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JANUARY 



Special Dates
January
10 National Take the Stairs Day
15 National Hat Day
31 Inspire Your Heart with Art Day
31 Bell Lets Talk Day



PD Days
January
08 PD Day for Copperfield & Prince of Wales School
12 PD day for Maple Ridge School
26 PD day for all CBE


Closures
January
19 All programs closed for Professional Development
ALL TOPP KIDS locations will be CLOSED Friday January 19th
Thank you to all of our families for making this training possible!
When booking professional development opportunities for every year, We try to find the most convenient times for all families that participate across the city in our programs. Traditionally we have blocked out two professional development days during the teachers convention break, closing for both days.
 
Due to popular demand by our families in regards to remaining open during the Teacher's Convention this year, and to also accommodate our staff training, we decided to close all day Friday January 19th, 2018 and provide FREE care during the 2 day teachers convention to our families registered monthly in our programs.
 
This date was chosen as the least impact day for families across the city and dates that statistically have had lower attendances. We also had a rare opportunity to book with the world renown Dr. Gail Gorke this year to train personally with both TOPP KIDS and Adventurers SAC while she was in Canada. 

If you are in need of care, below are a list of alternative care should you need it:
Click location for more information

Parkland Care Options 
Trico Centre 
Deer Run Out Of School Care
Mid Sun Out of School Care
Expanding Imaginations 
Evergreen Care Options 
Silverado Care Options 
Maple Ridge Care Options 
Copperfield Care Options 
Coventry Hills Care Options

Again, thank you for your support and we apologize for any convenience this may cause and hope that you can understand that this closure will ultimately better the quality of care we provide to all of our families.

If you have any further questions, feel free to contact me any time!
 
Have a great day,

 


We will be handing out our 2017 Child Care Receipts at the end of January. If you or your family have any questions or need to change your information before they are written, please talk to your Program Coordinator as soon as possible. Remaining receipts will be mailed out the second week in February.
This is a FREE event for all TOPP KIDS Families and staff presented by TOPP KIDS Out of School Clubs, ELCC & Community Development and Adventurers School Age Care. Sign up here: http://www.toppkids.com/elcc-community-development/ 

You can Learn more about Dr. Gail Gorke on her website here: http://www.galegorke.com/Welcome.html

Looking for a handy and crafty dads or moms to help create items for weekly themes and prop boxes or come in and run a project or activity your passionate about. Speak to your Program Coordinator if you'd like to take part!

Developmental Benefits of Art

Motor Skills: Many of the motions involved in making art, such as holding a paintbrush or scribbling with a crayon, are essential to the growth of fine motor skills in young children. According to the National Institutes of Health, developmental milestones around age three should include drawing a circle and beginning to use safety scissors. Around age four, children may be able to draw a square and begin cutting straight lines with scissors. Many preschool programs emphasize the use of scissors because it develops the dexterity children will need for writing.

Language Development: For very young children, making art—or just talking about it—provides opportunities to learn words for colors, shapes and actions. When toddlers are as young as a year old, parents can do simple activities such as crumpling up paper and calling it a “ball.” By elementary school, students can use descriptive words to discuss their own creations or to talk about what feelings are elicited when they see different styles of artwork.

Decision Making: According to a report by Americans for the Arts, art education strengthens problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. The experience of making decisions and choices in the course of creating art carries over into other parts of life. “If they are exploring and thinking and experimenting and trying new ideas, then creativity has a chance to blossom,” says MaryAnn Kohl, an arts educator and author of numerous books about children’s art education.

Visual Learning: Drawing, sculpting with clay and threading beads on a string all develop visual-spatial skills, which are more important than ever. Even toddlers know how to operate a smart phone or tablet, which means that even before they can read, kids are taking in visual information. This information consists of cues that we get from pictures or three-dimensional objects from digital media, books and television.

“Parents need to be aware that children learn a lot more from graphic sources now than in the past,” says Dr. Kerry Freedman, Head of Art and Design Education at Northern Illinois University. “Children need to know more about the world than just what they can learn through text and numbers. Art education teaches students how to interpret, criticize, and use visual information, and how to make choices based on it.” Knowledge about the visual arts, such as graphic symbolism, is especially important in helping kids become smart consumers and navigate a world filled with marketing logos.

