November 2013

Letter from the Director

A mere two weeks ago, when the days were still warm, my husband and three boys and I decided to take advantage of one sunny Saturday afternoon to tackle the overgrowth in our yard. Armed with our shears and rakes, we pruned and snipped the boxwood, roses and vines. We clipped the Lamb’s Ear in the sensory garden, along with the lemon trees, gardenia, rosemary and lavender. It felt good to be working together to get our garden ready for the cooler days ahead. Once all was swept clean, we sat and marveled at all we had done, and crunched on a snack of apples and oranges – appreciating their refreshing effect. Fast forward just two weeks to today and I feel the coolness in the air. I see moms dropping off their children wearing their boots, puffy vests and sweaters. The cooler days are upon us, and I look forward to snuggling with my kids and snacking on hot cocoa and popcorn. Very soon, the autumn holidays will be upon us. This week we celebrate our Halloween Cookie Days. November Observations are just around the corner and that means that Thanksgiving will be here before you know it.  I love this time of year, and consider being here with our staff, you and your children to be among the many blessings in my life.

Happy holidays to you all,
Jane Walker, Director

John Tracey Hearing Clinic Screening

Wednesday, November 20 and Thursday, November 21
This is a free service to the community.
Permission slips and flyers will go home soon.
Permission slips should be returned Tuesday, November 12 and Wednesday, November 13.  Extra copies are in the nursery school office.

Thank you to Class Coffee Hosts

Thank you so very much to our Class Coffee hosts!  You provided a wonderful opportunity for all the parents, the teachers and Mrs. Walker to get better acquainted and learn more about your children’s classroom curriculum and experiences for this year.  A great time was had by all – thank you!

Group 1           Mrs. Talbot                  Shelby Knight & Natalie O’Connor
Group 2           Mrs. Brown                 Debbie Merryman & Jenny Rowe
Group 3           Mrs. Fitzhugh              Ann Babcock & Alice King
Group 4           Mrs. Randall               Jiji Park & Colleen McGuiness
Group 5           Mrs. Conkling            Kelly Paulus & Maren Pellant
Group 6           Mrs. Perth                  Tracy Gilligan & Natalie O’Connor
Group 7           Mrs. Conkling            Dalia Oliveira & Lynn Wu

Christmas Wish List

The Annual Christmas Wish List is a long-standing tradition at SMCC Nursery School.  In the past, the financial contributions made to the Wish List have allowed us to do structural repairs, maintenance, provide teachers with new educational tools to enrich their classrooms, and bring in special programs for our children.

You will soon be hearing more about this opportunity to support our wonderful school and its beloved teachers.  Please consider making a contribution to our Annual Christmas Wish List this holiday season!

Danica Hughes, Wish List Chair

Christmas Adopt-A-Family Opportunity

SMCC Nursery School will be adopting five families from La Casa Community Center for the holiday season.  As a school, we have a tradition of giving to families in our community to help provide a special holiday for those in need.  From December 5th until the 13th, each class will have a chance to participate.  This is a wonderful opportunity to show our children the gift of giving.  More information will be sent home in your child’s cubby, and posted in the December Newsletter.  Thanks in advance for your participation.

Colleen McGuinness, Scholarship Chair

Parent Education Update

Thank you to everyone who participated in our first Parent Education talk with Dr. Robert Riewerts on October 23.  A special thanks goes out to the parents of Mrs. Perth/Fitzhugh classes who brought the refreshments.  We all learned a lot about what is important for our children – reading and nutrition, and what is important for our family – dinners together and staying active.  Don’t forget to get your flu shot!  If you missed the presentation, Jane Walker has a copy of the handouts and the PowerPoint presentation in her office.

We are looking forward to our next speaker, our very own Rev. Becca Bateman, SMCC Associate Pastor for Children’s Ministries.  She will bring her enthusiasm to speak about how to incorporate spirituality into our lives, “If you can teach them about Santa, you can teach them about Jesus”.  How very true!  This will be a lively, interactive time.  Please come, enjoy some coffee and company.  It will be sponsored by Mrs. Conkling’s classes.   This free event will take place Tuesday, December 10, 2013, 9:15 am in the Community Room.  Babysitting is available for $10.  If you need babysitting, please RSVP to Joy Flores at

Hong Yoon Plurad, Parent Education Chair

Holiday Mail for Heroes through American Red Cross

I am happy to announce that this year, all children will be making a special holiday card that will be distributed to military personnel serving in active duty overseas or hospitalized at Christmastime.  The American Red Cross provides over 2 million cards every year.  These cards provide a welcome “touch of home” during the holiday season.  Handmade cards from children can lift anyone’s spirits – they are loved by those deployed during this time.  All cards will be collected and mailed by December 6, 2013.  For more information, contact Hong Yoon Plurad.

