Welcome to the 2012-2013 School Year! DATES TO REMEMBER

The Children’s Learning Center NEWS
A Newsletter for Growing Minds
September 2012
Welcome to the 2012-2013 School Year!
concerns. I will often be at the front desk between 7:00 and 9:00 each
morning. Otherwise, email is the best way to reach me at:
[email protected] or otherwise, by phone at 443-518-4150. I look forward to connecting with each of you.
-Ms. Kim
Labor Day
9/27 Fall Fest 4:30-5:30
Kim Pins
Amy Haflett
Front Desk
Karen Gregoire 443-518-4526
It is so exciting to have you here! Teachers have spent the
last few weeks planning and preparing your children's new
rooms so you will feel especially welcome this week. To help
you get to know all the center staff, we have included a few
details about each of us in this newsletter. Did you pause in
front of the wall as you entered the building? Can you guess
which profile belongs to which staff person? Take a few minutes to talk
with your child about what you see there. It will help them feel welcome
and connected as well!
Each classroom functions using a team of two teachers. This collaboration
is essential to the successful work done at the Children‟s Learning Center.
Teachers‟ schedules are staggered to ensure that one member of each
teaching team is available to you at the beginning or end of the day to
share information about your child. This team approach makes it possible
for teachers to take days off and still ensure the classroom functions at a
high quality. Feel free to ask questions or speak on the phone with either
teacher in your child‟s classroom; they share all information concerning
your child with each other on a routine basis throughout each day.
For those of you returning to the Children‟s Learning Center after being
away for the summer, there are a few updates:
Amy Haflett, the Curriculum Specialist, had a baby boy, Colin James, on
August 4!
Angela Bailey had an offer she couldn‟t refuse. As many of you know, she
has been diligently working towards her Masters in Education and teacher
certification at John‟s Hopkins University. She was offered a slot in a program making it possible to graduate with all certifications within the year.
It was a hard decision for Ms. Angela to enter this program full-time, but a
wonderful opportunity. She will be back for visits.
Ms. Beth is recovering from surgery and will be on medical leave through
September. We wish Ms. Beth a speedy recovery and look forward to her
Please feel free to contact me for information, with questions, or to share
Classroom News
Staff Bios
Laboratory School
Important Reminders
The Children’s Learning Center NEWS
Page 2
News from the Infant and Toddler Rooms
LADYBUGS/BUMBLEBEES In the infant rooms it‟s “back to school” time for our babies and toddlers. Our class-
rooms will be home to our youngest at the Children‟s Learning Center. During the month of September we‟ll get acquainted with new „students‟ and their families. We‟ll welcome them to our class and make sure they
feel happy in our loving, nurturing environment. The Ladybugs and Bumblebees will get the best of care
based on their individual needs as they grow and learn. We will also create lesson plans that will help each child to
develop their skills. Days will include floor play, comfort and hugs, art and sensory activities, and outdoor strolls in the
fresh fall air. We look forward to the privilege of spending our days with your children. Ms. Polina , Ms. Meltam, and Ms. Tish
FIREFLIES We would like to welcome our Fireflies and their parents and share our excitement that
you chose our program for your child! The children will begin by learning about themselves and
each other by spending time getting to know classmate‟s names and preferences and their new environment. We will focus on the social side of toddlers, helping them participate in a group by holding hands on walks, encourage sitting together to hear a story, and teaching them to clean up together after play. As the school year progresses we will incorporate other aspects of learning.
The teachers would like to meet with Firefly parents to introduce their approach for the coming year. Please
inform the teachers if you prefer a group (all parents and teachers) or individual/private setting for this fall
conference. We look forward to another wonderful year in the Firefly room!
-Ms. Robin & Ms. Rocio
News from the Grasshopper Room
Welcome to the Grasshopper room! It‟s time for “back to school” when the children will make discoveries and meet new friends. We have a fun and exciting year planned in which we will watch our
high-jumping Grasshoppers grow. Two year olds are beginning to engage in group play and learning
to communicate their thoughts and feelings. The focus of our year will be to support their independence; promote self-help skills like putting on socks and shoes, dressing, and potty training; and
teach social skills to encourage sharing and taking turns. Through songs, finger plays, and stories we will provide
valuable opportunities for language to develop and flourish.
Remember, accidents happen so be sure to regularly check your child‟s cubby to ensure there are seasonally appropriate extra changes of clothing.
