December 2012

As I sit in my office this morning writing this article to you, I hear Mrs. Brown’s class singing “Jingle Bells.” I listen to Mrs. Talbot read the book, When the Relatives Came, by Cynthia Rylant which is all about a big family getting together and spending time with each other. I see red and green craft paper, pine cones to paint and spread with glitter in the classrooms and hear children playing in the courtyard enjoying our rainy day schedule immensely.

We keep Christmas preparations at an age appropriate level as we sing, listen to stories, make decorations and play with each other. We talk about the first Christmas and the birth of baby Jesus. We have wooden crèches in the classrooms that the children can handle and move around retelling the story.

My final wish for all of you is from a card I recently received which says:

 “Let peace fill our hearts and our homes until it overflows into our world, with a prayer that peace and contentment will be yours at Christmas time and always.”

Nancy Swanson, Director

Thank you parents and familes for shopping at out school Book Fair!  It was a very successful event!  I was thrilled to get my holiday shopping started and so appreciative the gifts were wrapped for me.  The teachers will be happy to receive the new items for their classrooms.  A special thank you to Cynthia Chylinski, Hong Yoon Plurad and parent volunteers for all their hard work.

Coming up we have our Adopt-a-Family program, December 3-14th, where you can help support five needly families from La Casa Community Center.   The Christmas “Giving Tree” will be decorated with ornaments and placed outside your child’s classroom.  It’s a wonderful opportunity to show our children the gift of giving.

This Christmas you will have the opportunity to make a donation to the Nursery School for special items which are not covered by the yearly budget.  Our Christmas Wish List is to purchase computer equipment for the Director’s office, raise our fund for special events, and purchase educational toys/games for the classrooms.  Look for the Snowman donation box at the entrance of the school from December 12-21st.  We encourage parents not to give holiday teacher gifts. In lieu of teacher gifts, the school prefers your support to our Christmas Wish List program.  Your generosity will go a long way in helping support SMCC Nursery School.

December can be a very hectic month for parents of young children.  So I wish you all a joyous and peaceful holiday season! Happy Holidays!

Colleen McGuinness, President

It is that time of year again for our annual Christmas Giving Trees.  Beginning on Monday, December 3rd through Wednesday, December 12th each classroom will adopt a needy family from the La Casa Community Center of San Gabriel.  A Christmas tree will be posted at your child’s classroom with special ornaments that suggest a gift for a child.  There are also special tags if you are interested in donating to a gift certificate.

This is a wonderful opportunity to show our children the gift of giving, and your generosity and kindness will go a long way in helping give each of these families a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday.  Thank you in advance for making this a special time of year.

A letter will be going home in your child’s cubby discussing the particulars of the event.  If you have any questions don’t hesitate to e-mail me at

Claire Hart, SMCCNS Scholarship Chair

This annual tradition began many years ago when our wonderful teachers decided that instead of receiving individual gifts during the holidays, they would prefer that families contribute to the Christmas Wish List, our school’s one and only fundraising activity.  Your donations will allow us to provide our teachers with new educational tools and bring in special programs for our children.

This year, the teachers have wished for items such as a new teaching easel, building sets, and a read-along listening center.  The Christmas Wish List also provides funding for programs such as music appreciation, a live animal show and the ever-popular Bubble show, and also supports the Parent Education series.  We will also be purchasing a new computer and office equipment for the incoming Director.

Beginning Monday, December 10th, a snowman will be placed at the entrance of the nursery school.  This snowman will be collecting the donation envelopes that will be placed in your child’s cubby.  In lieu of purchasing teacher gifts during this holiday season, we hope you will consider making a contribution to the Christmas Wish List.

Janice Segimoto, Wish List Chair

We are decorating our classrooms for a very special Christmas party to which all parents (and grandparents) are invited. Please bring your child to the classroom at 10:30am on the day of your child’s party.  All Tu/Th classes and Mrs. Brown’s Class will celebrate on Thursday, December 20th (no school for Mrs. Talbot’s class or M/W/F classes).  All M/W/F classes and Mrs. Talbot’s Class will celebrate on Friday, December 21st (no school for Mrs. Brown’s Class).

Please let your child’s teacher know if you will be bringing grandparents so we can put out enough chairs in the classrooms.  This is a special party for your child so we ask that siblings do not attend if possible.

