PRESS RELEASE | Encompass Launches a Giving Campaign That Makes It Possible to Break Down Major Donations into $84/month Payments.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03/02/2015

North Bend, WA – Become a major donor at Encompass now through Campaign 84. This program breaks down major giving into $84/month payments that can be set up online. It’s 100% tax deductible and creates major impact among the children and families in the community.

“Big impact through smaller payments is what Campaign 84 is about. It’s a way for donors to directly transform the lives of children and families Encompass serves through monthly payments versus large donations or attending fundraising events,” says Lisa Yamasaki, the fund development manager at Encompass. “We want to show the community exactly what $84 can accomplish and give our supporters a way to more easily contribute to our mission of nurturing children and enriching families.”

Every dollar directly benefits Encompass education and pediatric therapy programs. But, what does that mean?

A monthly donation of $84 can:

  • Buy 216 books and toys per year for the Parent-Child Home program to help low-income students achieve academic success.
  • Fund 22 sessions of parent-child coaching to help a family in our community thrive.
  • Provide 360 meals per year for Encompass students to encourage nutritious eating habits
  • Fund 14 sessions of speech, occupation and physical therapy per year to help a child with special needs reach developmental milestones.

Set up monthly payments now at www.encompassnw.org/campaign84.

For more information, contact:
Lisa Yamasaki
425.888.2777 | Lisa.Yamasaki@EncompassNW.org

ENCOMPASS is an independent, non-profit organization established in 1966 with a mission to nurture children, enrich families and inspire community. Our expert staff is committed to applying best practices and innovative strategies to education and therapy programs. We serve the Snoqualmie Valley, Issaquah, Sammamish and greater Eastside. Follow Encompass on our website at www.encompassnw.org as well as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and our blog.

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PRESS RELEASE: Encompass Already Answering the President’s Call to Build a Stronger Nation through Early Childhood Opportunities

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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

Encompass Helps Teachers and Students Learn Skills to Better Succeed in School and Life Through an Innovative Curriculum

Encompass is a leader in supporting the development of executive function skills across its programs and among local early learning professionals. ss_102245243

What a child learns before the age of 5 can directly impact his or her ability to hold a job, develop healthy relationships and deal with stress later in life—major factors that contribute to the overall health of a community.

This is one reason the quality of early learning programs is significant. For example, between the first day of preschool and the first day of kindergarten, young children are expected to learn how to focus on a task, control impulses and ask for help when needed. These are examples of executive function skills—the abilities that serve as the foundation all children need to succeed in school and life.

sidebarChildren don’t naturally develop executive function skills. These abilities must be nurtured by parents, teachers and caregivers during the earliest years. Research shows that fostering these abilities in young children improves academic performance, increases high school graduation and college completion rates—helping build a more productive workforce for our community.

>>click here for the science of executive function<<   

Executive Function Development in Our Community Right Now

Encompass is a leader in supporting the development of executive function skills across its programs in education and pediatric therapy—and also coordinating a curriculum for local early learning professionals to improve the executive function skills of their students.

As the only organization in King County (and 1 of only 6 in Washington) to be selected to participate in a pilot program known as “Executive Function Learning Communities”, Encompass trained members of its staff and local early learning professionals in January 2014 using a professional curriculum to build knowledge of executive function and to support executive function in an early learning setting.

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“Encompass strives to be on the cutting edge when it comes to research related to early childhood development, so imagine my excitement when we were invited to participate in a state-wide research study on the development and role of executive function skills in young children,” said Kerry Beymer, parenting support and education manager at Encompass.

>>click here for the full details of how Encompass participated in the study<< 

The expertise and leadership in executive function skill development Encompass offers means the children in our community—especially those participating in Encompass programs—have the opportunity to be better prepared for school in terms of making good decisions, participating successfully in the classroom and adapting well to changing situations.

50 acti efResults of the Executive Function Curriculum
Preschool students in our local executive function Early Learning Community were given a pre-test to benchmark executive function and a post-test approximately 100 days later to assess how intentional executive function skill development activities in the classroom affected students (this test is called the Minnesota Executive Function Scale).

Children’s scores improved over 100 days, and this was equally true for all age groups (3, 4, and 5 years).

“That means that researchers can say a real change has occurred; the difference was not just due to chance. We also can conclude that the improvements were genuine and not just due to teachers’ beliefs about the children. Gains in executive function mean that children will be better able to benefit from the lessons teachers give, and to manage their emotions and reactions when they play with their peers. This is an exciting first step in creating a program to help children learn self-control skills, which are crucially important for learning,” states Stephanie M. Carlson, Professor Institute of Child Development University of Minnesota, in a letter to participating professionals.

As we close 2014, phase 2 of this executive function skill development curriculum begins—and the focus is on “teaching the teachers” and more widely sharing the curriculum to help more early learning programs increase potential in the classroom.

“I’m recruiting all local early learning professionals to participate in this year’s Early Learning Communities,” says Beymer. “The curriculum has been edited down to just 9 weeks (from 20) and the testing administered to children has been streamlined with an automated tablet version of the test (versus manually giving it and scoring it).”

GET INVOLVED NOW
Parents and early learning professionals can get involved in developing executive function skills in the children of our community.