The themes planned for this month are:
Back to school: Songs that help introduce classmates  Painting, collages, and sensory activities using shaving
cream and sand  Apple game, for color and size discrimination  Name game to learn the names of new friends
Friendship: Finger painting Pals: working alongside others/finger painting together  Bounce into Friendship:
make friends while bouncing and catching a ball  Circle of Friends: match bears by color  Painting Partners:
explore different art materials
-Ms. Lori & Ms. Martha
News from the Beetle Room
Welcome to our Beetle room. We are really excited and happy to meet your wonderful little children and are
sure we will have a great year together! The first two themes we have selected for the school year will be "Back
to School." from August 27-September 7. We will read, sing, dance, play with friends, and create lots of art. "All
About Me and My Family” will be the focus from September 10-21. We will talk about our families, make a self-
A Place for Growing Minds
Page 3
portrait, create hand prints, and craft a mobile out of family pictures (please send in one picture of your child
and one family picture before September 10).
If you have any questions or just want to chat, the best time to call is between 1:00 and 2:45 daily. We encourage you to take a moment to write or e-mail about your child's napping, eating, or diapering habits or any other
information you would like to share. Please send email to Ms. Nona at [email protected]
- Ms. Nona
News from the Dragonfly Room
Welcome! The teachers in the Dragonfly room are looking forward to meeting new friends and
their families. Our goal is to provide our students with experiences that help them expand their
minds, be considerate of others, and become self-sufficient. While value is placed on the idea that
we must function as one group, each child is observed as an individual. The teachers work hard to
discover how the children learn and what sparks their interest. We begin by providing a safe and
stimulating environment. Our room is set up in various “centers.” At center time the Dragonfly students may
choose the area they would like to visit. Also, every month we use themes to keep projects fresh and offer variety. Educating with a theme in mind enables the children to make connections as each theme unfolds. While planning, we use the idea of multiple intelligences to guide us in reaching all the children.
For September we will concentrate helping our new friends get acclimated and comfortable in their new classroom. Our August/September themes, My School, All About Me, Shoes, and Families, reflect this goal .
-Ms. Michelle & Ms. Melanie
News from the Butterfly Room
Welcome back! We hope everyone had a fun, relaxing summer and looks forward to an exciting year in the Butterfly room. This
year we have a new teacher, Ms. Julie, joining us. Ms. Julie previously worked in the infant wing, but spent time in the
Butterfly room last year getting accustomed to the preschool environment while Ms. Melanie was on maternity leave.
The year will begin with scavenger hunts and matching games to help the children become familiar with the
classroom. During circle time, the Butterflies will brainstorm class rules and create a daily schedule. Throughout
the month the children will share information about themselves and their families and learn
about their peers within the theme, “All About Me.” The room will be filled with opportunities
for the children to recognize their names, practice writing, use puzzles, sing songs about manners and self-esteem, meet new friends while playing a ball-passing game, and draw a family portrait to decorate the classroom puzzle wall. With their parent‟s help at home, each child will create a poster (details to come) to be shared and then displayed in the classroom.
Look for information soon to be posted about our Butterfly „back to school‟ event. This will be an opportunity for
parents to explore the classroom, meet the teachers, and engage in a project with their children! We hope everyone will be able to come!
-Ms. Melissa & Ms. Julie
The Children’s Learning Center is also a Learning Center for College Students!
Throughout the year you may notice some new faces in your child‟s classroom. The Howard Community College Children‟s Learning
Center provides a laboratory setting for college students studying for degrees or certificates in Early Childhood Development,
Emergency Medical Technician/Paramedic, English as a Second Language or Theatre. These students assist, observe, present,
or volunteer in the classroom in order to gain experience in their fields of study.
The Children’s Learning Center NEWS
Page 4
A Place for Growing Minds…
brought to you by the Children’s Learning Center Staff
Kim Pins
the Children‟s Learning Center. Besides
being available to assist with tuition and
I like to tell people that I have the Best
account-related information, I am always
Job Ever! I start my day talking to enhappy to answer questions or refer parthusiastic preschoolers who definitely
ents, students, or visitors to the approhave a unique perspective of the world
priate resource. Watching the children
and then I can move on to the adult world
grow and thrive in a child care setting
as I speak to their teachers and help
reminds me of my own, now grown, son
them develop strategies to conwho begin his formal learning experiences
tinue challenging their core of knowlin a similar setting. When I‟m not workedge. I teach early childhood theory
ing, I enjoy spending time with family and
to HCC education students and then step
friends, reading, and sewing.
into a classroom to see the same theory
implemented and practiced. The world at
Polina Lotkina
the Children's Learning Center is rich,
Hello, my name is Polina Lotkina. I
vibrant, and stimulating at all ages levhave a Bachelor‟s degree in educaels. I thrive on it. I hope you and your
tion from Russia, a 90 hour certifichild do as well! Welcome to our new
cate from HCC, and have been workyear.
ing at the Children‟s Learning Center
Amy Haflett
for four years. I take great pride in
This is the start of my fifth year working helping children develop their skills
as the Curriculum Specialist at the Chil- and to ensure a safe, healthy, and
dren‟s Learning Center. I truly enjoy
happy environment for them. I have
working with the college‟s youngest stutwo children and five grandchildren.
dents, watching them grow up and reach
Meltem Meral
the many milestones in early childhood. The children always manage to
bring a smile to my face!
