The Bridge Blog

Luella Academy in April

(This post was written by Danielle Gallaty, specifically for Luella Academy families.)

Luella Academy Blog 2014

This month your child will be entered into the Red Fez Reading Club. By entering the Red Fez Reading Club you child can win 5 free circus tickets to the Yaarab Shrine Circus & Fair. All you have to do is read 5 books with your child at home and fill out the Red Fez Reading Log that was sent home with your child stating the 5 books that were read, your signature and circle a date and time of which performance that you would like to attend. Please return the paperwork by Monday, April 7th,2014.

This month, we will also have an Easter Egg Hunt. It will take place on Friday, April 18, 2014. We ask that each child please bring in 12 plastic eggs and a bag of candy to stuff the eggs. Please remember that there are no peanut products allowed in the center. In the afternoon, we will have a party at 2:45 so be on the lookout for a sign-up sheet on your child’s classroom door. We would love for you to join us as we make memories with your children.

Plant a Garden

Garden at The Bridge Learning Center
“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” -Audrey Hepburn

After a long cold winter nothing celebrates spring like starting a garden. Gardening is a rewarding activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Introducing young children to the art of gardening can provide a life long hobby. In the classroom, we enjoy the many benefits having a small school yard garden. Checking on the progress of our garden gives little hearts a reason to be excited to get to school. The garden is a natural extension of learning that takes place inside the classroom. Our class enjoys planting and caring for herbs they are easy to grow and very forgiving. Children are attracted to the pleasant smell herbs provide when brushed against and love to taste something they have just picked. We are also able to use herbs inside the classroom for activities like flower arranging and cutting practice. Children enjoy using herbs from our garden to create art. Herbs have interesting textures and leaves which makes beautiful nature prints. Our class also enjoys planting plants that will attract butterflies.

Here is just a short list of concepts and skills our garden helps young children experience:

Use of science inquiry skill
Life cycles of insects
How to measure and use tools
Basic understanding of where our food comes from
Basic knowledge of living things
How to solve problems
Creates opportunities to show curiosity and motivation
Use Classification skills
Work together as a member of a team
Creates an opportunities to be a problem solver

Here is a simple garden project to try at home!
Click here for an interesting article on gardening with kids and some great project ideas (Like a pizza garden)!

*This post was written by guest blogger and preschool teacher, Tracey Hampton, at The Bridge Learning Center in Carrollton, Georgia.

“In the Air and On the Ground”

Curriculum Activity at The Bridge Learning Center
Each month The Bridge Learning Centers introduce a new and exciting theme to explore with the children in our care. All activities are created and designed to provide quality learning experiences, while also supporting each child’s growth and independent education. Every activity we do with the children falls in line with Georgia Early Learning and Development Standards or GELDS. The purpose of the GELDS is to promote quality learning experiences for children and address the question, “What should children from birth to age five know and be able to do?” They are a set of appropriate, attainable standards for Georgia’s youngest learners and are designed to be flexible enough to support children’s individual rates of development, approaches to learning, and cultural context.

February’s theme is “In the Air and On the Ground”, along with fun and exciting Valentine’s Day crafts and activities. Each week has a sub-topic.

• Week 1- The weather
• Week 2- What can you find in the sky?
• Week 3- Explore things that fly
• Week 4- From ground to air

Below are just a few of the activities you can find on February’s lesson plans along with the standards each activity targets.

Activity 1, ages 3 & 4

Size Hunt

Take your class on a nature walk “size hunt” to find things in the outdoor environment of different sizes: something smaller than our fingernail, bigger than our hand, longer than our arm, smaller than our foot, bigger than our whole body, larger than a leaf, smaller than a house, etc.

Materials: none

GELDS: PDM4, PDM5, APL2, APL3, CLL1,

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Activity 2, ages 3 & 4

Mending Broken Hearts

Cut five heart shapes out of heavy paper. Cut each heart in half in a unique way, using zigzag cuts, curvy cuts, and so forth. Number the left-hand pieces of the hearts from 1 to 5 and draw matching numbers of dots on the right-hand pieces. Then mix up the pieces and let your children put them back together to form whole hearts.

Materials: card stock or poster board, scissors

GELDS: PDM6, APL1, APL2, APL3, CLL1.3b, CD-MA1.3c

This blog post was written by Angie Griffie, Pre-K teacher at Mirror Lake Academy

The Bridge Presents at Tanner’s Live Well Conference

The Bridge presents at Tanner Medical Center
Photo of Thad, Misty, Jennifer, Kellie and Christie learning a new dance exercise to promote healthy living in our childcare centers.

Press Release from Get Healthy Live Well:
Working parents count on child care centers to provide loving, safe environments for their kids while they’re on the job. Recently, child care workers in west Georgia had an opportunity to learn how they can go the extra mile to ensure that they also offer healthy meals and snacks and plenty of physical activity for their students.

On Thursday, Oct. 3, early childhood educators from Carroll, Haralson and Heard counties gathered for an educational seminar sponsored by Get Healthy, Live Well at Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton. The half-day workshop offered expert training to help implement wellness strategies and improve the nutrition and physical activity environment at childcare centers across west Georgia.

Teaching Kids Healthy Habits

Registered Dietitian Jennifer Popadiuk, LD, gave a presentation on Bright from the Start, an evidence-based wellness program designed for child care centers that aims to reduce obesity, improve nutrition and increase physical activity for preschool-age children. Debra Kibbe from the Georgia Health Policy Center spoke on current obesity rates across the state, and Brian Mosier, Ph.D. from the University of West Georgia led the group in fun physical fitness games designed to help teachers include bursts of physical activity throughout the day. J. Thad Joiner Jr. and (Jennifer) Flores spoke about current wellness efforts underway at The Bridge Learning Centers.

“We’re very fortunate to have such a dedicated group of west Georgia’s educators involved in this community initiative,” said Denise Taylor, Senior VP and Chief Community Health Strategy and Brand Officer at Tanner Health System. “Because our children spend significant amounts of time in child care centers, it’s essential that we support programs to teach kids healthy habits. These are some of the most important lessons our children will ever learn.”

Research shows that child care centers can make a significant positive impact on children’s health by teaching healthy eating and exercise habits. Proven essential for proper brain development in young children, these behaviors promote improved concentration and performance in school, improved mood and ability to regulate emotions and sustain balanced energy levels.

Led by Tanner Health System and funded by a community transformation grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Get Healthy, Live Well is creating integrated programs and policies in west Georgia to decrease health disparities, reduce obesity rates, minimize tobacco use, increase physical activity and improve nutrition.

Get Healthy, Live Well is a community network, built through collaboration and partnership, working to educate, promote and develop sustained conditions for healthier lifestyles where people live, learn, work and play in west Georgia.

Georgia PreK Week Visitors

Commissioner Brenda Fitzgerald visits The Bridge Learning Center for Georgia PreK week
The Bridge Learning Center in Carrollton was visited last week by Brenda Fitzgerald, Commissioner of Georgia Department of Public Health. She spent time touring our facility and read books to the Georgia PreK students, as a part of Georgia PreK Week. Stonebridge Academy in Bremen was visited by Senator Bill Heath.

From SenatePress.net :
Senator Heath visits The Bridge Learning Center
“I am pleased of the work the Stonebridge Academy and pre-k programs throughout the state are doing to ensure our students are prepared for the challenges of tomorrow,” said Senator Heath. “Participation in early childhood education programs has proven to significantly increase student performance and overall academic achievement.”

From Georgia Family Connection Partnership :
See what Dr. Fitzgerald had to say about her visit to The Bridge Learning Center.
Dr Brenda Fitzgerald