March Newsletter

March 1st, 2015 No Comments

Dear Parents,

March is a super busy month at the Peppermint Tree, from start to finish!   In addition to our monthly visit from Mr. Scott the Music Man on March 23rd, The Ocean County Library Storyteller is visiting on Monday, March 2nd, and we will hold our annual Muscular Dystrophy Hop-A-Thon during the week of March 9th!  The Dental Hygienist who had to cancel her visit last week, has been re-scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday 3/3 and 3/4 to teach the children about proper dental care.

We also have an exciting free family event:  “Kids Night Club”, coming on Friday evening March 27th, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.  Parents, siblings and students are all invited to attend this FREE event.  We will offer a fun ‘dance party” room, and a “photo booth” with zany props, as well as snacks and prizes.  Please RSVP!  We hope you’ll join us!

We enjoy bringing an enriching and exciting program to your children each month.  And, March is no exception.  So, let’s have a great month together!

Our next Strengthening Families Meeting will be held Wednesday, March 11th at 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Child Care is provided at no charge.

Please consider joining us!  All parents/guardians and staff are welcome to help us plan events and activities that benefit The Peppermint Tree children and families.   Come and meet your fellow Peppermint Tree parents and help us continue to bring great experiences to our kids and families.   The next event we are planning is “Kids Night Club”, which will be held on Friday, March 27th, at 6:30 p.m.

Beginning this month – A fabulous addition to our curriculum – A special program on “Mindfulness”

Mindfulness is the skill of paying attention to the present moment; fun activities will be presented that focus on helping children manage their attention, impulse control, in-class participation, and empathy.  Peppermint Tree students in the Preschool through Kindergarten classes will be participating in this program.  (Our Early Learners are a bit too young to benefit from this program.)  The program will be offered from now through the end of the school year, beginning March 5th on Thursday and Friday mornings (and additionally on Thursday afternoons for those children who arrive at 11:30).  Due to a schedule conflict, the second week of the program will occur on Wednesday and Thursday, 3/11 & 3/12 (instead of on Friday 3/13).

This program will be brought to us by an expert in teaching mindfulness to young children from The Children’s Home Society (CHS), through a grant from Helping Others Grow.   We are thrilled to have been chosen by Helping Others Grow as the recipient of this grant to benefit our students.

There is no additional cost for your child to participate, however, you must complete the CHS permission packet in order for your child to participate.  Most families did complete these earlier in the year.  If we did not receive your completed package, we have either mailed a packet to you sent from CHS or sent home a new packet.  Please complete and return so your child can participate in the Mindfulness curriculum activities.

Announcing a Fundraiser celebrating YOUR CHILD’S CREATIVITY—coming to Peppermint Tree!  Thank you in advance you for your support!!!

Our last fundraiser of the year CELEBRATES THE CHILDREN’S ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND CREATIVITY!!!   We are working with “Square 1 Art” to bring this program to The Peppermint Tree.   How quickly the children change and grow…our new art fundraiser will not only benefit the children by providing us funds for materials, it offers you the opportunity to purchase items featuring your own child’s artwork.  We are working toward purchasing some new outdoor supplies for the Spring.  Thanks for your participation in our fund raising events, that make these “extra’s” possible!

The children have been working on their artwork and we are getting ready to send it into  Square1  so this is just a heads up that this is coming.  If you’d like a preview of the program and what will be available, got to:   www.square1art.com

Each child will receive a sheet of free stickers with their artwork printed on it, and you will get a custom printed catalog, featuring your child’s artwork, to review.  We appreciate your support!

MDA Hop-A-Thon, Week of March 9th, 2014

We have chosen the MDA Hop-A-Thon for the past few years as an annual charity opportunity, because the MDA provides us with excellent materials to teach the children about those who are sick and in wheel chairs, and about being thankful for their strong muscles, and using them to help children in need.  It is a wonderful program, and the children really enjoy “Hopping to Help”.   Each class will learn about helping others and about children with disabilities such as muscular dystrophy, as a part of their participation in the Hop-A-Thon.  Please look for the envelope that will be sent home with your child to provide your permission for participation, and to send in a donation to the MDA if you are able.  Thanks for supporting your child’s efforts to help children in need.

Registration for Summer Camp 2015 and Fall 2015 School Year are now in Full Swing – Register before April 1st to lock in 2014 rates.  Registrations received after April 1 will be subject to new 2015 rates.