Book Fair

The annual SMCC Nursery School Book Fair is right around the corner. Hundreds of books and educational toys from San Marino Toy & Book Shoppe will be set up in Fellowship Hall between 8:30 am and 12:30 pm on December 3 and 4. This is a great opportunity to get some holiday shopping completed and 20% of everything you buy goes directly back to the school!

This year we are delighted to welcome Frans Vischer, award-winning children’s author of Fuddles and his new book, A Very Fuddles Christmas. Mr. Vischer will be signing books at the fair (on Tuesday) and also doing presentations in the classrooms with the children. Check out his whimsical books on his website You’ll be able to pre-order any of his books and have them signed and personalized. A great gift!

There are still opportunities to volunteer at the book fair. We can definitely use people for set-up and clean-up. Any help is greatly appreciated. There will be a sign-up sheet available in beginning of November in the courtyard, near the Picnic Day sign-ups.

We look forward to seeing you at the Book Fair!

Cynthia Chylinski & Joelle Grossi, Book Fair Co-Chairs

Picnic Days

There are no Picnic Day sign-ups this month.  The next sign-ups are Friday, December 13.These sign-up dates will be for Picnic Days taking place in the month of January.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Jessica Martignetti.

Jessica Martignetti, Picnic Day Chair

Halloween Cookies Days

Thank you to all who brought our delicious Halloween delights!

Group 1 (Talbot) – Mary Bingham
Group 2 (Brown) – Chloe Anido
Group 3 (Fitzhugh) – Cara & Olivia Yamamoto
Group 4 (Randall) – Nicholas Grossi
Group 5 (Conkling) – Cali Andrew
Group 6 (Perth) – Frederik Larsen
Group 7 (Conkling) – Brennan Wong

Window Coordinator

Many thanks to Mary Buckley, Jennifer Bingham, Natalie O’Connor and Leah Bielvedt from Mrs. Talbot’s M-F class for their “spooktacular” October window display!

“Thanksgiving Thanks” go out to Sheryl Brown and Ivy Lee from Mrs. Brown’s M-F class for the November window display!

Child Safety Seats

At Nursery School, we talk a lot about keeping our bodies and our friends safe. In that light, it was brought to my attention that we might bring the matter of Child Safety Seats and the new laws to your attention. Below are some guidelines. You will find the latest placard, provided by the CHP, posted on our Parent Board.

California Law (Effective 01/01/2012):

Children under the age of 8 must be secured in a car seat or booster seat in the back seat.

Children under the age of 8 who are 4′ 9″ or taller may be secured by a safety belt in the back seat.

Children who are 8 years and over shall be properly secured in an appropriate child passenger restraint system or safety belt.

Nursery School Nurture

We are debuting a new section to the Newsletter this month.  Below are some relevant and timely tips, guides, articles, recipes, and so on.  We hope you enjoy them!

turkey veggie platter

This Thanksgiving your kids will “gobble” up their vegetables when you arrange your crudité in this adorable Turkey display.  (submitted by Hong Yoon Plurad)





This month, create a Tree of Gratitude.  Everyday the children write, on paper-shaped leaves, something that he/she are thankful for and these are placed on the tree.  (submitted by Debbie Merryman)





Pumpkin Pie with Shortbread Crust Recipe – Tried, tested and loved by Mrs. Brown’s class!  (submitted by Cynthia Chylinski)




Holiday Play Dough Recipe (submitted by Jane Walker)

Here is an article to help manage stress and expectations during the holiday season.  9 Ways to Have a Simpler but More Satisfying Holiday  (submitted by Colleen McGuinness)

A book to read to your children before visitors come to your home or before you go to visit family and friends is The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant. It is a great, beautifully illustrated story about family, love and home.  (submitted by Jane Walker)