Welcome to 2018 from Ashley
Winter Solstice was filled with magic! We marked the shortest day and longest night with special celebrations throughout the school. Children in all classes were busy baking bread, making art, and composing songs in order to share gratitude and spread kindness throughout our school community. Charlie built a fire and each class came for a visit to mark the special day. We celebrated nature's life force and the magic and hope of seasonal change by gathering, singing, and filling our Wishes and Hopes Baskets. The baskets were placed on the fire and together we watched as our wishes and hopes turned to light and heat and were sent up into the universe! All of us at Leila Day wish you a peaceful New Year filled with wishes, hopes, and lots of joy.
"Caretaking is the utmost spiritual and physical responsibility of our time, and perhaps that stewardship is finally our place in the web of life, our work, the solution to the mystery that we are." -Linda Hogan
- Core Value #5: We commit to stewarding resources to support our mission.
Generous contributions to the Leila Day Fund, funding provided through foundations and a state grant, and our sliding scale tuition allow us to continue to meet our mission of supporting working families as we enrich and grow our programming. We are committed to offering income-based tuition on a sliding scale that fits all budgets.This model makes the Leila Day experience accessible to many families who might not otherwise be able to afford it. This year 58% of our children received financial aid and we were able to provide 100% of tuition costs for 5 families in need. We are proud to carry on the Leila Day legacy of supporting working families in New Haven that began with our visionary founders 139 years ago!
- Thank You for Everything You Do!
Thank you to everyone who came out and lent a hand at our Annual Winter Fest! North Class families, led by Erika Lake-Thomas and Jamaal Thomas, took on the organizing and planning and did a fantastic job. Though it was a chilly morning, Charlie's fire provided warmth and light and the children and all of you provided the joy! Cheers and thank you for making our school community so special.
- Community Service & Outreach
This January we launched our first service project of the year. These schoolwide projects offer an opportunity to model and teach the preconditions to problem solving. Young children who develop these values are positioned to grow into caring and constructive citizens of the world. Join us in supporting recently resettled families in need while teaching the ethical values of compassion, kindness, empathy, and courage to all of our children. Junta for Progressive Action has served over 220 families, 510 individuals, and 192 children who have survived the devastation of Hurricane Maria. We are proud to partner in their efforts by collecting toiletries and gently used winter coats and gear. Collection bins are in the Education Wing and in the Cottage and we will be collecting throughout the month. Thank you in advance for lending your care and support.
- Family Book Exchange
Save money, save a tree, take a book, leave a book! We welcome you to select a book or two to take, read together, and add to your family library. A table full of books awaits in the Education Wing. All families, full day, morning program, and after school, are invited to come and browse! Please feel free to contribute to our exchange baskets if you have books that may be ready for a new home. We're living a literary lifestyle at Leila Day!
- The Leila Day Annual Fund
The Leila Day Fund supports our mission to make Leila Day a possibility for children of all socioeconomic backgrounds. Gifts to the Annual Fund also directly impact our staffing and educational program, making it possible for us to create enriching experiences for children that foster curiosity, compassion, and joy. A contribution at any level is meaningful and can be made easily online, by mail, or in person. Your gift is a symbol of our belief in our very special program. Please consider giving; we thank you in advance for your support for Leila Day.
- Looking Ahead to 2018-2019
We are making our way through the admissions process and are very excited about all the prospective children and families we have the pleasure of meeting. Please let us know of your schooling plans for next year as soon as possible. An email has been sent to current families with instructions to indicate your plans for 2018-2019. In order to ensure your child's spot for next year, please don't hesitate in responding. Should you have any questions about next year, please reach out to Sheila.
- Life After Leila Day
Leila Day alums move on to a wide array of school in Greater New Haven. We have a wonderful support network of current and former parents who are happy to share their experiences. I have emailed a contact list of Life After Leila Day parents to all families. If your child will be leaving Leila Day next year, I encourage you to reach out and learn about the schools you are interested in from another parent's perspective. Also, please keep an eye on our community bulletin board for notices of upcoming open houses and information sessions at area schools.
- Winter Gear
We subscribe to the Norwegian belief, There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. The Leila Day outdoor space is magical in winter and we embrace all the opportunities the colder temperatures and snow bring. Please be sure your child is properly prepared for outdoor learning and play this winter. Find our list of recommended gear and outfitters here: http://www.leiladay.org/blog-news/what-to-wear-in-winter-weather
- Inclement Weather, Delays & Snow Days
Winter weather is here! When declaring a delay or closure due to snow or bad weather, our first priority is safety. We consider both the importance of children being in school and the safety of teachers and families traveling to Leila Day. We understand that school closures can be disruptive for working families and make every effort to remain open when we can ensure adequate staffing and supervision. We will make the decision to have a delayed opening or school closure by 6:00 am and will communicate through WTNH Channel 8 and an email to all families.
- February Break
Our beloved and brilliant Nature Study Coordinator + Curriculum Coordinator, Charlie Malone, is always creating. We are in love with his new website devoted to childhood and teaching and learning in contemporary culture. This site allows us to view the world through Charlie's lens and to better understand his beautiful approach to supporting children as they develop and grow in this complex world. Cheers to Charlie- we're so grateful for your love and spirit! http://childhood-culture-learning.org/
- Exploring Big Feelings, Big Ideas, and Big Questions with Young Children
This month, several classes have been exploring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. There are some wonderful books to read with young children that provide insight into Dr. King, his contemporaries, and the heroes who inspired him and have been inspired by him. Additionally, activities that are connected to Dr. King's work and relevant to our lives today tie into the big themes of community, forming ideas, taking a stand, using the power of words, envisioning hope, taking actions that bring change, serving others, and sharing our dreams. Volunteering for service projects, collecting donations for meaningful causes, making dream catchers, designing and building block communities, and holding family conversations about humanity and the world we hope to live in together are all meaningful and appropriate ways to celebrate Dr. King with young children.The New Haven Free Public Library is a wonderful resource for children's books about Dr. King, The Civil Rights Movement, and social justice.
Some additional resources and titles:
- A is for Activist and Counting on Community by Innosanto Nagara
- Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport
- I Have A Dream by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Peaceful Protest: The Life of Nelson Mandela by Yona Zeldis McDonough
- What Do You Do With an Idea? by Kobi Yamada
- Follow Our Adventures on Instagram
We are a capturing the Leila Day experience each day and sharing our adventures on Instagram! Follow us: @leiladay
Warmest regards for a wonderful winter and a joyful year ahead,