October Newsletter

STEAMworks October Newsletter

“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting, and autumn a mosaic of them all.”
- Stanley Horowitz

The first month of school has been filled with new friends, excitement, and fun! We have all enjoyed welcoming you into the STEAMworks family and are looking forward to a wonderful school year together. All of the children have settled into their classrooms and explored the Family, Friends, Community themes while expanding into the Local Ecosystems theme. The children have been busy creating friendship trees inside their classrooms, going on nature walks along the path, becoming penpals with our friends at Heartworks Shelburne, enjoying snack together to experimenting with new ways of learning and interacting with friends. The themes have been a wonderful way to start off our first year at STEAMworks Preschool!

We would like to thank all of the families who were able to attend our Parent Night and school picnic in September. It was wonderful for our teachers to meet you and discuss what their plans are for this pivotal school year. We loved having everyone in our playground meeting and spending time with one another. We are looking forward to planning more fun community events this year where families and children can come together and enjoy one another’s company. I’d also like to say thank you for all of the kindness and support you have all shown your child’s teacher. It has been a lot of hard work on their part to create and implement the first full day STEAM Preschool in Vermont, so I applaud them and you for helping make it a success. I couldn’t ask for better families or dedicated teachers to join the STEAMworks community in this journey so thank you, I am so excited to see where this year is going to take us!

Happy Fall,

During September’s monthly theme of Local Ecosystems our teachers jumped right into the STEAM curriculum and focused on all aspects of the acronym. Some highlights from the month were the beaver dams made from materials found on a nature walks, constructed bats and bird feeders from recycled materials, and some caterpillars and inch worms were the children practiced writing their names. The school even smelled great on days when honey cookies were made and shared with all of the classes!

** Don’t forget to check Facebook for fun updates and photos from all the campuses**
Welcoming the Drama Teacher, Randall Pierce and Dance Instructor, Fia Moser

Hello Heartworks Community! My name is Randal Pierce and I’ll be teaching pre-K drama classes in four different locations this year: Shelburne, Williston, Essex and Burlington. I’ve already begun classes with the children and they’ve been very inspiring and engaging - clearly natural actors. My background is in performance and musical theater and I’ve been teaching music and drama at the Renaissance and Endeavor schools for the past year. We have been starting each class with exercises using our faces and our whole selves to make shapes, develop characters and show feelings. Our plan is to be able to use these newfound skills to tell stories through expressive bodies and have fun playing some of our favorite characters. I’m looking forward to what I can tell is going to be a wonderful year!

My name is Fia Moser and I am so excited to be working with your little dancers here at STEAMworks. During the month of September each class will be working on Creative Movement. We will focus on themes of energy, rhythm, shapes, and both axial and locomotor movements. We will play dance games such as freeze dance, dance handshakes, and pass the jump while learning the basic technique of turnout, arched feet, and up on toes. The fall performance pieces are “Autumn Scene” and “The Sugar Plum Fairy”. 

We are so excited to have these two wonderfully talented people join the schools and enrich our Arts program!

Looking Ahead
October Themes

During the month of October many of the classrooms have been exploring our theme of Meteorology. From the Two year olds up to the Prekindergarten classrooms the children have been introduced to cloud formations, condensation patterns, scientific terms such as hypothesis, evaporation, cumulus and condensation. They have been working on hands on scientific experiments utilizing the leaves around us and even growing their own grass! The school has been celebrating this wonderful fall season that aligns so nicely to our theme with going on our first field trip to Chapin Orchards to crumpling up leaves for an experiment. The school has smelled so good the past few weeks and there is a bake sale coming up soon; hosted by the Pre-k’s so please be sure to stop in that morning and grab some treats. Autumn is a wonderful time to enjoy baking with the children both at school and at home. We hope you enjoy the honey cookies recipe below.
Honey Cookies                
1 cup white sugar
1 cup shortening
1 cup honey
2 eggs (substitute with ½ cup unsweetened applesauce)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger

Melt together sugar, shortening and honey. Let cool. In a separate bowl mix together eggs (applesauce), vanilla, baking soda and ginger. Gradually add to cooled honey mixture. Slowly add 4 cups of flour to the mixture. Stir until well blended. Drop by teaspoonsful onto cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake at 350 degrees F until golden. (12-15 minutes) Enjoy!

Upcoming Events and Reminders
STEAMworks Halloween Celebrations
October is a time to celebrate the season of pumpkins, foliage and Halloween. On Tuesday, October 31st we will have our Halloween costume parade! The children are to come to school at their scheduled time as the parade will start at 8:45am. If parents can stick with their normal routine but would like to stay to watch, we invite you to stand in our playground area while all the children walk around the school. If your child is not in school on Tuesday, they are more than welcome to join their class for the parade and pre-k performance. 

Throughout October , the students have been working on the character development of compassion. Hurricane Harvey affected thousands of  lives in and around the Houston, Texas area. Molly, our Pre-K teacher, as partnered with a Houston, Texas classroom to donate proceeds from a bake sale they will be hosting on Thursday, October 26th. Please come show your support and show the children that compassion is a true need everyday; any donation will make an impact. Thank you in advance!

STEAMworks will be parading at 8:45am and will be followed by a Halloween skit on the playground (weather permitting)
*If your child does not usually attend school on this day, we would love for you to bring them in and join us in the parade.

Costume Guidelines:
In years past children have dressed up like animals, athletes, community helpers, clowns, storybook or fairy tale characters. In keeping with the philosophy of Heartworks, we ask that they costumes reflect a peaceful representation of a character rather than one of fear or violence. Please refrain from frightening costumes, masks or weapons of any kind (guns, knives, swords, etc.) Please avoid commercialized movie or television characters and superhero-type costumes (such as Power Rangers, Spiderman, Batman, etc.). We appreciate your efforts in coming up with costumes that are fun and reflect the playful, creative childhood spirit of Halloween.

Safe Lunches

All cut food items need to be cut into pieces smaller than ½ inch size for children that are two. If children are able to pick the food items such as sandwiches, apple slices, crackers, cereal bars, etc. they do not need to be cut. Grapes, tomatoes, and olives must be cut lengthwise or in quarters for all children. If providing carrots, they must be cut in very skinny lengthwise strips or cooked for children under four. The shredded carrots you can buy pre-cut at the store are the perfect size. Hot dogs and other similarly shaped foods must be sliced lengthwise and then cut in half. 

The following food items are ones we are unable to serve for all children 4 and under according to NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) guidelines, which we must follow: popcorn, pretzels, and raw peas. 

We are a nut free facility and do not serve items that contain, or may contain peanuts or tree nuts, or even those items processed in the same facilities. Cereal bars and granola bars often have these types of labels on them. Please check all labels before packing items in your child’s lunchbox, and if the packaged items do not list ingredients please indicate that it is free of all peanut and tree nut warning labels. We check lunches every day and if we are not certain about a food item we will set the item aside to be sent home. 

Thank you for following these guidelines as you prepare food for your child during their day at school.

STEAMworks Open House

The STEAMworks preschool program (a new school from Heartworks Preschools), designed for children ranging from 2 years to 5 years, will introduce children to important concepts and spark their natural curiosity in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. STEAMworks is currently accepting applications for enrollment this spring and summer for ages 2 years old to 5 years old. For more information or to request an application, please contact Kate at kate.driver@heartworksvt.com.
STEAMworks is inviting all interested families to attend their open house on May 6th from 9:00am to 11:00am where children are invited to participate in activities led by teachers, while parents learn about the mission, philosophy, and methods of the STEAMworks and Heartworks Preschools.