We are now accepting both summer camp and school year 2015-2016 registrations from the general public, and we are doing a bit of advertising for this, as well.  If you have not yet registered your child, please do so as soon as possible, so we can be sure to save you a spot, for the schedule you need.  With our on-site swimming pools and extensive activities, our summer camp tends to fill quickly.  You can register quite easily, for both Fall and Summer, on-line at our secure website: https://www.pepperminttree.com/registration/ or by filling out the paper application we sent home recently.

Please keep in mind that there is a $75.00 family registration fee to reserve your spot for Summer and for the Fall.  A separate fee is required for each session, however, one fee covers all children in your family for that session.  We need a separate application form filled out for each child.  We also offer online payment for the Registration Fee and  for tuition as well, via PayPal.    See our website (any page but the home page) for the button to “click” on to pay us via PayPal.   If you have any questions, just call us at 732-929-2500.

A quick reminder about Summer Camp tuition:  The first payment for summer camp is due on June 1, as is your last payment for school tuition (unless you get your security deposit applied).  Some families choose to begin paying for Summer Camp in advance by making partial payments to offset the extra tuition due in June.  We will gladly work out a payment plan that will work for you.  Just call the office.

Join the Summer Fun at Peppermint Tree Summer Camp!

We have so much to offer with field trips, daily themes, swimming pools, swim lessons, and visitors: there is non-stop action and choices to keep your child active and happy all summer long.  We offer three, three-week sessions.  Your child can attend 2, 3, 4, or 5 days per week.   If you haven’t yet tried our summer camp, why don’t you sign your child up for at least Session 1, to see how they like it?   Check out the video I made explaining our summer camp program at:http://www.pepperminttree.com/videos/ It’s the fourth video down on the page.    There is also a full description of the program at:  http://www.pepperminttree.com/our-summer-program/   Join Us!!!

Soccer Shots is returning to Peppermint Tree for a Spring Soccer Session – a Free Demo will be offered to all children on Thursday, 3/26/15 at 2:00 p.m.

This is an optional activity you may choose to sign your child up for.  Many children have enjoyed this class in the past years: children learn soccer skills, as well as a lesson on character during each class.  The classes offer a fun, non-competitive atmosphere.  Classes are taught outdoors by a soccer coach from “Soccer Shots” on The Peppermint Tree grounds.  We will provide the flier for this class when it is available.  For more information on Soccer Shots, go to:

http://www.soccershots.org/oceancounty/

Healthy Kids Healthy Future

As we announced in last month’s newsletter, The Peppermint Tree is very proud to be participating in the National Early Learning Collaborative. Through this program, our staff is receiving training and support to educate our children about healthy habits (like eating nutritious foods and getting exercise), and to encourage them to be physically active throughout the day.

We have already made a nice change: and that is to have water available at all times in “kid size’ pitchers in each classroom.  We are teaching the children to notice when they want a drink and to help themselves to water at any time.  (We have always offered water, but now we have purchased small pitchers so the children can pour on their own, and we have been emphasizing to them the importance of drinking water throughout the day.)

Watch for nutrition and activity information being emailed home so that we can share the important information we are learning with you, our families.

Upcoming April Events

  • Budding Artists Gallery – ” at Toms River Library (all through the month of April) We will be submitting artwork from our students for this art show-more details to come.
  • Ocean County Children’s Festival: Sunday, April 11th, at Toms River Library – mark your calendars, more details to come.  (And perhaps a second outdoor festival on April 18th in Ocean County Park – more details to come as we learn more.).  These events are in celebration of the Week of the Young Child”.

Parent Notes

  • Punch in and out: If you come in to drop off or pick up your child, and you have a time card, PLEASE punch your child in and out each day.  The state requires our accurate records for attendance and drop off and pick up timing, and this is also for your child’s protection that we have an accurate system knowing when they are dropped off and picked up.  Please do not have your child punch the card.  The adult should do this.  THANK YOU!  (This does not apply to parents who drop off and pick up on “the line”).  The only days you do not have to punch out are when the children are outside.  The sign out sheet is offered on “outdoor days” as an alternate convenience so you do not have to go inside to punch out.
  • For parents using our car “line” to drop off and pick up:  Please place your child (in their car seat) on the passenger side of the back seat, so our staff can easily get them in and out of your vehicle.   Please stay in your vehicle and wait for a staff member to get your child from your car.  If you intend to leave your car, please do not park in the “line”.  Instead, use a parking space in the back or park on the street (away from the yellow curb) and walk your child in.
  • Send in your “Boxtops for Education”!!! Thanks to parent volunteer Joanne Engo for managing this program for Peppermint Tree.
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