from Ann Jurewicz, Lower School director

When we think about learning to read, we think of it as something we learn in school. But did you know, there are very important ways parents can set the foundations for literacy, and these activities and simple and easy to work into your daily interactions with your child. Thank you to Mari Espeland for providing this relevant article on how parents can nurture children on their journey to becoming avid readers. The five big take-aways are: 

  • Verbally engage your child with reciprocal and dynamic interactions. This means ask questions, give directives, use your voice in enthusiastic and personalized ways, and use lots of words. 
  • Learning takes time and space. Children need lots of repetition to learn words, and they need periods of time between repeated sessions to absorb learning fully. 
  • Make lessons personal to the child. Talk about things the child likes. Give them a role in your stories and ownership of elements of the learning. 
  • Be a cheerleader. Praise a child for their hard work, determination and accomplishments. Be sure to offer specific and descriptive words to what they have done and how they have done it. 
  • Model how to find a answer when you don’t know one. It is OK to say you don’t know, and then show your child how to search for answers and use tools to learn what you don’t know

Enrichment opportunities 
The Minnesota Institute for Talented Youth (MITY) is offering families of high potential, high achieving and intellectually curious students in grades 1 – 4 opportunities for enrichment learning this spring. Financial aid is available for students who qualify for free or reduced lunch. Spring sessions are listed at the bottom of this MITY website. 

If you are unfamiliar with Minnesota Institute for Talented Youth (MITY), they are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization established in 1967 to provide academic enrichment opportunities to gifted and talented students. Their Saturday morning elementary program draws roughly 100 students from over 50 different schools each session, bringing together a diverse group of kids in a welcoming and fun environment. They also host free speakers to help families navigate parenting a gifted child. 

Valentine’s Day Party with the Support of the PA , February 14 
The Lower School is looking forward to creating class parties in the Lansing Sport Center in collaboration with the Parents’ Association. Please watch for an invitation to sign up to participate in these joyous activities at grade level for your child(ren). 

Middle School Matters: A Community Book Study! 4th Grade Families—You’re invited!
Middle School is a time of rapid changes, new experiences, and sometimes, perplexing encounters in a new world in which we (parents!) did not grow up! In partnership with Ms. Cooper, our school counselor, and Ms. Meras, our new Middle School Dean, I will be hosting a community book study this spring. We will do a shared reading of “Middle School Matters: The 10 Key Skills Kids Need to Thrive in Middle School and Beyond—and How Parents Can Help” by Phyllis L. Fagell.

We will meet four times, in alignment with the four sections of the text, via ZOOM, to discuss, share, wonder, worry, ponder, and problem-solve alongside teachers, experts, and other community members the mystery and magnificence of the middle school years. We invite you to have dinner with your family, put your feet up, pour a drink of something you enjoy, and meet us online, the following dates at 7:30 PM, from the comfort of your living room!

  • Wednesday, February 22, 2023 (Values and Integrity)
  • Thursday, March 23, 2023 (Social Skills)
  • Wednesday, April 19, 2023 (Learning)
  • Thursday, May 18, 2023 (Empowerment and Resilience)

We will have guest speakers and experts for each of the four sections of the text and will share our own personal journey in raising spirited, well-balanced, resilient, kind, and good humans.

You can purchase the book in any format of your choosing, and in whatever way you’d like. Here are a few options:

Or you can check it out at your local library!

You can also just drop in for a listen, join the conversation, and build community. I am hoping with a later evening gathering time, and the flexibility of ZOOM, that we’ll have the opportunity to connect and grow our community in a way that makes space for the various family and scheduling demands we all juggle.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 332 737 0417
Password: MSMatters!

Important Dates and Upcoming Events

  • February 9: LS/MS Conferences 
  • February 14: LS Valentine’s Day Party 
  • February 16: LS Trimester 2 Ends 
  • February 17: Teacher Professional Development, No Classes 
  • February 20: Presidents’ Day, No Classes 
  • February 21-24: SnoDaze Week—MPA Pairing Assembly on Friday, February 24 
  • March 6-17: MPA Spring Break 
  • March 20: Classes Resume 


Share on Facebook
Share on Linkedin