Dear Families,

Our school year is off to a fabulous start: the children are making new friends, learning their new routines, and enjoying the lessons and classroom activities.  We just can’t wait for some drier weather so we can explore the playground a bit more, too!

Please read this newsletter to stay “in the loop” about our upcoming activities, announcements and reminders.  Let’s have a great School Year together.

Valerie Frost-Lewis, MS Ed. (“Miss Val”)


The FUN BUS is coming – starting on Thursday, September 15th, offering an optional extra activity for all children on Thursday afternoons.  Sign up now!!  They will take the children who sign up from each class separately, in twenty minute classes.  (Children will be with their own class.)

The Fun Bus, which parks in our driveway and does not move while the children are on it, offers a fun fitness opportunity for children to play and learn new skills.  It’s a brand new mobile gym that allows for climbing, swinging, rolling, and all kinds of play.  They play music and have fun lights, which rounds it out as an awesome sensory experience!  The registration form is available at the school and is being emailed to families.  Turn the form in to your child’s teacher.

Mr. Scott the Music Man will be visiting each classroom on Monday September 19th!


Dear Families,

May is around the corner and we’ve got a lot of exciting and memory-making experiences in store for your family from now through the end of the school year!  It is really an action packed time…don’t miss anything!

Here is a run down of upcoming events:

What came first, the chicken or the egg?  Chick Hatching Event starting May 2nd!

On Monday, May 2nd, we will begin our Chick Hatching event right here on-site at Peppermint Tree.   The farmer will be coming with adult chickens to show the children and to explain all about eggs, chicks and the hatching we will be witnessing over the next week and a half.  The farmer leaves us with 12 eggs in an incubator…then the children will see the eggs hatch and the baby chicks entering the world right before their eyes!  A most exciting experience!   The farmer presentation and incubator will be in Miss Caren’s PreK classroom.  We will run a Zoom for the other classrooms to watch the Farmer’s presentation and we will allow the children from other classrooms to come in, a few at a time, as the eggs start hatching.

 “Kindergarten Readiness” Workshop being presented online via Zoom for Parents, Thursday, May 5th at 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.  Presented by our PreK teachers: Caren Meehan (who is also our Assistant Director) and Meredith Hamilton; and Valerie Frost-Lewis, MS Ed., Center Director.

Please join our Zoom presentation on Thursday, May 5th at 8:00 p.m. to discuss ways to help your child prepare for the transition to Kindergarten, and what to look for as indicators of readiness.  We are emailing a flier and Zoom link so you can join us, and we’d appreciate an RSVP, so we know who plans to attend.

Come to our Family Gardening Party! All families are invited to help us launch our Spring Vegetable Gardens, Saturday, May 14th

Each classroom has it’s own raised garden bed, adjacent to the pool, where we will be  planting vegetables.  We invite our families to join us to get the planting started, at our “Family Gardening Party”, Saturday, May 14th, 9:00 a.m. for the Early Learners class, 10:00 a.m. for Miss Liz’s Preschool class, 11:00 am for Mrs. Hamilton’s PreK class, and 12:00 noon for Miss Caren’s PreK class.  We will dig, plant, and celebrate together.  (Rain date is TBD).  Please RSVP to the office.

I wanted to also express a BIG THANK YOU to Janna and Chad Hockenjos, Peppermint Tree parents who donated all our seeds and seedlings for this year’s gardens!!  They set up each classroom with a seed planter too!  Thank you!!! (more…)

Dear Families,

How is it April 1st already?! Time flies when you’re having fun!

April is National Month of the Young Child, and we will be celebrating at the Ocean County Children’s Festival at Toms River Library on April 9th, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.  Peppermint Tree students’ artwork will be on display in the Children’s Art Show that will be on display in Mancini Hall (in TR Library) during the event, and we will also be offering a craft activity for community children.  Mr. Scott the Music Man will be performing at 2:15 p.m.- so please mark your calendar and don’t miss all the fun!

Miss Val is the chairperson running this community event- and our staff members are volunteering to make it a success.  So, we really hope we will see you there!! (more…)

Dear Families,

The children are excited that the weather is warming, and we look forward to a lot more outdoor time on the playground during March!   Our new playground apparatus is in – but we are awaiting one last part to be delivered until we can use it!  The children have been so patient!

During March, we will also have our monthly exciting visit from Mr. Scott the Music Man on March 30th. (more…)

Dear Families,

IT IS TIME… to register now for the 2022 – 2023 school year, and for Summer Camp 2022.  (Camp is almost full at this point-so please register ASAP!) We are accepting registrations for both programs NOW!

Registrations for the 2022-2023 School Year and Summer Camp 2022 are now flowing into the office from current families and we are opening  registration to the public for both programs.

Once registration is open to the public, we can no longer guarantee your child a place for camp or school next Fall until we receive your registration and fee.  It is first come first serve, and space is limited.  

