Partner Up for Success: Why Your Involvement Matters in Your Child’s Journey

Teacher sitting on rug with children all around working together in a classroom setting

We all know a child’s education starts in the classroom, but the real magic happens when learning extends beyond those four walls. That’s where Families As Partners comes in – it’s your chance to take a front seat in your child’s journey and join a powerhouse community of engaged families.

But why is parent involvement so important?

Studies show that children with involved families have better grades, higher graduation rates, and even stronger social skills. They feel supported, motivated, and confident knowing their biggest cheerleaders are beside them.

Parents at a table working on educational activities

Families As Partners isn’t just about cheering; it’s about doing. Here’s how your involvement makes a difference:

  • Community Building: You’ll connect with other families, sharing triumphs and tackling challenges together. This network becomes your support system, a wellspring of advice and shared experiences.
  • Parenting Powerhouse: From planning events to shaping curriculum, your voice matters. You’ll work alongside teachers and fellow families to create a thriving school environment.
  • Leadership Lab: By forming committees and advocating for your child’s needs, you’ll develop valuable leadership skills that inspire not just your kids, but everyone around you.

Parents sitting in a group discussing parenting

The Families As Partners program is proof that families are not merely spectators in their child’s educational journey but active contributors to their growth and success. By providing a platform for collective empowerment, this program enables families to be instrumental in shaping the educational landscape for their children.

Together, we can build a vibrant learning community where every child feels empowered to reach their full potential. Contact your Center’s Family Liaison to learn how to get involved.

Welcome to Kinder!

Mom and young girl talking to an elementary school representative at a booth

As you celebrate the conclusion of your child’s Pre-K 4 SA journey, a mix of excitement for kindergarten and a touch of nervousness pervades, both for them and for you. But don’t worry, Pre-K 4 SA is here to guide you and your child towards a smooth and enriching transition.

Finding the Perfect Kindergarten Fit

Selecting the right kindergarten for your child is an important decision, and we recognize that every child flourishes in unique settings. That’s why, at Pre-K 4 SA, we organize a special “Welcome to Kinder” event at each of our centers, dedicated to assisting you in making the best choice for your new kindergartener.

The primary goal of this event is to provide support to families as they navigate the process of selecting a kindergarten to ensure a smooth and developmentally appropriate transition to this new chapter. We invite various school partners to engage in meaningful conversations about their programs, resources, and approaches to creating a high-quality learning environment. Our partners are committed to embracing and upholding Pre-K 4 SA’s mission and values, which prioritize providing exceptional learning opportunities.

Seamless Transition, Happy Learners

Transitioning to kindergarten can be intimidating. While routines and goodbye rituals create stability, the emotional transition to kindergarten hinges on social-emotional readiness. Encourage independence by letting your child dress themselves, pack their bag, and use the bathroom confidently. Practice expressing emotions healthily by role-playing scenarios and teaching them “I feel…” statements. Consistent sleep schedules prepare them for longer days, and packing together instills responsibility.

Most importantly, open communication is key. Talk about their worries, answer questions honestly, and reassure them of your unwavering support. Remember, a confident and emotionally prepared child adapts to new environments more easily.

Man at a Gardendale booth talking to representatives about the school

Your Pre-K 4 SA Education Can Continue

Looking for a seamless transition filled with engaging learning and family support? Our Gardendale Early Learning Program, powered by Pre-K 4 SA, offers a unique opportunity. Your child can continue their high-quality play-based curriculum that fosters creativity, independence, and critical thinking. This continuity ensures a smooth transition, both academically and emotionally. Dedicated teachers in small classes provide personalized attention and emotional support, creating a nurturing environment where your child can thrive. And the best part? As a Pre-K 4 SA alum, your child enjoys priority enrollment, making the transition to Gardendale familiar and effortless.

By supporting families and ensuring a smooth transition, Pre-K 4 SA paves the way for happy, confident learners. Remember, we’re here every step of the way. Let’s make this journey an informed and enjoyable experience for you and your family.

Empowering Parents: A Commitment to Child Safety Through Education 

Guests pick up materials from a table

The safety of children is a top priority at Pre-K 4 SA, not only while they are at our Centers but also while they are at home. Through our recent partnership with University Health, we are strengthening our commitment to providing children with a secure and nurturing learning environment. Our relationship provides invaluable resources to families, equipping them with the tools and knowledge needed to foster a safer home environment.

A speaker gives a kitchen safety presentation

“The saying ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ characterizes our partnership with Pre-K 4 SA. Injuries that happen at home or on the road bring many children to our Level 1 trauma and pediatric center. Safe Kids San Antonio, led by University Health, is proud to partner with Pre-K 4 SA to educate and empower caregivers and children to think about safety first. Together, we can provide education and resources on how to keep kids safe at home, at play, and on the way,” said  Fara Smith, BS, CPSTI, University Health, Safe Kids San Antonio.

Home Safe Home Presentations 

Across all five campuses, 56 families participated in Home Safe Home presentations. These safety-centered sessions provide essential information and distribute practical resources to enhance childproofing efforts.  

