January 2019

Dear Parents,
I hope all of you had a great Christmas break and that the children are ready to jump back into learning! As we begin a new calendar year it is the perfect time to encourage the children to always do their best. The verse from Colossians 3:17 is a good encouragement for a new year. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”

I want to say a big thank you to all the parents who helped to make our Christmas gingerbread house activity and party a fun time for our class. What a pleasure it is to see the creativity of children! I would also like to thank you for the many thoughtful gifts I received from the children. God must have smiled at the excitement the children had about giving gifts. It really is a greater blessing to give than to receive.

There will be no school on Monday, January 21st, in honor of Martin Luther King. We will learn about his contributions to our country.

Kindergarten report cards for the first half of the year should be available online on January 25th. The second report will be available in June.

Happy New Year!

Sincerely,
Mrs. Dowd

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December 2018

Dear Parents,

Happy December to all of you! In the midst of the holiday busyness, I hope that you find time to think about and thank God for the greatest gift ever given. In John 3:16, we read “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

What a pleasure it was to meet with you and talk about the progress your child is making. I am always interested in hearing what the children are saying about school. As a kindergarten teacher, I delight in hearing that your children are enjoying their time in the classroom.

For Bible class this month I will be reading One Wintry Night. This book reviews many of our previous lessons and helps us understand why we need Christmas.

We are invited to participate in the Holiday Shop, where the children may purchase inexpensive gifts to give to family and friends for Christmas. Kindergarten will go on the morning of Thursday, December 6th. You may send in the envelopes ahead of time and I will keep them in a safe place.

Our class party will be on Friday, December 21st from about 1:30 until the end of the day. Parents are invited and encouraged to attend! Younger siblings are also welcome. We enjoy decorating gingerbread houses during this time. We will be asking you to send in something specific for this activity. Please watch for more information about this in the next couple of weeks. Please be sure to send a wrapped book for a girl if you have a daughter, or a book for a boy if you have a son in my class. This is for our gift exchange. Keep the cost at about $5.00 and have your child write who it is from on the package. You may send these in ahead of time. If you want to order from Scholastic it should be delivered in time.

Kindergarten has filled up the warm fuzzy jar again!! We will have our Warm Fuzzy Party on Thursday December 6th, in the afternoon. They may wear pajamas that day.

Have a peaceful December and a Merry Christmas!

Sincerely,
Mrs. Dowd

Dear Parents,

Psalms 107:1 “O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.” As Thanksgiving approaches let us remember to give thanks to our great God.
Conferences will be held on November 19th and 20th, with afternoon and evening time slots. Look for the email with information about how to sign up for your conferences. The students will be dismissed at 12:30 on both days and no aftercare will be provided. Please send in a hearty snack on Monday, since we will not have lunch at school. On Tuesday snack will be included in our Thanksgiving celebration. I am looking forward to talking with you about your children!
The Book Fair will be set up again during conferences. This year it will be Usborne books. For our Christmas Party we have the children do a book exchange. Girls bring a wrapped book for a girl and boys should bring a wrapped book for a boy. We ask that you keep the cost of the book at about $5.00. The Book Fair is a great opportunity to purchase the book for the book exchange.
We are going to have a Thanksgiving celebration on Tuesday, November 20th. This usually includes a seasonal snack, craft and/or game that a homeroom parent or volunteer plans. We currently do not have a homeroom parent. If you would be willing to be a homeroom parent or help plan our Thanksgiving Celebration, please let me know ASAP.
Thank you for your donations for the food drive. The girls are currently in the lead! Feel free to send in cans of fruit until November 13th.
Kindergarten students do not get a report card until January.
The kindergarteners love to do puzzles and have already put together all of my hundred piece puzzles! If you have any 100 piece puzzles you would like to donate, we would be up for the challenge of a new puzzle!
I hope your children are enjoying their time in kindergarten. It is amazing how much they have learned and matured already. They make me smile every day!

Sincerely,
Mrs. Dowd

October 2018
Dear Parents,
The first month of school has gone by so quickly! The children are beginning to adjust to the kindergarten routine and seem to enjoy our time together. I look forward to seeing their smiles each day!

