Our Fall Family Festival was a Success!

The Fall Family Festival Theme was “Farm to School”
November 6, 2015, 5:00-6:30 p.m.

Our enrolled community celebrated at the festival with displays featuring healthy food, farming, transportation, nutrition, cooking, catering, serving, tasting, and enjoying a wide variety of food, processes, products, and family cultures.

Planning —

The festival had many featuresThe Head Parents from the classrooms, the School Support Committee, and several staff members planed extensive decorations of pumpkins, squash, grains, balloons, and fall influenced lighting effects. They planned for and the families reveled in food demonstrations, a large potluck, music, dancing, and balloon chasing. Approximately 300 people attended.



More Preparations —

The festival food was deliciousChildren in the classrooms were cooking and canning for months before theFestival food choices were many festival. Some of their dishes included, canned beans, pumpkin fries, crab puffs, and carrot muffins. The Pre-K classroom brought some of their canned beans for people to taste. There were displays of children’s cooking in classrooms, recipes, and research on healthy food and farming. And, of course, the families prepared a huge variety of dishes from many cultures for everyone to eat.

Caterer —

Our caterer donated a new bread for us to taste and testOur caterer, Chefables, contributed some of their new bread and desert dishesOur caterer donated new deserts for us to taste and test for us to sample during the event. They even delivered them and set them up. They also used our feedback to fine tune the items for regular distribution to the other 100 schools and programs whom they serve.


The Pumpkin Patch! —

Great fun in the Fall Family Festival Pumpkin PatchAlways a popular feature, was the pumpkin patch, where all ages of childrenGreat music and movement at the festival found their favorite pumpkin, hay bale, straw bunch, small squash, or basket with which to play out their fantasy or to extend their explorations of the offerings there.



Music and Dancing —
Slow festival music, scarves, and llullabiess
Music and movement at the Fall Family Festival
We always have an abbreviated Music Together session that is very similar to the ones that our on-staff music teachers conduct every week for every classroom. We sang the Hello Song, the Goodbye Song, and about five other favorites from the current collection in between. There is also a play-along section in the middle where we get out a wide range of musical instruments and scarves.

Big Finish —

Instrument play is a feature of Music Together at the festivalThe music and dancing session was near the end, as usual. Singing theThe crowd enereticall engaged the music and movement at the festival Goodbye Song was how the festival officially ended, as usual. Then, most of the families there helped to clean up and take down the decorations. Guess which ones were the most interesting to come down. The balloons, of course! All 200 balloons that did not pop in the process were claimed for trips home.

Everyone was excited about the event and talked about the next program-wide activity that was coming in just two months. It was, Winter Cultural Highlights!

C5 Hosts Music Together Teacher Training

C5 will host the internationally acclaimed Music Together three day teacher training for the Bay Region at the end of January. We will also put four of our musically competent teachers into the comprehensive training. That will result in our having nine in-house music teachers trained by Music Together.

The training lasts 27 hours over three days, January 29-31, 2016.

Participants will discover a new way of thinking about and relating to children and music. They can expect to:

  • Learn the four points of the Music Together philosophy and how early childhood research supports their curriculum
  • Observe three full-length demonstration classes, complete with parents and children, taught by experienced trainers
  • Learn a new repertoire, including songs, rhythmic rhymes, instrument and prop activities, and movement activities
  • Practice leading song and movement activities
  • Learn about children’s tonal and rhythm development and how to support the young child’s musical growth
  • Learn lesson-planning and classroom management strategies
  • Learn how to assess children’s music development, and communicate this information to parents and caregivers
  • Receive the trainer’s personal attention, coaching, and feedback
  • Meet and have fun with others who love children and music

C5 has hosted many training sessions for the San Francisco Bay Area teachers. The Songs & Skills sessions lasted one full day and covered 1) all of the songs in the current collection, led by a master teacher from Music Together, and 2) concepts and skill development in working with groups of children and their parents.

The other Three Day Teacher Training sessions that we have hosted have also helped music programs in the area to prepare their teachers for wok in their programs open to the public. Many families who have enrolled in our full-day, full-year early learning and development program have already taken the Music Together program in public. Then, they continue to get the full, three collections per year program at C5 as part of tuition.

There is more information on the Music Together website.

C5 Instructional Staff Takes World Famous Course

All of our instructional staff took the comprehensive 18 week online course offered by world famous Program for Infant-Toddler Care (PITC). It is a collaboration of WestEd and the California Department of Education. It includes extensive online interactions and discussions, in-depth reading, embedded practice in classrooms, and video conferencing.

One half of our 32 member teaching staff was in the cohort taking the 2015 fall session. The other half joined the cohort taking the course in the winter session. As new staff members come on board, they schedule to take the very special course.

Course topics include an exploration of the different temperament types; stages of social-emotional development; development of self-esteem, security, and social competence; socialization and guidance; program policies that best support healthy social-emotional development; learning, culture, and families; early brain development and learning; discoveries of infancy; culture; partnerships with families; and, working with children with special needs.

Our Center Directors and Site Supervisor have taken  PITC’s world famous Train the Trainer courses in Berkeley and San Diego. They are conducted onsite with approximately 12 trainers and 150 professionals at a time and comprising Modules 1-4 and lasting 18 weeks. Two of our directors have also completed additional training at PITC Directors Academy conferences and conducted in-house PITC-related training for our entire C5 Children’s School staff. Our Director of Learning has also taken the basic and advanced training on programming for and work with Special Needs children and families. The basic part of that training is considered Module Five of the PITC series.

PITC Directors Academies are offered every year and involve the very latest in their world famous research and practices relating to early childhood learning and development. Ongoing topics cover Brain Development, Multi-Cultural Influences, The Importance of Open-Ended and Risk-Taking Play, Engaging and Supporting Families, Promoting Equity Balance: Black Boys in Early Learning Programs, Immigrant Families and Belonging: Building a Sense of Home, Family Partnerships and Culture, and Transformational Family Engagement: Families Strengthening Families.

Visit the Program for Infant-Toddler Care (PITC) website: https://www.pitc.org/pub/pitc_docs/home.csp

Infant-Toddler Intensive Training

We have completed the second day of training in a three-day Saturday series on best practices in comprehensive infant and toddler care, development, and learning. The last day will be November 14th. The training is based in part on the RIE Approach (Resources for Infant Educarers). It is held in the C5 Conference Center once a month for six hours each day. The leaders are C5’s Director of Learning, CA State Building Center Director, SF City Building Center Site Supervisor, and two C5 teachers who are leaders in RIE-related theories and practices.

This fall, we are training 13 teachers. Last fall, we trained 18 teachers. And, from January to April in 2014, 11 of us were trained by a RIE certified trainer.

We add about 75% of what RIE has to offer to our comprehensive approach that includes significant influences from the world famous PITC program (Program for Infant-Toddler Care) developed by the California Department of Education and Western Regional Educational Laboratories. We apply all of those those elements and more in our work with infants and toddlers and their families to produce our leading edge program.