I have been working at the CLC
since 2010. I hold an Associate‟s
As some of you may know, I had my sec- degree in Early Childhood Developond child over the summer. Colin James ment and a BA in English Language
was born on August 4. I will be on mater- Teaching. I love watching the chilnity leave for part of the fall, but look
dren grow and learn. I am looking
forward to seeing both familiar and new forward to sharing laughter and
faces when I return to work!
happiness with your children at the
Karen Gregoire
Latishia Johnson
I look forward to getting to know the new
I am a wife, the proud mother of a little
families and reacquainting with the curgirl, and owner of a little dog. I love anyrent families as I begin my sixth year as
thing “Betty Boop” and I always look forthe Administrative Office Associate at
ward to learning new things. I am working
toward an AAS degree from Howard
Community College. My favorite part
about my job is being able to work with
children and help them learn from me as
much as I learn from them. I especially
look forward to the challenges of each
new school year, when I have new children to learn from and to teach.
Robin Shipman
I am one of the teachers in the Firefly
Room. I have been with the CLC for close
to 13 years now! I enjoy being a teacher
and watching children grow. I'm currently
attending college to become a licensed
clinical social worker. In my spare time I
enjoy being with my family, traveling,
learning new things, and catching up on
much needed rest! I look forward to
meeting all the new families and keeping
in touch with the families I already know.
Rocio Toledo
This year will be my fourth year in the
Firefly Room. I have been working with
young children, mainly infants and toddlers, since 2000. I enjoy all ages, but I
have to admit, children 15-24 months are
so much fun! I purchased a home two
years ago and I love being a home owner.
I also bought a Chihuahua puppy in the
spring and he is such a delight. This fall I
plan to go back to school to pursue my
degree in criminology at UMUC. In my
spare time I enjoy going crabbing,
walking, swimming, bicycle riding,
and time with my family. I am very
excited to be part of this great
team and look forward to meeting
everyone this coming year.
Page 5
Lori Crocken
As the school year kicks off, I am looking
forward to an exciting new year with all
the new Grasshoppers and their families.
I have already met some of my new
friends and am looking forward to meeting the rest of them soon. I have been a
teacher at the Children‟s Learning Center
since September 2003. I have had the
pleasure of working with the twos as well
as the fours. I have an Associate of Arts
degree from Villa Julie College and a
Bachelor‟s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Towson State University. I
live in Carroll County with my three children and my husband. I‟m looking forward
to a fun and exciting year. See ya soon!
Martha Zilvetty
that we will all have a great year together teaching new things to the children
in the Beetle classroom!
and learning new things from them. I
am looking forward to a great 20122013 year joining Ms. Michelle in the
Nona Nourbakhsh
Dragonfly classroom!
This is my fifth year working in the Beetle room and I can‟t wait to meet your
Melissa Prinz
wonderful children! I also teach French
I am looking forward to another exon Saturdays to children ages twelve
months to twelve years through Howard citing year in the Butterfly room.
County Recreation and Parks, so don‟t be This will be my fifth year at the
CLC. I am currently working towards
surprised if your children come home
my teacher certification in Early
speaking or singing in French! I strongly
Childhood Education to supplement
believe that children can learn a second
my Bachelor‟s degree in Child and
language at a very young age. Between
Family Community Services. In the
birth and five years of age, the human
many years that I have worked with
brain is hard-wired for learning multiple
languages. I speak three languages: Farsi, children the one thing that sticks
French, and English. I have an AA in Early out for me is that children learn
Childhood Education from Howard Com- from everything they do. At home, I
munity College and a Bachelor‟s degree in enjoy spending lots of time with my
family doing outdoor activities. BakModern Language and Linguistics from
ing and reading are favorites and I
UMBC. I live in Howard County with my
enjoy incorporating them into the
husband and two children.