I always look forward to hearing the children read. Thank you for your efforts at home to practice the reading. The reading books should be returned daily until I sign it and write “Finished” on the back. I will not read with each group every day, so keep practicing even if I don’t get to put a sticker on the back. They will get their stickers when I meet with their group. Be sure to look over the reading guide at the front so you know how to help your child. Have your child practice the “words at work” page located at the back. Blue words are to be read by the adult, unless your child is up for more of a challenge. Be sure to have them point to the words as they are learning to read.

The book order for the month of September earned our classroom two new books!

We are looking forward to spending the morning with our grandparents on Friday, October 5th. Dismissal is at 12:30 and there is no aftercare. It is a very special time for the children and the grandparents. Please be sure to send in permission slips if your child is to be dismissed with a grandparent. Please send in a snack and water bottle.

Picture Day is coming on Wednesday, October 17th! Even if you are not ordering pictures we still need all students to be photographed for our class picture. More information will be sent home soon.
Friday October 19th is another special Bethany event. Please join us for the annual fundraising banquet. Please RSVP if you are planning to use the free babysitting service. It is always a lovely evening and I hope to see many kindergarten parents there!

Please work with your children at home on these very important skills: holding a pencil correctly, opening packages of food, putting on jackets and tying shoes with a double knot. We encourage the children to try on their own before they ask for help. They get very excited about demonstrating independence in these areas.

Our warm fuzzy container is getting full! We will be planning a special activity as a reward. I will let you know when the time comes. Your children are working hard to earn warm fuzzies. They are gaining self-control and learning to be good listeners. Way to go Kindergarten!

Thank you for your diligence and patience with the math homework! I know the directions can be tedious or unclear, at times. If your student gets a stamp of some sort, or a star then all is well. If I put a check mark at the top, it was mostly correct.

I am looking forward to our upcoming field trip to Milburn Orchard on Tuesday, October 9th!
Don’t hesitate to send an email or a note if you have a question or concern. Let’s continue to have a great year!

Sincerely,

Mrs. Dowd

August and September 2018
Dear Parents,

I would like to welcome you to kindergarten at Bethany Christian School. My name is Trish Dowd. I began my teaching career as a third grade teacher here at Bethany. I taught four years and then took an eight year break to stay home with my children. My two sons both graduated from Bethany and are currently at Avon Grove High School as a freshman and a senior. This will be my eleventh year teaching kindergarten and it is a blessing to be able to serve God here at Bethany Christian School!

I am delighted that another year is about to begin and I look forward to spending time with your child. Kindergarten is an exciting time in a child’s life and I am blessed to be a part of that. God has called me to this very special ministry and I will do my best to show the love of Jesus to your child and help them to succeed in this school year.

Every day your child will bring home a white envelope with their work and any important information. Please check the envelope daily and return it to school the following day. This has been an effective form of communication between home and school. You do not need to sign the envelope.

Please check our school website, http://www.bethanychristian.org regularly, for important information. I have a blog with information regarding our class that you can access through the school website. Click “About Us”, then go to “Teachers and Faculty”. The next step is to click on “Elementary Faculty” and look for Mrs. Dowd. Finally, click where you see the word “blog”. Please sign up on the blog for email update reminders. Let me know if you do not have internet access, so I can send you a paper copy of posted material. I will have our class Scholastic code, Bible Memory assignments, important dates, specials schedule and a monthly newsletter posted.

I would like to highlight a few upcoming events. Our very special Grandparent’s Day will be on Friday, October 5th. Dismissal is at 12:30. Our annual Bethany Banquet will be held here at the school on Friday, October 19th. It is always a delightful evening and I would love to see you there! This will also be a 12:30 dismissal day. More information will be sent home in the coming weeks regarding these very special activities.

I look forward to working with you and hope you feel free to communicate regularly with me. If you were unable to attend the kindergarten open house, please arrange a time to speak with me. Our school number is (610)998-0877 and my email address is tdowd@bethanychristian.org . Do not hesitate to call or email if you have any questions. I check my email daily and will respond to calls or emails in a timely manner. I pray that this year will be a joyful and exciting year in KB!

Sincerely,

Mrs. Dowd

May 2018

Dear Parents,

It’s hard to believe that this is the last full month of school for the 2017-2018 school year! What a pleasure it has been to work with you and your child this year. It is my prayer that they are not only academically prepared for first grade, but also have grown closer to God and have a deeper understanding of who He is and how much He loves each of us.

