The Spark! – November 2017

A Note From The Director
Dear Parents,
Last month, I talked about being inspired by the karate promotion and our Discovery students, and this month I’d like to talk about the inspiration I gain from our teachers. I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the classrooms this semester, helping or watching in ballet, gym, karate, and parkour, and visiting the preschoolers. It’s been great to be in the classes more often because whether it’s the way I hear the staff talk to a child, motivate them, or see what activities they do with the classes, I learn from the teachers everyday. I feel very fortunate and grateful that we have such amazing teachers at Discovery. I see their dedication not only inside the classroom but outside the classroom as well. We spend time talking about individual students and how we can help them. Some of those students we may only see 45 minutes a week! I am in awe of my teachers’ talents in their own craft, but I am also in awe of the way they care for the students. I wouldn’t want it any other way, as it’s what’s most important to me here at Discovery! I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving! 
Warm Wishes,

Katie Kheel
Celebrating with Gratitude
We’re thankful for…
our Discovery Family!

by Julia Fidler
Working at Discovery programs has been a blessing in many ways! There are many children’s schools on the Upper West Side but none as special and unique as ours. I feel privileged to be a part of the Discovery team, helping children and families.
I’m going into my 9th wonderful year working as Program Coordinator here with my “work family,” as I like to call my coworkers. When I look back on when I started, I think to myself, “Have I really been here for that long?” It’s only then that I realize that, for many of these children currently attending classes, I remember them when they were only a few weeks old and some of them even when their moms were expecting them. And now I can have a full conversation with them about how their day was at school and what their feelings and thoughts are on things…time really flies.
Some of the most rewarding moments are when we help children that are having a hard time transitioning into a separation or a drop-off class for their very first time. We reassure them that their parent or adult will pick them at the end of class and after many trials and effort they final walk into class with confidence and happiness. They often can’t wait for class to start and leave at the end of class excited to go home. Those are very sweet moments, when the child overcomes their fear and anxiety and are able to just have fun and enjoy the class.
Two of my favorite classes are Baby Social and Baby Gym. With the very little ones, we get to see them move on to different stages and take their first steps, speak their first words, and socialize for the first time with other babies. It’s so exciting for us, and we celebrate their milestones just as if they were our own children. I like to call it Baby Therapy! We get to see babies grow into school-age children and move on. You will be familiar with the feeling if you ever held a baby when you are having a not-so-great day. All you have to do is hold a baby in your arms – they have this almost magic, calming affect over you that makes everything better, melts your heart and washes your troubles away.
Other rewarding moments come when a parent brings a new addition to the family or when caregivers and nannies return to us after they begin working with a different family. These actions and decisions show that they trust us and feel comfortable sharing their little ones with us. Those are the moments that are so gratifying because I feel that we are most certainly doing something right for them if they keep returning year after year.
Over the years working amongst families and children at Discovery, I observe the special bonds between the families, teachers, and caregivers. I have to say that when it comes to the caregiver and nannies, I feel they are the children’s extended family members. They nurture and feed the children and love them as if they were their own. It is a beautiful thing to see. 
The Discovery community has taught me how important it is to work together, in a close knit and familial manner, when it comes to children. To give each other feedback on each child’s challenges, progress, goals, and milestones by working together. We get a better outcome by helping children blossom into little people. “It truly takes a village,” as Katie, our school’s director, always says.
It brings me true satisfaction to work with families and children. When I was growing up, the joke in the family was that if I didn’t work with children in my adulthood that I would probably have a very large family of my own. As it happens, I’ve been blessed with one child of my own and I feel like I have many, many Discovery children.
Spotlight On: 
Fall Activities in Early Childhood Programs!
A Note from Coach Mary:
What To Do When Your Child Says, “My Class is Too Easy!”
I’m sure some of our Discovery parents have heard this line a time or two. As a parent you should simply ask your child why they are feeling this way. It’s really important to allow children to express themselves without interrupting or asking questions. When the child is finished, restate the reasons why the child is feeling this way. Start with, “So to be clear, you feel….” and from there you and your child can make a plan to find a resolution to this conflict. Begin by telling your child that you will speak with their coach to express their concerns. Explain to the child that we can work together to help make the class more challenging. Parents should understand that at Discovery we have an open door; we want parents to feel comfortable asking questions and getting direct answers regarding their concerns. If your child is continually saying the class is too easy, feel free to contact us and our Gym Director can provide you with a plan of action to help your child understand skills needed to get into the next level of class. 
Discovery Announcements!
Thanksgiving Week
– We will be closed Thursday, November 23rd and Saturday, November 25th. All classes will take place as normal Monday-Wednesday!
– Ballet Famillies: Pick up your Nutcracker tickets at the Front Desk between now and December 8th!
Priority Registration
– Priority Registration for the Winter/Spring 2018 will be open November 13th – December 1st! If your child is currently enrolled in a class, Discovery Programs will hold your child’s spot in the class until December 1st. After this date, we will open spots to newcomers.

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