The Spark – September 2016

A Note From The Director
Katie Kheel, Director

Dear Parents,

The school year is here! I send staff emails almost weekly and this week I shared this quote: “With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” -Eleanor Roosevelt. The new school year is like a blank slate or a new beginning. This sentiment doesn’t just apply to teachers, it also applies to all of us as parents. Although getting back to the school year grind requires feats of strength and stamina as we get our children back to routine and school work, it’s also a great time for new structures, new ideas and renewed creativity. 
As my new Discovery school year settles in, I am also working on some things at home. I am thinking of new ideas to make my morning routines smoother with my daughter, how I can avoid power struggles with her reading log, and how to make her feel excited about some of her responsibilities. I think it’s important to realize that we don’t all have time to make special charts and that sometimes a simple list of what your child has to do in the morning will work, such as get dressed, brush teeth, etc. Races to get shoes on are always fun as well as giving your child more of the “fun” chores to keep them interested such as feeding the dog or the family pet. 

For more great ideas on how to get back to school routines take a look at this article.

Happy Fall!

Warm wishes,

Katie Kheel
Ballet Beat
The Fall- Things to Expect Over the Beginning Weeks
Katrina Muffley, Ballet Instructor
It is hard to believe our summer months have so quickly come and gone. Being originally from Southern California, I do love the summer season, despite how hot and humid New York City can be. However, as a teacher, the beginning of fall is one of my favorite times of the year. It is a time when children go back to school, which for a teacher means you get to reunite with your students after what you hope was a wonderful and fun filled summer. The beginning of fall and a new school semester is also a time to be introduced to new families, new students, and in my case, new dancers. The best way for me to describe the first few weeks of dance classes at Discovery is through the song, “Getting to Know You” (The King & I).
At Discovery, most of my students are very young, between the ages of 2-5. Some have taken classes before independently, without their parent or guardian present, and some have not. Because of this, the beginning of the semester is a time to work with parents, guardians, and students to ease into the idea of separation- a small transitional stepping stone that will help each student in other areas of their day (preschool, art class, dance class, meeting friends).  In the end, my hope as a teacher throughout these weeks of class is for my students to experience dance, and movement in both a positive, and inviting light. I hope “ballet class” is one they take home to share with their families, and an experience they look forward to throughout their week.  
Classes are filling up quickly, so register today!
To see our complete schedule, visit us at You can register online, or call us at 212.749.8717.
You can find our fall calendar here.
Toddler Talk 
Back to School
Timi Mathai, EC Teacher

It’s that time of the year again, so long summer- hello school year!  With school starting just around the corner, this can be a bittersweet time for you all;  there is often so much to do, from buying endless supplies to packing healthy lunches and snacks.  Your child’s teachers are most likely doing the same thing.  They are preparing the classroom to best suit your child’s needs and to maximize fun and learning.  I find the start of the semester such an exciting time because it is full of potential.  It only gets better from here.    
I love meeting new students and their families and getting to know each child individually.  My goals for the school year are always changing and growing based on what my students need.  For the first few weeks, my goal is often to create a space where the children feel comfortable and safe and establish a relationship based on trust with them and their parents.  I want my students to be happy and love coming to school and I hope to create an environment in which they grow to love learning!  
Creative Corner 
Fall is such a magic, color and inspiration-filled season! Art projects are a wonderful way to celebrate the changing times and to capture the beauty of Fall (it’s leaves, colors, landscapes, etc.)! This website presents 50 Fall art projects for people of all ages: Paper Bag Fall Trees, Leafy Hedgehogs, Simple Harvest Crowns, etc. We wish you much fun, joy and creativity in the coming Season, and we can’t wait to see what you create!

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