Thank you for all your work with your children on Bible verses this year. Psalm 25:21 will be the last Bible memory homework for this year. We will spend the month of May learning the Books of the Bible. This will not be graded or tested. I will be teaching the children songs to help them remember the order. I hope this will help the children become more familiar and able to find verses in the Bible.

We are looking forward to our Race for Education on Friday, May 18th. I encourage you to come and participate in the festivities. It really is a fun day to be at Bethany Christian School! Thank you for all your efforts at gathering addresses and helping with our class basket for the silent auction. Please pray for a sunny day! All Race for Education awards will be given out at the end of the day. Children must be present to receive an award. Run Club awards will be given on Field Day, which is June 5th.

We are planning a picnic for all kindergarteners and their families on Monday, June 11th at the Little Britain Park. This is our special end of the year celebration. It will be the last day of school. Three day students are being asked to join us on the two make-up days at the end of the year. We will need parents to help organize food and games for this event. Please let Katie Arter at katie.arter@gmail.com know if you are willing to help and what you are most interested in helping with.

The last couple of years we have eaten grilled hot dogs, chips, fruit, veggies, drinks, and some type of dessert. We typically assign each family to bring or send in something. We also need parents who are willing to grill the hot dogs, set up the food table and clean up the area after the picnic.

The games are another highlight of this celebration. Before lunch, we play games such as a sack race, water balloons, candy scramble, relay races, and any other games our organizers come up with. Please feel free to share your suggestions. After lunch, the children usually go home with their parents, and this concludes our day. If a parent cannot attend, their child may take the bus back to BCS with us and be dismissed from the school at 12:30.

Sincerely,
Mrs. Dowd

Dates to Remember

May 15- No School, In-service day for teachers
May 17- Silent Auction Preview 5-8
Book or Movie Character Day
May 18- Race for Education
May 28- Closed for Memorial Day
June 5- Field Day and Run Club Awards
June 7- Full Day with aftercare
June 8- Full Day for all kindergarten with aftercare
June 11- Last Day of School, Kindergarten Picnic, 12:30 dismissal, No Aftercare

April 2018

Dear Parents,

Happy Spring to all of you! I am looking forward to some warm days with lots of sunshine!

We were all sad that we couldn’t go on our field trip to the Quarryville Home. However, we were able to participate in the Easter chapel. Kindergarten sang two spring songs, said Psalm 23 and had a “microphone moment” to share something they know about God. We also had the opportunity to share our Resurrection Egg Easter story with preschool and seventh grade. The kindergarteners did a great job!

I am looking forward to our field trip to the Dutch Apple Dinner Theater to see Madagascar on Tuesday, April 17th. The children are to dress nicely and bring their best manners!

I always look forward to spending time with the children and listening to them read. The excitement of moving on to a new book is contagious, and all the children are excited to be progressing in the reading books. I continue to encourage the children to practice their stories until they can read them fluently. Please be sure they practice enough to read the material without having to stop and sound out the words. We do not have oral reading everyday so they may have days when they do not have a new assignment. You can review and read books from home on those evenings.

Please consider coming to the Fine Arts Gala and Open House on April 20th at 7:00 p.m. This is a great time to check out first grade. It won’t be long until these students are first graders! Feel free to stop in and visit kindergarten also!

On Friday, May 18yh, we have our Race for Education. Three day kindergarten students should plan to attend on Friday May 18th in order to participate in this event. Please come and join us for the day if you are able! We have a great time running/walking together, having a picnic and enjoying all the other activities of the day. Awards will be given at the end of the day. Your child must be present to receive any awards.

If you have not sent a donation in for our class basket, please consider sending a gift card or any kitchen item. Our basket is starting to fill up! Thank you to all who have already sent in a donation.

The two snow days we need to make up have been added on to the end of the year. We are asking three day friends to attend on Friday June 8th and the half day on Monday, June 11th. On that last Monday we will most likely have our class picnic at Little Britain Park. We encourage parents to attend this end of the year celebration, if possible. Younger siblings are also welcome.

Sincerely,
Mrs. Dowd

Dates to Remember

April 17- Dutch Apple Dinner Theater field trip
April 19- Crazy Sock Day
April 20- Fine Arts Gala and Open House
April 26- Lighthouse Banquet, No Hot Lunch
May 18 – Race for Education, all kindergarteners come

Sincerely,
Mrs. Dowd