Seat Check-up at Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center
FREE!! No appointment needed.
Whale Parking Lot, Children's Hospital
www.seattlechildrens.org

Yvette Moy is Events Co-ordinator the mother of Dragonfly Corrado. yvettemoy [at-sign] msn.com

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“Ask Brown Bear what he sees. He hates that.”

Scavenger Hunt & Bird Feeder

Getting outside is so important for kids (and their parents!) in the winter time, but going to the same cold park every day grows unappealing by February. One fun way to get kids outdoors is to go on a winter scavenger hunt.

 

Have your kids find, spot, or collect the following items. Then work on a bird feeder with one of your “found” objects. Helping to feed our feathered friends during cold winter months is a great job for little people.

 

The Winter Scavenger Hunt:

Use this list to find wintry things the next time you go to the park

 

  • A pine cone (bring this home to make the bird feeder listed below)
  • Berries
  • Branches with buds on them
  • A squirrel nest
  • A broken twig or branch from the windstorm
  • A piece of moss
  • A piece of garbage to throw away

 

Pine Cone Bird Feeder

This is a simple activity that even very young children can make. To make a pine cone bird feeder, you will need:

  • A large pine cone

  • Shortening, peanut butter or suet

  • Bird seed, oats, cornmeal

  • A few feet of string

  1. Mix 1/2 cup of the shortening, peanut butter or suet with 2 1/2 cups cornmeal or uncooked oats and birdseed until well blended. Optional: add dried fruit (chopped up), chopped nuts, or seeds (especially sunflower and millet) which are high-energy bird foods.
  2. Tie a few feet of string to a pine cone.
  3. Cover the pine cone with the mixture below. Roll the pinecone in birdseed and then suspend it from a tree branch outside.

 

Have fun watching the birds (or squirrels!) get a special treat.  Repeat as often as you like!

Christine Campbell is Co-Chair of LCP and mother of loyal Dragonfly Charlie Budd. ccamp [at-sign] u.washington.edu

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“I don't care what your cup says; we can't both be the world's best dad.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


“It starts with one small pig going to market. Meanwhile, nearby, another petite porker stays home. Cut to a tiny hog, dining on roast beef, while unbeknownst to him, an adjacent swine hungers in silence. Now here's the big finish...”

Editor's Note

Welcome to March. The forecast calls for lions, changing to lambs later in the month. Also watch for scattered kites. This month, I'm going to drone on about being your child's biggest fan. This article is way too long, so we had better get started.

Be Your Child's Biggest Fan

One of the parenting books I read was mostly interviews with adults. The author asked these people about the adults they liked when they were kids. They recalled people with limitless patience for their failures, and boundless enthusiasm for their successes. The interviewees said things like:

  • “He never seemed to care how many times I crashed his model plane while learning to fly it. I know now he must have spent hours fixing it each time, but he offered nothing but encouragement after each wreck, and when I eventually got the hang of it after several costly attempts, he seemed happier about it than me.”

  • “She just made me feel good because the things that I liked to do were important to her, too.”

  • “I could ask her anything and she would give me a thoughtful answer. She never said my questions were stupid or blew me off because she was busy. She made me feel grown up, like I wasn't just some dumb kid, even though I'm sure my questions were pretty stupid.”

I used to watch a TV show called Biography. I liked it because it was a one-hour summation of a life, birth to death. (Not all the subjects were dead, and in those cases the show did not foretell the eventual demise, though I think it would have been a better show if it had: “In the spring of 2026, Donald Trump will succumb to hairspray poisoning.”)

One of the common threads in these famous lives was at least one super-supportive parent. Johnny Carson recalled how much confidence he got when his mother told him how funny he was, and how she would sit rapt watching him perform magic tricks over and over, always 100% positive about everything he tried. (Well, it was easy for her to be enthusiastic; she was being entertained by Johnny Carson.) But the point is well taken; successful people are those who are not afraid to try, who are willing to put themselves out there, and that lack of fear of failure comes in large measure from parents who are their kids' number one fans.

As a former child myself, I can testify to the power of boosterism. My parents, and especially my mother, never tired of telling me how wonderful I was, that I could do anything I wanted to do, short of eating in the living room. (It's obvious now that their enthusiasm was misplaced, but I still carry an unwarranted self-confidence that leaves me blind to my own shortcomings, and that's a gift money can't buy.)

