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ALL-FAMILY NEWSLETTER

SEPTEMBER 2019 EDITION

SEPTEMBER 10, 2019
Welcome families!

We are thrilled to join you in muddy adventures this year, to delight in the power of children's play, and to co-create the kind of world we want for the next generation. Some of your kiddos are returning to Tiny Trees as seasoned "big kids" this year, ready to teach others about larvae, plant names, and the rules of safe climbing. Others are bringing wide eyes and imagination. Many of you may also be bringing a little nervousness to school about what all of these shenanigans will look and feel like. By now you've likely met your teachers and seen your classroom. I hope you will also reach out to our administrative team if you have any questions. We will be onsite for the first few days of school, and you can reach us at (206) 701-0245.

Tiny Trees Staff have been preparing for you. We've been refining our anti-bias curriculum to ensure our classrooms are welcoming and inclusive for people of all identities. We've been exploring indigenous teachings to help bring justice and restoration to the lands we operate on. We've been deepening our practices around risk management to keep your tinies safe. We've been working together for weeks to create classroom spaces that foster each child's sense of belonging, wonder, and joy. We look forward to meeting each of you, and we are here for you. Have a wonderful year!
Kellie Morrill
Executive Director

IN THIS ISSUE

Important Dates • Staff Announcements • Curriculum Spotlight • Enrollment Referrals • Gear Corner • Outdoor Preschool Research Study • Volunteering • Luncheon • Important Links

IMPORTANT DATES/FIRST DAYS OF SCHOOL

Monday-Friday and Tuesday/Thursdays Programs:
  • Thursday, September 12
Monday/Wednesday/Friday Programs
  • Friday, September 13
Monday/Wednesday Programs
  • Monday, September 16
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STAFF ANNOUNCEMENTS

It's a bittersweet time at Tiny Trees as we say farewell to two of our fabulous staff members, and welcome two new faces to our community. We are sad to see Margaret Toomey, Admissions & Family Services Manager and Rachel Franz, Director of Education transition, but are incredibly grateful for the passion, talent, and innovation they have both brought to Tiny Trees during their time here. Both will be supporting families and teachers through the start of the school year. Margaret's last day will be September 20th when she and her small family will be relocating to North Carolina to support an elderly family member. Rachel's last day will be October 11th. As these two staff transition, we are beyond excited to welcome Eya Lazaro, Family Services Coordinator and Gier Hernandez, Community Partnerships Coordinator to the team! Both of them will be focused on supporting families and building new partnerships in our community.

Read more about Rachel's transition on our blog. And please help us spread the word about our open positions!
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Hello! My name is Eya (she/her) and I am your new Family Services Coordinator. I recently graduated from the University of Washington as an Early Childhood and Family Studies major. As an undergrad, I worked closely with preschool-aged children and families through teaching and research. Before that, I spent my time growing up in the Philippines and Saipan, an American-territory island in the Pacific. Nature, especially the ocean, has been an integral part of my identity so I'm super excited to combine that with my passion for equitable early education through Tiny Trees! Ikinagagalak ko kayong makilala (I am delighted to meet all of you)!

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Gier (pronounced "Jeer"; uses they/them pronouns) first found their love for the outdoors through backpacking and sea kayaking as a youth adult. They later studied environmental education and continued their passion for nature as a Garden Instructor where they developed science, art and cooking programming for youth and their families. As a Community Programs Coordinator for Tiny Trees, they will be collaborating with families and their communities to create educational opportunities, develop programming outside the class settings and provide support for communities of color and communities with limited resources. Outside of Tiny Trees, Gier remains an avid vermicomposter.
Curious about our inclusion of pronouns? Check out this resource from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. And perhaps read a book to your child about gender expression.

