National attention turned to early learning programs like the one at Encompass last Wednesday during the White House Summit on Early Education. President Barack Obama called on business leaders, philanthropists, advocates, elected officials and members of the public to invest in the expansion of early childhood opportunities for children across the country through Invest in US. Continue reading
Parents are welcome in their children’s classroom at Encompass! Volunteer sign-up sheets are outside of each classroom. You can join us to be a mystery reader or stay for the day as an extra pair of helping hands. To ensure you feel comfortable during your time with us, we want to share these guidelines for adults to participate in our Early Learning Community.
Self-reliance is our focus for the children. Let the children do things for themselves and enjoy how proud they are as a result. Preschoolers are a capable people!
- Sit on the floor with the children.
- Be involved with the group.
- Use non-verbal cues to assist children to attend to the group activity (i.e. a touch on the shoulder, a finger to the lips, a smile, eye contact, etc.).
Small groups/Process time:
- Sit at a table.
- Describe what you see children doing, i.e. positive actions, this gives words for their actions. Examples: “I see you are mixing yellow and blue paint.” “You drew a smiling face.”
- Put names on children’s work; ask first if they want to write their own name, then where do they want you to write their name on the page.
- Remember, the child’s work is their own; they do not have to follow a model, and make it the way we think it should look.
- Teeth brushing, snack and personal choice activities take place.
- Art supplies are set out and refilled during this time.
- Sensory tub is uncovered.
- Storyboards (clipboards) are around the room and individual stories can be dictated to adults.
- Loft rules for climbing up and down: Use two hands, come down backwards (like a ladder), no long dresses or dress up shoes when climbing.
- An adult must clean table with sanitizer before kids arrive.
- Wash hands before sitting at the table, adults and children.
- Food is self-served.
- Food is placed on the table and the children get their own plate, cup, napkin and silverware.
- The adult is to monitor quantities of food.
- Crackers, kids count 5 at a time (good math activity).
- Fruit, 2-3 pieces per serving.
- Children pour their own drinks using the small pitchers.
- Child clears his own drinks using the small pitchers.
- Child clears his own spot and wipes the table with a paper towel.
- Adult records who ate snack on the attendance chart.
- Use a paper plate and put 14-18 dabs of toothpaste around the edge.
- The adult removes and returns the toothbrush to the holder.
- There can be one child at each sink.
- Demo good brushing skills with the BIG teeth and the BIG brush as the kids are brushing their teeth.
- When all the kids have brush, spray the sink and wipe with a paper towel.
Conflicts between children:
- We coach and guide the children to solve their own problems (Second Step skills). If you are unsure of what to do ask a teacher to assist in the situation and you can observe and learn the skills.
Adult conversations should be minimal — this is the kids’ time for work and play. We, the adults, are here to support and encourage their discoveries, creations and learning. Please save “adult” conversations for after class or excuse yourself to the hallway.
Thank you for your help!
This is a letter sent to us by a local family, who chose Encompass Summer Camps as their toddler’s first enrichment program. Both our 2-year old camps and our toddler playgroups are wonderful first experiences for 2-year olds where they are guided through developmentally-appropriate play and are able to have fun with other toddlers. Parents benefit from access to our expert staff and connections with other parents of toddlers.
Enrolling my 2 year old son in Encompass summer camps was the best thing I could have done for his growth and development. Registration opened late March and I nervously signed him up for 3 camp sessions. As a first time mom I was going through some uneasy and challenging times with my toddler. He was very content being with me and only me. If I put him in a situation where he was with other children, he would cling to my leg. I took it in stride but wondered if he would ever get over his separation anxiety.
In April, my son turned 2, and was showing signs of improvement. His language and social skills were developing into that of a typical 2-year old. He would parallel play with other children but would keep his focus on me. Every time he was left with a sitter there would be tears. If I walked out of sight he would start to panic. He preferred me over anyone else. I was starting to think my parenting skills weren’t up to par and then the first day of summer camp came!
I vividly remember dropping Reid off for the Planes, Trains and Automobile camp in June. We met our friends outside and all walked in together. When it came time for me to say goodbye and leave I was shocked to see that he was okay. I expected him to look for me and cry. Instead he walked in to the classroom and started playing with the trucks. I was relieved and excited to see that there were no tears but then thought to myself, what if he was just distracted? Second day of summer camp came and I walked him to the class room again…and still no tears! I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. We both needed this positive experience. Since he loved being at camp so much I decided to sign him up for a 4th week.
As a mom, one of the best things about summer camp was bringing home all of the adorable and creative artwork he created. Together we went through his masterpieces and framed a few for his room. Needless to say my kitchen walls and fridge are plastered with art!
Miss Nikki and all of the summer camp counselors were great and always greeted us warmly when we walked in. Eventually it got to the point where my son would run in to the class room and start playing without giving me a goodbye hug and kiss. Summer camp at Encompass truly cured his ongoing separation anxiety and for that I am grateful. Thank you so much!
~Jenna, North Bend
September 2nd begins the 2014/2015 school year at Encompass! We have been getting ready and are so excited to meet our new students and see how much our returning students have grown this summer.
Learning as much as we can about your student and your family is a priority for us—and we believe every child learns and grows in his/her unique way. We will design our program around them. We’ve found this approach works much better than changing your child to fit our program! So please join us on Thursday, September 3 from 6:30-7:30 for Parent Orientation to review the handbook and get to know us, too (please contact us if you have a conflict and we will make arrangements to get you the information).
It is my hope that your family not only takes full advantage of the programs offered by our early learning program, but also utilizes the many programs at Encompass that include parenting support groups, parenting education workshops and coaching, toddler playgroups, pediatric therapy, parent nights out, and more.