Hi! I am Martha Zilvetty. Born and raised
in Bolivia, South America, I moved to the
United States about 14 years ago. I am a
proud mother of two children: a daughter
Paola and son, Sergio. I also have the
Michelle Kreiner
blessing of being a grandmother of two
beautiful grandkids, Leonardo, three and
This school year will be my eighth at
Benjamin, two. In addition to my kids and
the Children‟s Learning Center. I
grandkids, I have two lovely dogs, Tatin
earned my Associates degree in
and Blanquito. I really do love animals.
Early Childhood Education in 2005
I have been a part of the Children‟s
and I am currently working toward a
Learning Center since 2004. Currently I Bachelor‟s degree in English. At
am a teacher in the Grasshopper classhome, I enjoy reading, writing, and
room where I get to share my passion for spending time with my family and
working with young kids. I am excited to friends. I am looking forward to
bring new ideas and activities to your
meeting all the new Dragonfly stuchildren this coming year.
Julie Newton
I have been with the Children‟s
Learning Center for five years
now. I have been working with children from infant to five for eleven
years. You may have seen me in any
of our classrooms here at the center, as I have had the opportunity
to lend a helping hand to all age
groups. This year I will be joining
Ms. Melissa in the Butterfly room.
In 2005, I received an Associate‟s
Melanie Hershman
Degree in Early Childhood DevelopBeth Kolbe
This is my eighth year at the CLC. I ment from Howard Community ColThis is my eighth year at The Children‟s
have been working with children for lege and in 2008, a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from University
Learning Center. I have worked with
18 years. I graduated from Villa
of Maryland. Currently I am workyoung children for over 20 years. Each
Julie College with my AA degree in
year provides lots of challenges, fun, ex- Child Development and my BS in Psy- ing toward my Maryland teacher
citement, and new friends. I look forward chology at UMUC. Two of my favor- certification. I am very much looking
to working with your children and know
ite things about being a teacher are forward to a chance to know your
children and help them grow.
Page 6
The Children’s Learning Center NEWS is a
publication of
Howard Community College’s
Children’s Learning Center
10901 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia, MD 21046
Phone: 443-518-1360
Fax: 443-518-4151
E-mail: [email protected]
Parents of preschoolers— It‟s not too early to
start getting your four year old ready for
Kindergarten! Check out this space each month
for resources and tips for helping your child to
be prepared:
For tips & handouts on a variety of early learning and school readiness topics go to:
To search for activities to do at home with
children try:
www.readyatfive.org/activities/ activity_search.aspx
Important Reminders to help with the transition into the new school year:
The Children‘s Learning Center is a nut-free environment. Peanuts, tree nuts,
or food manufactured with nuts may not be brought into the center
All classrooms start the day with ‗circle time‘ which includes a preview of the
day‘s activities. It is best for children to arrive by 9:00am daily in order to start
their day with their classmates and participate in circle time
Each child must be signed in and out at drop off and pick up. The Sign In/Out
Binders used in the 2, 3, and 4 year old classrooms have a tab/pocket with
each child‘s name. The pocket should be checked daily for important notes and
information. Infant classrooms use the clipboards that are in each child‘s cubby
Parents are expected to wash hands with their children when they enter the
classroom at the start of each day
In order to ensure the safety of the children, parents must remain with their
children before drop off and after pick-up
Each child is to bring lunch in a labeled bag. Since refrigeration space is minimal, ice packs are recommended to keep food items cool. Items which must be
refrigerated are to be labeled with the child‘s name and placed in the classroom
Everything a child brings to school is to be labeled. Children frequently have
the same or similar items and labeling will help to prevent confusion.
Simple, sturdy clothes are recommended wear for children at the center.
Changes of clothes should be checked periodically for size– and weather—
Footwear suitable for use on playground equipment should have rubber soles,
closed toes, and lace ties or Velcro over the top of the foot. Sandals, dress
shoes, or boots are not recommended and ―Flip-Flops‖ are not to be worn at
the CLC
All children in attendance are expected to be able to participate in all activities,
including outdoor play
The reserved parking spaces in front of the center are to be saved for people
with disabilities and have an official sticker or placard
Howard Community College is a smoke- and tobacco-free campus
For more information about center policies and procedures
the Children’s Learning Center Parent Handbook can be viewed at:
little bites: helpful information for parents about children’s nutrition
Eating with your children gives you a chance to share mealtime while taking advantage of teachable moments. Encourage them to serve themselves to develop self-help skills, fine and gross motor skills, and independence. Promote and encourage language development through conversation
about the shapes, sizes, colors, texture, smell, and quantities of the foods on the plate. Serve and eat new
foods to model experimentation and table etiquette! Healthy eating and learning can be on the menu every day!