Early Childhood Network Meeting

School of the month: Immanuel Lutheran School, Belvidere 
Meeting Notes: 

Area events
a.     Immanuel hosted their 4th annual Literacy Fair today, February 15 in three different sessions in their church sanctuary.  Here’s some highlights:
o   Author: Eric Litwin who wrote the original “Pete the Cat” books as well  a new series about “The Nuts & Groovy Joe” .  He had great messages for the students as well as parents & teachers.  He talked a lot about the importance of music with literacy.
o   No charge to the participants…a great outreach event
o   Over 750 participants attended this special event
o   Biggest challenge…raising the funds especially since big name author are expensive.
o   Eric Litwin’s website:  www.ericlitwin.com
b.    Winter Conference at Rockford Lutheran
o   Allen Mendler- speaker
o   https://www.tlc-sems.com/allen-mendler.aspx
o   Friday, February 17, 2017
o   Rockford also hosts a Fall Educators Conference.  Contact the school for more information about both of these conferences.
 Topic for the Evening:  Parent Education
a.   Challenges of Parent Education
o   Reaching the millennials:  You must have intentional plans for listening to them, keeping up with their technology, developing relationships with them
o   Lack of support for parenting skills from the extended family
o   Sending out more and more information with technology is often hard to keep up with.
b.  “Ready Set, Go” Kindergarten Readiness program through Rockford Lutheran.  Reps from Rockford Lutheran has developed this new program for with developmental assessment tools as well as strategies to assist students needing remediation.  Contact Curtis Wudtke at Rockford Lutheran for more information and a possible presentation about it in your school.  He and his early childhood staff developed this tool in recent years.  http://www.rockfordlutheran.org/
c.  St. Peter, Arlington Heights shared information (information) about some On-Demand LEA webinars which were developed by Kim Marxhausen.   They are called the “Parenting Matters” series, they are on the LEA website, free for use by LEA members.   They also can be used by non LEA members at a cost of $40 per webinar.   These webinars are @ 20-30 minute informative webinars on a variety of issues to parents including
o   “Another Kind of Smart….Self Regulation”.
o   “Family Time”
o   Developing Grit”
The webinars have built-in discussion questions spread throughout the presentations.  These webinars have great adaptability beyond parent interest and can easily be used for short staff development presentations for both teachers and assistants, too.

St. Peter also shared some Parenting Links which are on their website www.stpetermyschool.com and used by many visitors of their website.    Be sure your links are current and up-to-date so the visitors return to your site.

d.  “REMIND ME” a free app uses text message to share quick bursts of information to groups of people in a closed format.  Immanuel Belvidere uses it in many of its classrooms   

e.   Trinity Lutheran (TLC Preschool) recently used some Thrivent Action Grant monies to purchase a variety of parenting materials/books for easy, assessable use by its parents.  They highlight some of these materials with bullet pointed information in their electronic newsletters which they send out to parents, grandparents and other related family members of the students in their preschool.

f.   Immanuel, Belvidere found closed group FACEBOOK and other related text messaging social media announcements to be very effective.  They also use “old fashioned” methods such as wristband paper notes to get information noticed and read by their parents, too.

School of the Month:  Immanuel Lutheran School, Belvidere, IL


Early Childhood Faculty
Judy Schaeffer: Principal
Bethany Ibeling: PreK 4 Teacher
Tara Oetting: PreK 3 Teacher
Natalie Drella: PreK 4 
Mrs. Peggy Phillips: Kindergarten Teacher  (not pictured) 

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