Inventiveness: When kids are encouraged to express themselves and take risks in creating art, they develop a sense of innovation that will be important in their adult lives. “The kind of people society needs to make it move forward are thinking, inventive people who seek new ways and improvements, not people who can only follow directions,” says Kohl. “Art is a way to encourage the process and the experience of thinking and making things better!”

Cultural Awareness: As we live in an increasingly diverse society, the images of different groups in the media may also present mixed messages. “If a child is playing with a toy that suggests a racist or sexist meaning, part of that meaning develops because of the aesthetics of the toy—the color, shape, texture of the hair,” says Freedman. Teaching children to recognize the choices an artist or designer makes in portraying a subject helps kids understand the concept that what they see may be someone’s interpretation of reality.

Improved Academic Performance: Studies show that there is a correlation between art and other achievement. A report by Americans for the Arts states that young people who participate regularly in the arts (three hours a day on three days each week through one full year) are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, to participate in a math and science fair or to win an award for writing an essay or poem than children who do not participate.

Check out what each of our programs have been up to!



Prince Of Wales Elementary

Dear our wonderful families,
 
Happy Holidays! Once again, this joyful and oh-so snowy time of year is upon us, and we just wanted to let you know what has been going on in our centre last month, and what to expect when we return to in the new year!
This December, we have welcomed Lori onto our team full time, and she has been a wonderful asset to our program. We have also been joined by Lainey, who is the acting assistant coordinator during her holidays from University. As well, many of you may have noticed and recognized Lucie, who is a former Prince of Wales staff member and who is now assistant coordinator at Holy Child School. She was with us during the last week of December!
 
This month has been a busy and very fun month for us. We celebrated the holidays with those of you who were able to make it at our annual Christmas Party, and were thrilled for the opportunity to spend time with each of you and your children. We also collected donations for our families in need, and we would like to extend our sincerest thanks to those of you who were able to donate- your efforts and thoughts are so appreciated. Your kids have been busy with winter and holiday themed activities, and we hope that this month has been as enjoyable and entertaining for them as it has been for us.
 
We are thankful for each and every one of you!

Photo Booth at the Christmas Party




 
St. Philip Fine Arts School

The TOPP KIDS team at St Philip would like to express their deepest appreciation to all the parents, children and volunteers that made their Christmas party a success! It was definitely one for the books! It is truly heart warning to see how caring and involved our TOPP KIDS family is. We would also like to thank everyone that contributed the Adopt a Family. St Philip's alone raised over $1200 in cash and gift card donations!!! This is truly amazing. 
In the new year, we have lots and lots of fun activities in store for the children. Monkeynastix will be coming on two dates in January; that being the 23rd and 30th. 
We would finally like to remind the parents that our program will now have our own door with our very own doorbell. This will be located on the south side of the school (at the partols). Parents can now park on the side of the street by the cross walk or in the rear parking lot. 
We want to wish you a happy New year with lots of love and happiness. 

Loose Parts Fun



 
Gymnastics presentation
Coventry Hills Elementary

We’ve had so much fun this month meeting firemen, receiving gifts from Santa Claus himself, and showing appreciation to all our centre’s staff, parents, and kids!
We had an “Appreciation Week” at the beginning of the month where we dedicated one day of the week to each staff member, one day for the kids, and one day for the parents 😊 It was humbling to be able to show one another how much we mean to one another.
The firemen also came with their firetruck to come meet us at the school to talk to the kids about fire safety. The kids got to explore inside the truck, meet some real firemen, they even got to hold the giant water hose!
There was a very special visitor at our centre last week, SANTA! He delivered goody bags to all of our kids and answered all their inquiring questions about the North Pole and life as Father Christmas. Their little faces lit up when he entered the room, and we are so grateful to Santa for making their Christmas extra special!
Following our STEAM based approach to play and learning this year, we took it upon ourselves to take an enormous cardboard box from Canadian Tire and supply the children with a ton of crafting supplies to see where their imaginations led them. They took their own initiative and worked together as a group and made the Polar Express train! They even made little golden tickets, an ‘electric system’ with pipe cleaners, and a speaker system for making special announcements to the passengers with some foam and a metal spiral spine from an old Topp Kids calendar. We are so proud of the kids for using their creative minds to create something amazing out of something as common as a cardboard box.
We’d like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, and happy holidays! We look forward to the new year 😊
 