During our time in the church, Rev. Jason Griffice will tell the Christmas story.  Jason is our new associate pastor and Elsie Griffice ’s dad.  She is in Mrs. Randall’s Group VIII class.

Thanks to everyone for a very fun and successful Book Fair on 11/27 & 11/28.  For two days we held our annual Book Fair at Fellowship Hall.  There were books, toys and crafts for pre-schoolers, older siblings and adults.  We had tables with teacher’s picks, recommendations from the Parent Education Series and the popular donations to the Teacher’s classrooms.   The teachers had to restock their request tables multiple times to keep up with the generous parents!  We had a great turnout this year!

A special thanks goes to those who donated their time and skills.  Thanks to Mary Buckley for the artistically designed signs, which we will use for years to come.  Thanks to all those who volunteered setting up, wrapping, cashiering, promoting sales and cleaning up!

Natalie O’Connor, Hyunju Jung, Jeanne Kim Munoz, Dawn Fagot, May Liu, Ann Babcock, Monica Rojas, Joelle Grossi, Eric Luk, Min Ha, Susan Chang, Maren Schneider, Claire Hart, Rosemary Lay, Daniela Derriman, Brenda Salinas, Janice Segimoto, Colleen McGuinness, Mary Buckley, Tun Ma, Allison McCroskey, Jennifer Poulos-Gopen and Amy Walker.

Thanks to the San Marino Toy & Book Store for their partnership, 20% of all proceeds were donated to our school.

Cynthia Chylinski & Hong Yoon Plurad, Book Fair Co-Chairs

Thank you to all our families who brought our Thanksgiving treats!

Mrs. Talbot M-F       Christopher Hart
Mrs. Brown M-F        Alexander Larios
Mrs. Fitzhugh MWF   Ella Mechoso
Mrs. Randall MWF     Lily Huang
Mrs. Conkling MWF   Samantha Guzman
Mrs. Perth TTH        Piper Chylinski
Mrs. Conkling TTH    Nicholas Grossi
Mrs. Randall TTH      Jackie Fong

Parent Education is taking a break for the month of December.  We will begin again in the New Year the same week we return to school.  Please join us then for SMCC’s Rev. Karen Berns with “Nurturing Faith-filled Children:  Helping Your Children Grow Spiritually to Know and Love God, People, and Creation.”

Tuesday, January 8th
The Community Room
9:15am – 11:30am

RSVP:  Please sign-up if you are planning to attend.  The sign-up sheet will be on the Parent Education Board in the courtyard on Monday, December 10th.

Babysitting:  Sign-up sheets will be posted on the Parent Education Board in the courtyard.  Cost is $10 per child.  Please contact Joy Flores if additional information:

Rev. Karen Berns will present helpful guidance for parents of young children based on child-development research and biblical wisdom.

What is faith? What are age-appropriate ways of introducing and fostering faith and a spiritual life? What are ways you can respond to challenging questions from a realistic, faith-encouraging perspective? Bring your questions about this topic to an experienced pastor and spiritual guide.

Thank you to Malia Griffice and Susan Chang from Mrs. Randall’s class for new December window! Please make sure to stop by and see the Christmas decorations and children’s pictures!

Mark your calendar – Picnic Day sign-ups are on December 13 (Thursday Picnic only) and December 14 at 9 am in the Courtyard.

As a reminder or to those who may not know, you must pay for Picnic Day at time of signing up your child.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Debbie Merryman.

Debbie Merryman, Picnic Day Chair

Nancy Swanson celebrated 25 years as SMCC Nursery School Director last June and this fall formally announced her retirement!  As she prepares to finish out the school year, a committee is working to find her replacement.

SMCC Nursery School Board President, Colleen McGuinness is serving on the Search Committee alongside Alison Moller (Church Elder, Personnel Committee), Hilary Dorsey (Church Elder, Education and Spiritual Development Committee), and Rev. Becca Moran Bateman (Associate Pastor for Children’s Ministry), in accordance with our by-laws.  The successful candidate will be a well-qualified person who will uphold the school’s standards and philosophy.

The committee will update you throughout the process.  They are off to a good start and feel confident they’ll find the right person for the position.

Colleen McGuinness, President

Prospective Parent Tours are scheduled for the following Wednesdays at 8:45 to 9:45 A.M. in the Conference Room:

January 16
January 23
February 6
February 13
March 6
March 20
March 27

Reservations are not necessary.

Meet in the Valentine Front Office to join the tour on any of the above dates.