November 2014

Letter From the Director

We have recently begun the process of a home remodel – a very daunting process.  Talking to architects and making plans is a lot of work.  The fun part, choosing furniture, is my favorite part.  One benefit of the remodel is that our kitchen will be enlarged, and as I was making a note of this to my husband, he mentioned, within earshot of my youngest son, that we might consider getting a larger kitchen table.  “No way!” Ryan yelled from the other room.  “You cannot take away the kitchen table.”  When we asked him to give us more of his thoughts on the idea of replacing the kitchen table, it was clear to us both that he has many memories of meals and study sessions around that table.  It is often the place where we do school projects, make cards and wrap presents for friends and family.  We have birthday breakfasts and use the space for cooking together.  His reasoning was becoming clear to the both of us.  The table would have to stay.

I admit, over the years, the number of family meals has dwindled as our boys have grown and become involved in more activities, but we do make it a priority to have as many meals together as we can as a family, especially on Sundays.  Sometimes it is breakfast, and sometimes we have to eat later than normal, and some nights we just share milk and cookies before bed around the kitchen table.  We do this partly because the statistics are clear, and state that: Family dinners are more important than play, story time and other family events in the development of vocabulary of younger children. (Harvard Research, 1996).  Frequent family meals are associated with a lower risk of smoking, drinking and using drugs; with a lower incidence of depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts; and with better grades in 11 to 18 year olds. (Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 2004).  We also do it because we create wonderful memories when we share this time together.  It provides a place where we can face and focus on one another.  Sometimes the hardest thing to do as a parent is listen to your children, and at the kitchen table, we listen to them, we share our thoughts and ideas, we see them, and we read body language and learn from their silent moments.  It creates a bond, a sense of belonging.

November is a cherished time.  The weather begins to turn, preparations for Thanksgiving are mapped out, and we remember our past holidays and all of the things we are grateful for.  Along with the blessing of the time I have with my family, I am grateful for the time I spend here at school with your children and you, our staff and our visitors.  Thank you for trusting your children to us.  May this November bring you many warm moments to cherish for years to come.

Jane Walker, Director


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                  Nicolette Felgner and Maria Manibog

Group 2          Mrs. Brown                 Dori Mukherjee and Kelly Paulus

Group 3          Mrs. Fitzhugh             Dena Meehoso and Ann Pearson

Group 4          Mrs. Chang/Eaton     Renita Lin and Rosemary Lay

Group 5          Mrs. Conkling             Debbie Merryman and Steve and Kristen Todd

Group 6          Mrs. Perth                    Ivy Lee and Lisa Montaro

Group 7          Mrs. Conkling              Kelly Paulus and Meghan McCarty


October Window Display

Many thanks to Room Parents, Kirsten Poole and Jessica Martignetti from Mrs. Conkling’s M/W/F class for their adorable and creative October window display!


Halloween Cookie Days

Thank you to the following for bringing cookies to celebrate Halloween!

Group I (Talbot)                     Cara & Olivia Yamamoto

Group II (Brown)                   Matthew O’Connor

Group III (Fitzhugh)             Frederik Larsen

Group IV (Eaton/Chang)      Olivia Lin

Group V (Conkling)               Aidan Anido

Group VI (Perth)                    August Zahn

Group VII (Conkling)            Kenzie Studer


Upcoming Events

  • School Photo Days:  Photos will be taken in the play yards.  There is no need to dress your child in special clothing, as these are not formal portraits.
    • Monday Nov. 3rd – Mrs. Fitzhugh’s (M/W/F) and Mrs. Talbot’s (M-F ) classes
    • Tuesday Nov. 4th – Mrs. Perth’s (T/Th) and Mrs. Eaton/Mrs. Chang’s (M-F) classes
    • Wednesday Nov. 5th – Mrs. Conkling’s (M/W/F) and Mrs. Chang/Mrs. Eaton’s (M/W/F) classes
    • Thursday Nov. 6th – Mrs. Conkling’s (T/Th) and Mrs. Brown’s (M-F) classes
  • Heirloom Wooden Toys – Tuesday Nov. 4th & Wednesday Nov. 5th:  Stop by the church lounge to check out the beautiful toys for children of ALL ages!  Studies show that hands-on toys are the best for long term, meaningful learning.  They make beautiful Christmas gifts, and best of all it is a wonderful way to support our school!
  • Chapel – Tuesday Nov. 18th & Wednesday Nov. 19th:  Community Room


Parent Education Update

Thank you to everyone who attended the Kindergarten Panel in October; you helped get our Parent Education series off to a great start!  Our own Mrs. Talbot, Kindergarten teacher Krista Diaz, and former Head of Elementary School at Mayfield Jill Brown got us all up to speed on Kindergarten options and readiness.  Mrs. Perth and Mrs. Fitzhugh’s classes were wonderful sponsors, and 4 moms won picnic day vouchers in the raffle.

Our next event will be FAMILY RITUALS on THURSDAY, DECEMBER 4, from 9:15-11:30 in the Community Room.  Ron Eckert, Associate Director of Yosemite Sierra Summer Camp will talk about the importance of family rituals both at the holidays and throughout the year.  Mrs. Conkling’s classes will sponsor the event, and childcare will be available.  And we will raffle off more picnic day vouchers!  Please contact Amanda Tracey at for more information.


Picnic Day

Mark your calendars!  Our next online Picnic Day sign-up will open on Friday, November 21st at 10am.  This sign-up will be for the month of December.

Please remember payment is due by 12 noon the following Tuesday, November 25th.  Checks should be made payable to San Marino Community Church Nursery School. Please indicate your child’s name and the days you are signing up for on the check or on a note attached to the check.  If you must make a cash payment, please attach a note to indicate which family the payment should be credited to and for what dates.  Please contact me with any questions.

Maren Hoecker, Picnic Day Chair


School Spirit Days

Spirit Days are Nov 20 and 21 this month due to the Thanksgiving break.  Please show school pride by wearing your shirts or hoodies. Gobble, gobble!

Missed your chance to order school shirts and hoodies?  Additional items will be on sale during our wooden toy fair in November and in Jane Walker’s office.

Ivy Lee, Merchandise Sales


Christmas Adopt-a-Family

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.  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.

Nicolette Felgner, Scholarship Chair