January 2014

Letter from the Director

Happy New Year to All!

Wow! What a whirlwind of activity there was around here in December!  I am so grateful to have celebrated with you all during the Christmas festivities. The time with friends and family during the holidays is always a welcome invitation to slow down and appreciate the little things. Watching your smiles as you saw the wonder in your children’s eyes while they listened to the Christmas story in the Sanctuary, and as you sang with your children in that beautiful space, was a true gift for me.

Thank you to everyone who participated in our Annual Book Fair! Our classrooms and School Library are chocked full of new and exciting books, games and toys to share with the children. I extend a huge thank you to Cynthia Chylinski and Joelle Grossi for their hard work in organizing this big event. And to all of the families that participated in the Adopt-A-Family, we thank you. You certainly made the Christmas Season much brighter for a family who truly needed it. The response to our own Christmas Wish List was also very impactful. Thank you all for your participation. Our school is a special place of loving, caring and exploration. The funds we raise through this, our only fundraising endeavor, helps us to maintain the high quality programs and facilities that we love and that the children of today and tomorrow will continue to enjoy.

In the coming months you may be looking forward to an opportunity to connect with other parents at our school for some of our Parent Education seminars. These are events that provide a time to listen and learn from parents and experts who have experience from the parenting trenches.  They have been where you are in the parenting journey and are giving of their time and talents to help us all be a little better-prepared, wiser, and more present for our children. These seminars are also great community builders and I invite you to take advantage of the opportunities that they offer.

May the coming year bring you all much joy, love, peace and many blessings!

Jane Walker, Director

Teacher Recommendation Forms

Each year our lead teachers are asked to write teacher recommendations for children applying to various private schools in the area. The teachers and I spend a great deal of time and effort making sure that each and every recommendation sent reflects the child described. These recommendations are written during out-of-school hours, and the school pays for the teacher’s time. Therefore, we ask that parents do the following when requesting teacher recommendations:

1.     Please give Jane Walker the recommendation form at least two weeks before it is due. The longer the time the teachers have to fill out the recommendations, the better.

2.     Please include a stamped, addressed envelope with each recommendation.

3.     Please pay the school a processing fee of ten dollars ($10.00) for the first recommendation and five dollars ($5.00) for each recommendation thereafter. Some schools in the area are now using the same teacher recommendation form. Only one processing fee of ten dollars ($10.00) will be charged regardless of how many copies are made.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Christmas Wish List

Thank you to all of the families who contributed to the Christmas Wish List!  Your generous donations will make it possible for us to bring in a variety of educational programs and to purchase the new classroom toys and teaching tools chosen by the teachers.

Your generosity and thoughtfulness will benefit the children and the school for many years to come.  On behalf of the SMCC Nursery School Board, staff, and teachers, thank you again!

Danica Hughes, Wish List Chair

Adopt-A-Family Program

Thank you for your participation in the true spirit of giving this Christmas!  There was an outpouring of generosity from families at SMCCNS this year.  Collectively, we brought joy and merriment to five local families in need with presents and Target gift cards.

Our next opportunity to donate to our local charity, La Casa de San Gabriel, will be the Spring Clothing Drive.   As you are cleaning out your closets, please begin to set aside used children’s clothing items.

Colleen McGuinness, Scholarship & Community Outreach Chair

Parent Education Series

Mark your calendars for the next Parent Education on Thursday, January 23, at 9:15 – 11:30 am with Dr. Gail Ellis, Psy. D., Licensed Psychologist at Pasadena City College.  Dr. Ellis, grandmother to recently graduated students of SMCC Nursery School, will provide us with “Pearls of Positive Parenting”, and help us address common parenting issues as well as child development and school decisions.  Please come join us as she is a wonderful speaker and we can all start the New Year off on the right (positive) parenting foot!  Mrs. Randall’s class will sponsor this educational session.  Babysitting is available.  To sign-up please email Joy Flores at joycedawnbon@aol.com.

Thank you to Mrs. Conkling’s class for the snacks and adorable ornaments last month at Reverend Becca Bateman’s talk, “If you can teach them about Santa, you can teach them about Jesus”.  We were all inspired to guide our children through the holiday season with family traditions and spirituality.

A big thanks goes to all the teachers of our school for working with the children to create holiday cards for active military servicemen and women.  The entire school participated in the “Holiday Mail for Heroes” program.  Together we sent over 81 cards to the American Red Cross (on time) to be distributed to active military overseas and wounded military in hospitals.  The children learned about military service, the Red Cross and what it means to be a hero.  I have no doubt that 81 military personnel were especially touched by receiving one of these precious handmade cards.

Hong Yoon Plurad, Parent Education Chair

Picnic Day

Picnic day sign-ups for February will open online January 17th at 10am. Please remember payment is due by noon on Tuesday, January 21.Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Jessica Martignetti, Picnic Day Chair

Christmas Parties

Thank you to all who brought our festive Christmas treats for the Christmas Parties!  And a big thank you to all the Room Parents who helped to coordinate such fantastic celebrations!

Group 1 (Talbot) – Parker Plurad, Grant O’Mara and Tyler Knight

Group 2 (Brown) – Sam Merryman, Piper Chylinski and Charlotte Kurtz

Group 3 (Fitzhugh) – Emilia Nakamura, Kara Choy and Sophia Chen

Group 4 (Randall) – Theodora Song and Jamie Chung

Group 5 (Conkling) – Kylie Lei, Sean Park and Nicolette Stamus

Group 6 (Perth) – Spencer Gayl, Sylvia Ornelas, and Alina Mechoso

Group 7 (Conkling) – Riley Chang, Craig O’Mara and Talita Oliveira

Church Activities

Register for Music & Discovery!  Music & Discovery is an after school weekly music program for children.  It resumes January 29th.  For more information, contact Becca Bateman at bbateman@smccpby.com.

Save the Date – Vacation Bible School at SMCC will be held July 21 – 25.

Nursery School Nurture

Delicious Granola Recipe (submitted by Hong Yoon Plurad)

Local Activities Website

Make Snow Paint!  Recipe (below) makes a gritty, sparkly, white paint that looks like snow.  Use line tracing activities based on the book A Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats.  This is good for prewriting practice and fine motor skills.

Snow Paint






Make Cloud Dough! It’s like sand, but it molds and is easy to clean up.  In a large container combine 4 cups of flour and 1/2 cup of baby-oil. Mix it together with your hands until the shapes are able to mold (usually about 3-4 minutes). Store it in a sealed container and you have it for next time.

Cloud Dough






Snowman Craft Idea

Snowman Craft






Start the New Year off by keeping all your special moments, dreams and goals/resolutions for you and your family (written on little note cards) in a Memory Jar.  Each year you can start all over again and save the previous year’s memories.  A perfect way to remember the year.

Memory Jar






Visit “Chill” at The Queen Mary.  Open until January 12th.