How to Get Involved at Encompass
Share Resources & Camaraderie – Moms Moment – September 1
Volunteering – Donate Your Time & Energy to Nurturing Children & Enriching Families
- Extreme Adventure Festival on September 7
- In your student’s classroom
- Do Something Great Day
- Contact us for these opportunities & more!
Get Connected & Informed – Attend Parent Orientation – September 3 at 6:30
Reach Your Family’s Potential – Attend our FREE Parenting Workshop on Avoiding Power Struggles – September 4
Get involved with our Autumn Gala – Attend, plan, volunteer, invite friends: Now through Nov 1
Learn more about your child — Join us at our monthly FREE developmental screenings – September 8 (Snoqualmie) and 9 (Issaquah)
Experienced Childcare & a Lot of Fun – Register for Parents’ Night Out – September 13
Be Welcomed, Informed & Inspired – Attend our Moms Meeting – September 16
Engage Your Toddler Developmentally & Meet Other Parents — Join our Toddler Playgroups – Register now. Begins September 5
Support Encompass with Every Purchase through AmazonSmile – https://smile.amazon.com
Summer has become a time to engage in learning opportunities—choosing the right summer camp from all the great options in the area can feel “in tents”! There are camps for children of all ages, abilities, personalities, schedules and interests—and I am going to share my 9 years of experience managing Encompass’ summer camps to guide you through the camp selection process.
For 15 years, Encompass has been the enrichment summer camp of choice for Snoqualmie Valley families. We offer more than 40 unique themes including: “Terrific Trains,” “Cooking up Science,” “LEGO Mayhem,” “Mud, Muck and Goo,” “Gymnastics” and “I Love a Parade.” Don’t miss out on your child’s favorite camp—register now—there are only 12 spots in each camp!
Let’s get started!
- Discover what is available in the area. Macaroni Kid has already created its 5th Annual Summer Camp Guide broken out into categories including art instruction, dance, music, theatre, gymnastics, learning & fun, nature experiences and sports instruction. There is a calendar view so you can match up your child’s interests and schedule to what is available.
- Create a short list. Gather recommendations from friends, neighbors and your child’s peers to understand the values, operating procedures and scheduling of each camp. Most camps are not a daycare solution.
- Identify the camp’s program emphasis. Enrichment-focused camps combine the fun of camp with academic and social skill building. These types of camps are designed to mitigate summer learning loss, review academic skills and accelerate learning. Other camps offer freedom to pick and choose activities. At Encompass, we want to make camp a fun and memorable learning experience for your child, while remembering that it is summer and they need time to play and have fun with their friends.
- Know the staff-to-child ratio. Your child should be well supervised and get lots of attention at camp. For day camps, these are the average staff-to-child ratios: 1:8 for campers 6 to 8 years old, 1:10 for those 9-14 and 1:12 for campers in the 15-18 age range. Special needs camps would have a much lower staff-to-child ratio. One of the reasons Encompass has been voted Most Loved Summer Camp is our very low staff-to-child ratio of 6:1 in 4-10 year olds olds and 4:1 in two year olds.
- Inquire about the camp staff. Who works with your child is critical to your child’s camp experience. In addition to facilitating camp activities, counselors serve as role models and should be dependable, trustworthy and show enthusiasm for their role. Encompass’ own preschool teachers lead all camps except golf, gymnastics and drama—whose teachers are contracted professionals from these fields in the community. All lead teachers are first aid/CPR certified. We hire college and high school students to act as camp assistants and role models for the campers. One of our current preschool teachers started as a summer camper herself, was hired as a camp assistant as a teen and went on to teach preschool and summer camps.
- Can the camp accommodate special needs? If your child has special needs, either physical or behavioral, be sure to ask if the camp is equipped to handle these special requirements for your child. Encompass offers camps to children with all abilities and can make accommodations if necessary for all children to participate.
I hope this has helped you begin your adventure in choosing the right summer camp for your family! We are very excited about starting our 15th year of offering amazing fun-filled camps at Encompass and we have some great new options this year as well as some old favorites.
Summer at Encompass
A variety of theme-based, enrichment-focused summer camps are offered at Encompass for children from 2- to 10-years old. Our drop-off camps are a week long (or 3 days for 2-year olds) for a half day—or you can blend a morning and afternoon camp for a full-day experience!
Special Needs & Camp Assistant Programs
Champ Camp is an Encompass program designed to meet the needs of children who can benefit from structured teaching to help strengthen their social language and behavioral skills*. For older campers, we offer our 11-13 year old teacher assistant program—this is a great opportunity to gain leadership experience by working with younger students and there is the possibility that these students can become paid assistants in the future.
40+ Unique Camp Themes!
New camps this year include “Penguins to Polar Bears”, “Monsters Inc.” and “Mini Olympics” . We added a second “LEGO” camp as well as a “Superheroes” and “Mythbuster” camp. And the always-popular “I Love a Parade”, “Spy Kids” and “Amazing Artists” camps are back! Each camp includes teacher-planned, age-appropriate, theme-based craft and activities. Encompass prepares healthy snacks daily for all campers and activities take place in both our beautiful outdoor and indoor learning environments.
I am looking forward to seeing returning campers as well as meeting new campers and their families to welcome them to the fun that is Encompass summer camps.
Julie Forslin is the Director of Early Learning at Encompass. This is her 9th year as manager of Encompass summer camps, 3rd year as Early Learning Manager and she taught camp for 4 years. She also has 14 years’ experience as a preschool teacher. Contact Julie at 425.888.2777 with your questions about Encompass summer camp. Register at encompassnw.org.