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Christ Lutheran Early Weekday School (CLEWS) has quite a reputation in the Orland Park area. If you tell someone that your child attends CLEWS, chances are they will respond with “I remember the Teddy Bear Picnic!” or “I loved the Thankful Feast they did!” And Director Patti Bareither, who just celebrated her 25th year with the program, is a celebrity in her own right with CLEWS alumni. A summer celebration in her honor saw hundreds of CLEWS families from over the years come by to share hugs, stories, and appreciation.
So what makes CLEWS such a strong program? Their philosophy and focus is on enriching cognitive, social, emotional, and spiritual development through play, stories, and songs, as well as hands-on and individual activities. Class sizes are small, which gives children a chance to know their teachers and vice versa. And interaction from both parents and the pastors of Christ Lutheran truly make this an interactive program with many opportunities for learning.
Children are eligible to enroll in CLEWS as soon as they turn 3 years old. The next session of the “Just 3″ program will begin on January 11, 2014 and will run from 9-10:30am on Fridays through May 16. Children may also begin the “Just 3″ program mid-session with a pro-rated fee. CLEWS will host two open house opportunities in January, the first on Sunday the 26th from 10:30am-1:00pm and the second on Tuesday, January 28 from 5-7pm. If a child in your life is getting ready to enter pre-school in the fall, please come and see what all of the buzz is about! Program Director and teacher Patti Bareither can be reached at (708) 349-0171 for further information.
By Patti Bareither
The Monday-Wednesday Three’s class has been celebrating this month!
First, Layla became a proud BIG SISTER to baby Zachary! What a wonderful gift from God. One day Zachary will be able to follow in his sister’s footsteps when he joins the CLEWS class of 2020!
And on February 8th, the entire CLEWS family hosted a Welcome Home Celebration for TSGT Adam Moore who just returned from his 6-month tour of duty in Kuwait. His proud son Brennan celebrated alongside his classmates, CLEWS graduate sister McKayla, baby brother Reid, mom April, and all CLEWS families and staff to honor the safe return of his dad.
CLEWS hallways were filled with patriotic music and students and families wearing red, white, and blue waving American flags. Each student also presented him with a homemade welcome home card.
Everyone joined in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and singing the Star-Spangled Banner before Adam was thanked for his service and sacrifice. Pastor Rohlfs led a prayer and reflected on April and Adam’s wedding ceremony,which he performed 10 years ago. He even presented them with the cover of their wedding program! April Moore expressed her heartfelt thanks for all, and said that this was “a most memorable experience…never to be forgotten.”
Thanks to the generous donations of the CLEWS families, the Moore family will be able to spend some family time together to honor their collective sacrifice. May God continue to bless all our military families.
In other news, we are very pleased with the turn-out for January’s Registration and Open House. Classes have started to fill but there are still some openings in both the 3 and 4-year-old classes for next year. If you or someone you know is interested in the CLEWS program, please contact us at (708) 349- 0171.
CLEWS REGISTRATION FOR 2017-2018 SCHOOL YEAR Register now for the THREE AND FOUR YEAR OLD PRESCHOOL PROGRAM! Open Registration begins on Sunday, January 22, so take advantage of this early opportunity to enroll your child before all classes fill up! Call Patti Bareither at 708-448-2614 if you have any questions, or contact the CLEWS office directly at 708-349-0171.
“JUST 3” – A CLASS AT CLEWS If your child missed the September 1 cut-off for 3-year old preschool, no need to worry!! Just after your child turns 3, they can begin the “Just 3” program at CLEWS…starting with a birthday celebration! This program will help your child develop social skills, build self-confidence, follow directions, and much more, as well as participate in activities that are age-appropriate and geared toward their developmental levels. For more information or to enroll contact CLEWS at 708-349-0171.
By Patti Bareither, C.L.E.W.S. Director/Teacher
May is a very “happening time, especially if you have children, so before I go on- HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all of you who have been wonderful Christian role models for your families! This time of year is filled with end-of- the-year programs, concerts, award ceremonies, Confirmation, “Thank You Luncheons”, sport finals, etc., and life is no different at CLEWS….
At CLEWS the THREE YEAR OLDS are learning about God’s miracles: rainbows, caterpillars to butterflies, seeds to flowers and vegetables, and what a great miracle each child is are all great examples!