Parent education is a pillar of Encompass programming—the organization believes knowledge of executive function should be shared with parents and is leading a FREE Executive Function Parenting Workshop on Thursday, December 4th from 5:30-7pm at Virginia Mason in Issaquah. Walk away with information and resources to develop your child’s executive function skills now.

On December 3rd from 6:30-8:30, early learning professionals can join Kerry Beymer for a workshop on Supporting Learning in the Classroom through Play to earn STARS credits (discussion on how play builds executive function skills included).

For more information and to register for either workshop, contact Kerry Beymer, the parenting education and support manager at Encompass (425.888.2777 or Kerry.beymer@encompassnw.org).

 

 

Back-to-School at Encompass! Be welcomed, ready, involved and connected!

By Julie Forslin, Early Learning Program Manager10423946_10152302106013061_7893580381580850930_n

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 groupsparenting 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

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

Purchase comedy night tickets and support Encompass – October 1

Follow us on social media – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, blog

Decrease Parental Stress and Target Challenging Behavior

By Kerry Beymer

PFP_WashingtonColorEach April, people across the country join forces to raise awareness of the terrible tragedy of child abuse and neglect for National Child Abuse Prevention Month. At Encompass, we know that parenting can be difficult – especially when kids have challenging behaviors. Parenting is the most challenging yet most important job we do and in those challenging times parental stress runs high. Parental stress levels can be a predictor of child abuse.

There is no single known cause of child maltreatment. Nor is there any single description that captures all families in which children are victims of abuse and neglect. Child abuse occurs across all socio-economic, religious, cultural, racial, and ethnic groups. No one is immune. It must be emphasized, however, that while certain factors often are present among families where maltreatment occurs, this does not mean that the presence of these factors will always result in child abuse and neglect.

In 2011, Child Protective Services (CPS) accepted referrals for 46,636 individual children, equaling a rate of 30 per 1,000 children under age 18. Bear in mind that only a portion of child maltreatment is reported to CPS, and not all referrals are investigated.

To reduce child abuse and neglect in our community, Encompass offers a host of programing that can help decrease the parental stress and help parents sort through their children’s challenging behaviors, including:

Each of us can make a difference preventing child abuse and neglect. There are a few ways for you to get involved:

  • Educate yourself and others about child abuse and its prevention by visiting http://www.childwelfare.gov or http://www.preventchildabuse.org.
  • Build a support network by increasing your involvement in your community. Getting involved with Encompass programs, community center groups, or library programs is a good start.
  • Volunteer for organizations serving children and families.
  • Contribute to organizations working to prevent child abuse. At Encompass, your contribution will go a long way at helping to develop healthy children and create strong families – two critical components of child abuse prevention. To donate, click here.

With your support, we can to increase child abuse prevention efforts in our community.

To report child (or adult) abuse, call 866-ENDHARM in Washington State.

“TherAPPy”: Encompass uses technology in pediatric therapy

Example of an app Encompass uses: Handwriting Without Tears.

Example of an app Encompass uses: Handwriting Without Tears.

Tablets (like iPads and the Microsoft Surface) are increasingly used by Occupational Therapists and Encompass has integrated the use of tablets and apps into working on specific skills with our patients. Megan Daniels, a Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant at Encompass, told us about how she uses apps to assist in promoting age-appropriate skills.

Skills that can be developed through apps:

  • Fine motor skills for dexterity, finger isolation, strength, grading movement and pressure when using stylus to promote correct pencil grip. Also correct letter formation with specific apps.

Below are examples of the skills and apps that many children could benefit from using!

  • Visual motor skills for tracking, eye convergence/divergence, eye-hand coordination, foreground and background, bilateral integration and crossing midline
  • Self-regulation and impulse control
  • Sequencing and following directions
  • Social interactions and turn taking

Examples of the types of apps that are used for fine motor and visual motor skills are mazes, matching, puzzles, memory, and handwriting. Other apps that assist with visual motor are hidden pictures, word searches, popping/catching moving objects across the screen and finding the differences between pictures. Apps that are used for self-regulation and impulse control include metronome, music, interactive books and visual stimuli. Many app examples listed above can be graded to include (or already include) promotion of sequencing, direction following, social interactions and turn taking.

Encompass Occupational Therapists also use their tablets to record and take pictures for consults with colleagues, demonstrations for parents, baseline data and video modeling.

There are many great opportunities to incorporate apps in assisting your child’s development and improving age-appropriate skills!

Here are the apps Encompass Occupational Therapists currently use (new ones launch every day—check out our Pinterest board dedicated to apps for therapy & education, including how to CHILDPROOF your tablet — http://ow.ly/vWZ5S ):

  • Handwriting Without Tears (Occupational Therapist-based program that has the letters in a specific order that is easier for kids to build their skills on).
  • Sam Phibian
  • Trainyard EX
  • Alien Buddies
  • Flow Free
  • Highlights Countdown (hidden pictures)
  • iMazing
  • Lego Juniors
  • Metronome
  • Even Monsters get sick (interactive book)
  • Nighty Night (interactive book)
  • Pandora

6 Ways to Ensure Your Summer Camper is a Happy Camper

1summer campby Julie Forslin, Early Learning Manager, Encompass

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!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Download the full schedule, camp descriptions and fees.

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.

*application required

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