FAREWELL RACHEL FRANZ, DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION

Over the past three years, Tiny Trees has grown from a small team with big ideas to a big team with even bigger ideas. As we have continued to learn, grow, and develop, we recognize that our staff, teachers, donors, volunteers, and community are what make us strong. Today, we would like to recognize and thank Rachel Franz, a key …
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Farewell Rachel Franz, Director of Education

CURRICULUM SPOTLIGHT

One of the major focuses of our staff in-service this year has been our anti-bias work. A part of our curriculum since our founding, our anti-bias approach helps to make sure our teachers and learning environments celebrate individual children, encourage children in their identity development, cultivate an understanding of diversity, and help children recognize and take action when unfairness occurs. One of the tools we are using this year is the Self-Study Guide for Reflecting on Anti-Bias Curriculum Planning and Implementation. Our educators will be using it to self-reflect and build goals for themselves and our classrooms! Check it out! Feel free to ask your child's teachers what areas they are working on in their professional development journeys this year.

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TELL YOUR FRIENDS!

Tiny Trees still has enrollment opportunities at nearly every one of our locations, especially for our afternoon programs. AND, If a new-to-Tiny-Trees family enrolls in the 2019-20 school year at any location and mentions that they heard about Tiny Trees from your family, we will credit you $50 on your next tuition invoice. This offer is applicable for all new enrollments after August 2. What if your referral ends up on the 2019-20 wait-list? If we are able to enroll them at any point in 2019-20, we will give you that tuition credit when their enrollment is finalized.

Also, we're piloting 3-month enrollments in our afternoon programs! For families who are unsure about wintering with Tiny Trees or know of a transition on the horizon, we've launched our seasonal enrollments to allow families to enroll October - December in our afternoon programs. More information can be found our website.
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OUTDOOR PRESCHOOL & CHILDREN'S HEALTH

We are excited to be partnering with Washington State University on a new research study that examines the impact of outdoor time on health outcomes in preschool-aged children. Supported by funding from the National Institutes of Health and the George B. Storer Foundation, Dr. Amber Fyfe-Johnson is embarking on a five-year project to measure physical activity, body mass index, sleep, and gut microbiome—microorganisms that live in the digestive track—in 200 children. Half of the children will be enrolled at Tiny Trees, while the other half will be children who are on the school’s waitlist and enrolled in a more traditional preschool setting. You can read more about the study in the Washington State University Press Release. All new families are eligible! If you are interested, contact Dr. Amber Fyfe-Johnson at afj@wsu.edu.

GEAR CORNER

Gear (rain jackets & pants) has been ordered and we are still on track to send it out to classrooms the first week of October. If that changes due to shipping hold ups, we will let you know via classroom letters. Meanwhile, if you have gear inquiries or need additional gear support like boots, extra under layers, or rain gear deployed before the start of school, please reach out to gear@tinytrees.org. We will do our best to fulfill requests from our limited stock. If you have gently used rain and cold-weather gear that your kiddo has outgrown, we'd also love to chat about taking in your donation.
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VOLUNTEERING WITH TINY TREES

With the start of another school year, Tiny Trees is excited to welcome back not only kiddos but volunteers as well! Volunteering with Tiny Trees is an excellent way to not only support our wonderful teachers and classrooms, BUT ALSO to get your hands dirty and get some early use out of your rain gear! If you are interested in volunteering in the classroom, please contact the Special Projects Manager at corbin@tinytrees.org to begin the process! A quick note: to allow for teachers and kiddos to acclimate and get settled, the first available day for volunteering will be October 1st.

If you're excited to volunteer but your schedule doesn't allow for a half-day session out in one of our class spaces, don't worry, there's plenty of more flexible volunteer opportunities! The work of getting a class ready relies on a whole mess of odd jobs, like block re-sealing, laminating books, various craft projects, and all sorts of other tasks! If you have a skill that you'd like to apply in service of Tiny Trees, we'd be excited to work with you! Contact corbin@tinytrees.org for more details, or let us know how you'd like to help!
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Free Luncheon Tickets for Families Receiving Tuition Assistance
We are so excited to see our community come together for our 5th annual Tiny Trees Luncheon! It's a truly magical day where we get to celebrate what we've accomplished, and come together as a community to dream and act BIG for the future we want to see. We want our entire community to be able to join us for …
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LINKS TO RESOURCES

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