I feel compelled to mention that the kind of nurturing I'm espousing is different from that promulgated by the self-esteem movement, which holds that kids need to always feel good about themselves in order to accomplish something, and toward that end, the self-esteem crowd eschews criticism of children, including grades and test scores. They feel it should always be sunshine and rainbows, but I think they have it exactly backward; self-esteem comes from accomplishment, not vice versa. Maintaining that self-esteem comes from compliments is like saying love comes from a valentine.

As for trying to avoid letting kids ever feel bad about anything, that's strictly for sociopaths. Guilt and shame can be overused (and not just in Judaism and Catholicism), but they are highly advanced emotions and have their place. Consider that the basic emotions—anger, fear, joy—evolved to help us stay alive. (Fight it, run away from it, do it some more.) They involve only one's self. But empathic emotions—feeling what other people are feeling—evolved to help us get along with others. Guilt and shame are one step even more advanced; they are about what we think other people are thinking about us. These emotions seem to be uniquely human and should not be discarded lightly, pop psych paperbacks notwithstanding.

What I'm talking about is rewarding and encouraging effort and the taking of chances, regardless of outcome. As parents, we should always be Paula Abdul, never Simon Cowell. Paula might let you know you stink, but in a nice way. She makes you feel good about having tried, and encourages you to try again. Simon just makes you want to take hostages. But encouraging and rewarding effort is a far cry from reacting with glee to a D on a math test, which will neither boost a child's self-esteem, nor encourage him to try harder.

Boosterism and encouragement come naturally to most parents, but there is another school of thought in which the parent is the number one critic instead of the number one fan. These parents ride the kid hard, exposing every flaw, demanding better, pushing the kid in directions they might not even want to go. This method is not entirely without merit; it has produced many Olympic athletes and child movie stars, but it's less good at producing happy well-adjusted people. I guess it depends on what you're after.

Defenders of this technique say things like “Look, it's a harsh world out there. I'm not doing my kids any favors by blowing smoke up their poopers. I give them the truth, especially when they stink.” Even when this is not a case of cruelty donning honesty's clothes, my feeling is that, yes, it is a harsh world out there, and that is precisely why home should be a warm sanctuary, a cozy respite from the dog-eat-dog world. Leave those cannibal canines on the porch, for when your child crosses the threshold, the lion should lie with the lamb, just like in those cheery Watchtower pamphlets. The world will do an excellent job of telling your kids how much they suck at stuff, and they will suck at stuff. They can't all be pretty, athletic, smart, and strong. There are only so many slots on the varsity. There's only one valedictorian. We can't all date Stacey Rasmussen. But let the cold cruel world break the news; that is its specialty. Parents should never stop the pep talk. It's often the difference between trying again and giving up.

Even though a big part of school teachers' jobs is evaluating and necessarily criticizing students' work, most are on board with the notion of encouraging effort, even when those efforts miss the mark. Yes, your child might run across that one bad teacher who seems to delight in accentuating the negative, but a secure base on the home front can ensure that the child does not turn away from school. A bad teacher experience might even result in something positive, such as a thicker skin or Pink Floyd's The Wall.

I suppose I should also mention a third popular parenting style: hands off. This approach is favored by the very busy parent, but also by those who are afraid of screwing up. Better to leave the child as an unmolded lump of clay, they think, than to sculpt it into something wretched.

The hands-off attitude sometimes works for a child motivated enough to spend a lifetime seeking parental attention. As comedian Ray Romano said in his Barbara Walters interview “If my father had hugged me even once growing up, we wouldn't be talking now.” That might sound like a strong endorsement for keeping yourself emotionally distant. It's certainly preferable to outright abuse, and you'll have more me time, but few children are talented enough to earn the mass approval of strangers; for them, the hands-off parenting path leads to drug addiction, an adult film career, way too many body piercings, or an embarrassing sniper incident, none of which reflects well on you. The odds cut in favor of showing some love.

Bill Muse is the LCP newsletter editor and father of Cricket Veronica. LCP [at-sign] billmuse.com

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WARNING:
Do not overdose
on cuteness.
Know your limits

 

Cute Kid Pix

Email your cute kid photos to the LCP newsletter, or even better, post them online at www.kodakgallery.com.

  1. On www.kodakgallery.com, click Sign In (near upper right corner)
  2. Enter this email address: LCPSPhotos@yahoo.com
  3. Enter this password: gobaby

You can look at photos, buy prints, or upload an album of your own.

 

The LCP ice cream social was held at the Lakewood Seward Park Community Center

Two of the holes ice cream was shoved into

Assorted Crickets



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