  • 97 Cable Gun Locks: Strengthening firearm safety at home. 
  • 91 two-Minute Timers: Encouraging time management for children’s activities. 
  • 53 Temperature Ducks: Ensuring optimal bath water safety. 
  • 69 Fire Hats: Promoting fire safety awareness. 
  • 80 Furniture Wall Straps: Securing furniture to prevent accidents. 
  • 98 Blind Cord Wind Ups: Enhancing window blind cord safety. An additional 25 packs of blind cord wind-ups were delivered to each campus. 
  • 60 Cabinet/Drawer Locks: Preventing access to potentially harmful items.
An officer and staff stop for a selfie
Image courtesy of Jennifer Northway, Director of Adult and Pediatric Injury Prevention at University Health


International Walk to School Day 

In celebration of International Walk to School Day on October 4, we extended our safety outreach, directly impacting parents and students. 

  • 100 Clifford Takes A Walk Books: Promoting pedestrian safety awareness. 
  • 450 Reflective Blinky Lights: Enhancing visibility during low-light conditions. 
  • 150 Reflective Bracelet Sets: Combining style with safety. 

These resources were distributed directly to families and left at Pre-K 4 SA campuses, fostering a culture of safety from the ground up.

Guests pick up materials from a table

Our joint commitment to pedestrian safety included distributing 250 Clifford Takes a Walk Books, 750 Reflective Blinky Lights, 450 Reflective Bracelet Sets, and Pedestrian Safety tip sheets in English and Spanish as part of our comprehensive educational resources. 

University Health leads Safe Kids San Antonio, which offers trained staff, operational support, and resources to partners in hopes of achieving its goal of keeping San Antonio children safe. Evidence-based programs like car-seat checkups and safety workshops to prevent childhood injuries are implemented based on community needs.  

Our collaboration with University Health has impacted child safety within our homes and on the journey to school. By providing educational resources and tangible tools, we actively work together to create a safer environment for our children. 

Growing Healthy with Garden Salad Fun

A serving of salad with vinaigrette

Today, let’s create a simple and tasty Garden Salad together. It’s not just about veggies; it’s about having a good time in the kitchen. So, gather your little chefs, and let’s make a colorful Garden Salad that’s as fun to make as it is to eat.

Before we start, let’s talk about why eating different colors is good for us. Just like a garden needs various things to grow, our bodies need different nutrients to be healthy. Eating a variety of colorful foods helps us get those nutrients, and it’s also fun! Making a salad is like creating a colorful masterpiece with food.

Garden Salad Recipe

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Ingredients:

  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Shredded Carrots
  • Parsley
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing

Equipment:

  • Knife
  • Tablespoon
  • Teaspoon
  • Bowl

Step 1: With the help of an adult, cut lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumber into small pieces. Add them to a bowl.

Step 2: Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of shredded carrots using a tablespoon. This not only adds a sweet crunch but also brings color to our salad.

Step 3: Tear some fresh parsley leaves and toss them into the bowl. The bright green parsley adds flavor to our salad.

Step 4: Measure 1 teaspoon of sunflower seeds using a teaspoon. Sprinkle them over the salad for a delightful crunch.

Step 5: Ask an adult to help you mix a simple dressing with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Pour 1 teaspoon of this dressing over your salad.

Step 6: Take a spoon or fork and gently toss everything together until the veggies are coated in the dressing. Your Garden Salad is now ready to be enjoyed.

There you have it – a Garden Salad full of colors, flavors, and fun. It’s tasty and a fantastic way to learn about different veggies. Enjoy your salad adventure, little chefs! Keep having fun and eating healthy. Now it’s time for the Vinaigrette!

Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe

downloadDownload Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
  • 2 Lemons
  • 1 Teaspoon Honey
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • Pepper (just a little bit)

Equipment:

  • Jar
  • Lemon Squeezer
  • Teaspoon

Step 1: Get your jar and pour in 1/2 cup of olive oil. This is like the base for our special dressing.

Step 2: Grab a lemon squeezer and squeeze the juice of 2 lemons into the jar. Lemons are the heroes here – they’re tangy and bring a lot of flavor.

Step 3: Measure 1 teaspoon of honey and drop it into the jar. Honey adds a bit of sweetness to balance the lemony zing.

Step 4: Add a pinch (or 1/2 teaspoon) of salt to the jar. It might seem tiny, but it makes our dressing taste just right.

Step 5: Sprinkle just a little bit of pepper into the jar. Pepper adds a tiny kick, making things interesting.

Step 6: Put the lid on the jar, ensure it’s tight, and then shake it well. Shake, shake, shake! That’s it – your Cool Lemon Vinaigrette is ready to make your salads awesome.

Now, you have a super easy and cool dressing to make your salad taste even better. Try it out, little chefs, and have fun in the kitchen! Until next time, keep it cool and keep on cooking.

Summer Activities in San Antonio

young children run outside in the sun

Looking for fun summer activities for the whole family? There are dozens of budget-friendly options around town that will keep your kids learning and playing until the fall semester begins. Be sure to visit each website below to confirm the most recent hours and pricing.

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4 Ways to Learn During Summer Break

a child climbing an outdoor jungle gym

Summer is right around the corner, and with it comes the potential for children to experience summer learning loss (SLL), aka the “summer slide” — when students are not in school over the break and could forget some of the knowledge and skills they gained during the previous school year. Here are four ways your child can avoid losing last year’s progress. 

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Pre-K 4 SA Fiesta Medal + Coloring Pages!

a hand holds a Pre-K 4 SA Fiesta medal

Happy Fiesta from Pre-K 4 SA! This year’s Fiesta San Antonio medal is particularly special to us because it showcases our newest addition to the Pre-K 4 SA family: 3-year-olds. Enjoy these coloring pages featuring the design.

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