Please fill out your child’s registration form either on paper & hand in to your child’s teacher, or on-line at our website:, and send in the $150.00 family registration fee for school and $100 for camp as soon as possible if you would like to reserve a spot for your child at Peppermint Tree next Fall and/or camp. (more…)

Dear Families,

Happy New Year to all of our families and staff! We hope you and your family had wonderful holidays together, and are enjoying these extra snow days!  We have a lot in store for your children and for the whole family in 2022.

I am so thankful and excited to let you know, that as a community, we raised over $400.00 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through our Pajama Days in December.  Thank you to all who participated!!  You all also raised over $1,500.00 for our new Playground Apparatus in donations and in our profit from the Miss Chocolate Fundraiser sale!  When the snow clears, the children will see that the new apparatus has now been installed!  We thank you all so very much for your generosity!!!!

Announcing … ONLINE REGISTRATION FOR FALL 2022 IS NOW OPEN!  We are offering in-house priority registration to our current students so you can save a spot for your child before we open the registration up to the public.  You may complete  the registration form and pay the registration fee on our website to save your child’s spot for the next school year.

Here is the link to register using our secure online form:
Here is our registration schedule:
  • In-House Priority Registration for School Year 2022-23 for current families only:  Now through – January 17, 2022.  As of January 18, 2022, Fall 2022 registration will be open to the public.   Online registration is open now, and we are also sending home a paper registration.
  • In-House Priority Registration for Summer Camp 2022 for current families only:  January 18, 2022 – January 31, 2022.  As of February 1, 2022, Summer Camp registration will be open to the public.  We are usually 100% sold out for camp (with a long waiting list), so please register during the in-house priority registration period to ensure you get a spot and the schedule you need!   At this time, we do not know what restrictions will be in place for the Summer – so we do not know how many visitors we will have, or if we will have field trips, but like last Summer, we will have the Swimming Pools open and we will have a great Summer with lots of on-site special activities and themes (as we have had the last two summers during Covid).  If your child has not attended our summer camp in the past, you can learn more about it on our website (again – the specifics of the program for 2022 will be determined by the Covid restrictions in place at the time of camp):
(NOTE: In non-Covid times, there is an optional field trip every week and also a visitor every week.  Lots of choices and options.   We will be building the 2022 Camp calendar once we have a better idea of the Covid rules we will be following.  You don’t have to wait for the camp activity calendar to be completed to save your child’s spot in camp, since we allow children to sign up for any trip or activity, even if it is not their regularly scheduled day.  Trip & Activity sign ups will not occur until late Spring.)


Dear Families,

What a fabulous community we have!  I want to thank all those who donated non-perishable foods for the “Your Grandmother’s Cupboard” organization.  I also want to thank all of you who participated in our playground fundraiser.  This is such a big help to us, to offset the cost of a new “Apparatus”!

During the month of December we will be focusing on the spirit of giving, and, clearly the children have great examples of this in our wonderful families.

We’ve got an exciting month in December, including a Holiday Shop (by catalog) for the children, and, during our first week we have Pajama Days to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  Each classroom will celebrate the holiday season throughout the month, participating in the holiday shop, making wrapping paper, learning holiday songs, making crafts, gifts for family, and reading seasonal stories.  (more…)

Dear Families,

In November, we will be focusing on what we are thankful for.  Each classroom will be discussing this with the children, and creating artwork to express the children’s thoughts about what they are thankful for.    We will be sponsoring a page on the Toms River Macaroni Kid website, all about what we have to be thankful for, and we will be submitting our children’s work to display on their web page and in their Thanksgiving Newsletter.  We will use first names only to identify the artwork by each child.  Some classrooms may decide to do a group project.  Plans are in the works.   Please let the office know if you do NOT want your child to participate in this.  They would still do the art project in class, but we would leave them out of the submission to Toms River Macaroni Kid.

Happy Thanksgiving to all. We are thankful for our Peppermint Tree families! (more…)

Dear Families,

Our school year is off to a fabulous start: the children are making new friends, learning their new routines, and enjoying the lessons and classroom activities.  We’ve had some beautiful weather, so they are loving the playground, too!

Please enjoy this newsletter to stay “in the loop” about our upcoming activities, announcements and reminders.  Let’s have a great October together.

Valerie Frost-Lewis, MS Ed. (“Miss Val”)

Owner/Director (more…)

Dear Families,

The weather is beautiful, and we are planning lots of experiences for the children to learn about the wonderful growth and changes going on all around us as the world bursts into the lively season of Spring.  The centerpiece of this hands-on learning Spring experience takes place in our gardens.  Over Spring break, the children who attended have worked hard to weed the garden boxes and prepare them for new seedlings and plants.    The classrooms are exploring nature items that are signs of Spring, in their Discovery interest areas, and there are books to be found, all over the school, all about gardening, seeds, and Spring!

In addition to the gardens, Mrs. Hamilton’s class will be doing a butterfly release in May, and Mrs. Sullivan’s class will be sponsoring our annual Chick Hatching later this Spring.  We will bring the butterflies and the chicks out onto the playground so each class will have a chance to see them. (more…)