Playing with the Firehose

Holy Child Elementary

What an wonderful month of December we had at our Holy Child program. Starting off the month with our superheroes theme where the children created their own superhero characters including masks, capes and even wristbands. Superheroes were flying around the room saving people from danger and animals in distress. Imagination is such a wonderful tool! Dinosaurs roamed the program the following week and the children created a diorama of a prehistoric land including clay fossils and footprints and flying pterodactyl puppets. The group enjoyed building dinosaurs from straws, toothpicks and straws during our STEM activities. We wrapped up the month with our Christmas theme and spent the week getting in the spirit of the season creating Christmas décor of all sorts to prepare for our upcoming family potluck/paint party. The family support for this event was incredible! It was great to see brothers, sisters, moms, dads and even grandparents joining in and sharing in the true meaning of the holidays family, friends and fun.
We wish everyone all the best in 2018 and look forward to many more events to be together again.

 
Christmas Paint Party
Copperfield Elementary

It seems like December has come and gone so quickly!  We had a ton of fun at the family Christmas party where the Junior Leaders and mentors set up a cooking club bake sale and raffle draw to raise money for our Kids Fund.  They managed to raise $55 dollars! And we will definitely be planning more fundraising events in the New Year so we can use the Kids Fund money to plan a really cool offsite fieldtrip or party of some sort. We are hoping families got some much needed rest and relaxation over the holidays and got to spend a lot of time with friends and family.   We are very excited for what the New Year will bring and to start it out with a full team.  We have welcomed Shamil to our team and Andrew will continue to be with us part time.  There will be a lot of fun to be had in January such as Monkeynastixs joining us again, another parent sport night, new clubs and some exciting themes suggested by the children such as robots, dinosaurs and space!
 
Natural Disasters Science Fair
Jedi Training Camp!
Evergreen Elementary

It’s been a festive month at Evergreen!  We would like to thank all families for attending to our 3rd Annual Christmas Potluck! Our day was filled with playing with peppermint scented playdough, decorating gingerbread cookies, having a giant snowball fight on the gym side, and of course eating all the delicious food everyone brought! We really enjoyed having you all come in to celebrate the Holiday Season!
This month we had 2 fun filled PD Days! On December 8th we created a cozy fireplace out of cardboard for our Christmas party, we played field games and plenty of perler beading. On December 22nd  we spent time playing outside in the fresh blanket of snow, playing a giant game of dodgeball, and having a Christmas movie marathon!
This Holiday season, in the spirit of giving, Topp Kids Evergreen has been collecting donations for the Calgary Women’s Center. We would like to give a big thank you to all the families that brought in items to donate!In January , we will be having Monkeynastic come in on January 17th between 330 and 530 to do some fun activities with the children!  We will also be hosting our 2nd Annual Topp Kids election, The children will have the opportunity to share their voices
Introducing.... A Day in The Life of a Topp Kid!
Our Evergreen location is collecting donations for the Calgary Women's Centre!
Maple Ridge Elementary 

Wow, December was such a busy month for only being in school for a few weeks. Every Friday we had a delicious treat and a Christmas movie to watch that the children got to vote on. We also had a very successful electronic PD day with a fun Christmas themed Family potluck night. It was so nice being able to take the time to get to know all of the parents better and I hope that everyone enjoyed the leader BINGO to get to know the leaders better. We would like to thank all of the parents for the food contributions at the potluck and all of the nice holiday cards that we received during this Christmas season.
 
The first day back for TOPP KIDS is on January the 8th with two PD days on January 12th and 26th with an early dismissal on the 25th that we will be open for. We were also very fortunate to host Monkeynastics once this year and they have offered to come again on our January 12th PD day. It is also worth noting that TOPP KIDS will be closed on January the 19th for internal training and we apologize for any inconvenience this may put onto you. We are looking forward to welcoming 2018 and look forward to hearing everyone’s holiday stories.

 
Toilet paper snowman!
Wooden nail and string art
Check out some fun family events in Calgary this month
Free Company resource kits for Mental Health awareness and best practices in the workplace

 
Art Resource for kids with cool drawing, painting and sculpting projects! 
- online instructions and follow along videos

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