Huron Playschool Cooperative

Back to School

We're so excited to be heading back to Huron Playschool for the 2016/2017 school year! 

See You In September!

While it is true that three weeks of Playschool Summer Camp are just getting underway (and the program is looking so good!!), we've only just said farewell to the 2015-2016 Playschool Year. On the last day of school, each of the children in the morning program received their own personal learning story with photographs and artwork documenting how much they have all grown and changed from September to June. The learning stories too document the memories, friendships and other strong relationships they have taken away from their playschool experience—it has truly been an excellent year. 

And if we weren't all feeling emotional enough, Tracey read just one more book before it was time to pack up and go home, and that was What a Wonderful World, the song made famous by Louis Armstrong, illustrated by Ashley Bryan: 

"I hear babies crying, I watch them grow. They'll learn much more than I'll ever know. 

And I think to myself—what a wonderful world." 

Thanks to all of you who make it so. 

Happy Pride Month

"When children don’t see themselves reflected in books they read, or when the few images they see in stories, TV and movies are negative or stereotypical, that sends a powerful and silencing message." —Robin Stevenson, author of new book Pride: Celebrating Diversity and Community

Check out Robin's post at Canadian books website 49thShelf.com about the importance of there being a LGBTQ canon for young readers, and also some great book recommendations

Happy Pride Month! 

Sunny Days

We're all so happy about this wonderful June weather, which enables us to begin the mornng program outdoors every day, everybody enjoying the warm sunshine and the crisp morning air. Whether we're digging for treasure in the sandbox, pushing strollers or lawnmowers across the playground, reading stories on the blanket, making mud cakes, kicking balls or chasing hoops, there is one certainty: no one is ever, ever bored. It also means that by the time we go inside for rest of our class, everybody is ready for snack. 

COBS Bread is Raising Some Dough for Playschool

Cobs Fundraiser

We have the most amazing neighbours! Thanks to COBS Bread in the Annex for supporting Playschool with Raise the Dough. You can now eat baked goods and be making our community stronger: everybody wins. When you shop at COBS throughout the month of June, let them know you're there for Playschool (there will be a sign at the till—please let staff know before they ring up your items!) and 25% of your purchase comes back to support our programs. 

Please buy all the scones!! 

Annex Community Events in June

Flower on Brunswick

With the arrival of June, our neighbourhood is the place to be, and everything is happening. Stay tuned for news about our month-long fundraiser with the friendly people at Cobs Bread at 370 Bloor Street West. But in the meantime...

  • The Huron Picnic for the Arts takes place on Friday June 3 at Huron Street Junior Public School from 5-8pm. Delicious food, bouncy castles, a dunk tank (!), a book sale, silent auction, games, crafts, and other fun activities. And ALL PROCEEDS benefit our amazing local public school. (Reminder: cash only, please!) 
  • The 30th annual Walmer Road Street Party takes place on Saturday, June 11. From 2-10 pm, the street is closed to traffic and open for party business. There is a day full of activities for young kids: music, bouncy castle, face painting, treasure hunt, street hockey, games, cardboard house painting (the houses will be raffled off at the end of the day), a fire truck visit and, new this year, a foam sword fencing lesson.  All of the activities are free (but, of course, you can help support the party by buying raffle tickets at party HQ on the day or by buying baked goods, freezies and dinner). The bake sale starts at 3:30. A barbeque dinner is served at 6:30.
  • The Annex Family Festival happens on Sunday June 26 on Bloor Street between Spadina and Bathurst. Now in its 20th year, the Annex Family Festival (AFF) is a fun, one-day street festival that attracts over 20,000 people, making it one of Toronto's premier summer events. The event offers local businesses, Torontonians and sponsors an opportunity to celebrate our unique local heritage through a variety of activities suited for families of all shapes and sizes.

A Great Childcare Option for UofT Families

University College TorontoLiving next door to the University of Toronto comes from its advantages—we get to take walks through its green lawns and under its leafy trees, slide down the hill beside Robarts Library in the winter. But for student families at the Toronto, the relationship is absolutely recipcrocal. The reasons why Huron Playschool is a great childcare option for student families at the University of Toronto are as follows: 

ECONOMICS: Because of our cooperative structure, our fees are demonstrably lower than other childcare centres in the area. 

GEOGRAPHY: We're literally steps away from campus (if you go out the backdoor). It doesn't get anymore convenient than that. 

KINESIOLOGY: Okay, what we really mean is that we're flexible, which suits student lifestyles, which are variable and ever subject to change. 

SOCIOLOGY: Meet other families in the areas and strengthen your own social connections. 

But don't take our word for it. We've EVEN got a primary source:

"As a graduate student at the University of Toronto whose partner has an ever-changing schedule, I rely on Huron Playschool to provide a safe, fun, and stimulating after-school environment for my kids. They always look forward to spending an hour or two at the end of each school day with their Playschool friends and the awesome staff. As a parent who does co-op shifts twice a month, I get to see first-hand the rich and diverse array of activities that Playschool engages the kids with. The peace of mind I get from knowing that my kids have something they look forward to doing after every school day lets me complete a full workday without stress. Beyond this, the Playschool community enriches our family's extended experience with the University of Toronto." —Gabby, Playschool Parent

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Flower

The Friday before Mother's Day, Iris was very excited to bring home a present for me from playschool. 

"Should I wait until Sunday?" I asked her, but the days of the week have little meaning for a nearly-three-year-old, who is charged with immediacy. 

And so I unpacked my present right away, and she informed me that her little pot of dirt was in fact a seed and that she'd planted it herself.

It's never going to come up, I thought, unconsciously channelling Crockett Johnson's classic children's tale, The Carrot Seed, in the way that adults do. For how can a little pot of dirt possibly be transformed into a flower? Where does life come from anyway?

But for seeds to grow, one needs a little faith, and luckily Iris had plenty. Which doesn't mean that she was not delighted or even blase a week or so later when we discovered that a force through the green fuse had finally driven a flower. Or at least the beginnings of one. 

And three weeks on, it's kept going and going. 

3 wks later

So much love and gratitute to our teachers who plant so many seeds and nurture them so. Turns out water, sunshine, and a little bit of faith can work miracles. 

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