Tikkun Olam: Repairing the World on Earth Day

As early childhood educators, we know that supporting children’s social-emotional development is crucial to their success in the primary grades, their relationships, their choice-making, and in essence, life. Every child has his own unique challenges in developing a sense of responsibility, self-regulation, and self-care. As we support children’s personal growth, we also need to consider how to encourage them to care for one another and for the world at large.

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Not Halloween: An Introduction to Dia de los Muertos

by Teresa Narey

Introduction and Background:

In the U.S., the end of October is traditionally marked by the celebration of Halloween. In greater America, however, another holiday emphasizing fun, food, and costumes calls attention to the passing of time. Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is celebrated in Mexico and throughout Latin America on November 1 and 2, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, respectively (click here for help pronouncing Spanish words). On the surface, Dia de los Muertos and Halloween appear to have much in common, but a closer look at customs tells us otherwise.

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Shana Tova: Bringing Rosh Hashanah into the Early Childhood Classroom

by Teresa Narey

The beginning of the school year signals the beginning of many things: meeting new children and families, observing children becoming friends, setting rules and expectations, implementing new ideas and activities—the list goes on. It’s fitting, then, that Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, occurs during September. Rosh Hashanah literally translates to “Head of the Year.” (For help pronouncing Jewish holidays and Hebrew words, search here.) In addition to praying and attending services, Rosh Hashanah is a time when Jewish people reflect on their feelings and actions and consider how they may enter the new year with the best of intentions.

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Celebrate Grandparents!

by Cora Miller

Grandma and Grandpa, Nana and Papa, or whichever names your family uses for grandparents, are very special people. Warm hugs, sweet treats, and lots of love are just a few of the great things grandparents offer to us. Some of my fondest memories as a child include being spoiled by my grandparents. My siblings and I had sleepovers at their house, received new toys, had candy and ice cream treats (probably not approved by Mom and Dad), and we were always laughing and smiling!

Visit with children about the role their grandparents play in their lives. Keep in mind each child’s situation; some children may not have grandparents, or may not have regular contact with them. In that case, adapt these ideas to celebrate any other special adults in the child’s life. Here are some fun ways to honor and celebrate Grandparents Day:

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