Included is a photo of Luke O’Reilly celebrating his 5th birthday, which happened to coincide with the very same day the FOUR YEAR OLD CLASSES took their annual field trip for Lunch On The Train with their families! With balloon in hand, Luke led the parade down the aisle of the train as he and his classmates marched while families sang “Happy Birthday.”As you can see the train conductor was extremely welcoming!
All classes are gearing up for their 28th annual Teddy Bear Picnics which have been our closing celebration for the THREE and FOUR YEAR OLD PROGRAM at CLEWS.
The staff at CLEWS recognizes that not all children mature at the same rate and this kind of celebration in lieu of a “graduation” acknowledges and supports those parents who have chosen to give their child the “Gift of a Year.”As an educator for the past 50+ years, I have followed many children who were afforded this opportunity to mature, develop, and gain confidence. They are now successful adults. (This could possibly be a topic for a future newsletter.)
Gather up your children and enjoy this wondrous spring weather! As the saying goes, the days may be long but the years are indeed very short.
by Heather Green
As you can tell by the title, I intended to write about “A Day in the Life of C.L.E.W.S” but I couldn’t decide which perspective to use. Should I write from the perspective of the teacher? God bless them for working with multiple three -year-olds when some days I have all I can do to handle one. Or should I write from the perspective of one of the students? Have you ever tried to interview a three-year-old? Or should I write from the perspective of a parent? After all, I am a mother of a child in the ‘Just 3’ class. As I pondered which direction to take, I realized there was a bigger picture – my daughter is in preschool.
My daughter is in preschool. When did that happen? How did that happen? What happened to my tiny baby? The past three years have been a whirlwind. I will never forget the emotions of my daughter’s first month, which she spent in NICU – the nervousness of holding a three pound baby for the first time – the uncertainties of the apnea monitor and mandatory CPR training – the frustration of learning to side-feed your baby because preemies cannot eat like a “normal” baby – the fear when the doctors explained all the potential complications, follow-up visits, tests, and monitoring your baby would need for the next two years. I felt some of these same emotions on my daughter’s first day of C.L.E.W.S. and just now, as I was thinking about the enormity of this experience – my daughter is a “normal” child.
My daughter is a “normal” (if not precocious) child. Her pediatrician has told me more than once that she is a “true miracle”. I am not sure why I was blessed with such a miracle, but I am truly thankful to God. For some reason, He chose me to be her mother. Maybe I am feeling especially sentimental and grateful because of the time of year (it is the middle of December), but whatever the reason, I am in awe of my “normal” child.
But what is “normal”? A teacher would probably tell you about behavior, a test score, or grades. A child may tell you that normal is related to appearance. A parent, especially a mother of a preemie, will probably tell you it is related to growth, heart rate, temperature, and feeding schedules. All of these answers are correct, but they are all influenced by perspective. This is why I was having such a difficult time trying to write about “A Day in the Life of C.L.E.W.S ‘Just 3’ Class” – each teacher, student, and parent involved in C.L.E.W.S. will have a different experience because each person has a different perspective.
There are “normal” routines each day. The children come in, hang-up their coats in their designated space, wash their hands, and start activities in the classroom. They have learned to use magnifying glasses, develop their fine motor skills with art projects that now adorn a wall in my kitchen, listen to stories, develop their gross motor skills with obstacle courses that the teachers lovingly set up, and they sing songs. Mrs. Bareither is wonderful about telling the parents what activities the children did that day and if we arrive early enough for pick-up, the parents are invited in to help sing the “Good-bye Friends” song or listen to a story that was read that day. However, when I ask my daughter what she did in school, she always says, “See friends.”
As an only child, she loves spending time with other kids her age. In her perspective, this is the most important part of C.L.E.W.S. As the mother of an only child, I realize she is learning to take turns and share (some days are better than others). In my perspective, this is the most important part of C.L.E.W.S. But, even my perspective is influenced because I am a mother. There should be no doubt that the absolute most important element of C.L.E.W.S. is learning about God, our Savior, Jesus Christ, and Christian values.
I think it is sometimes so easy to be caught up in the details and chaos of living that we don’t always recognize or appreciate our blessings. Again, maybe I am overly sentimental because of the holiday season, but the New Year is just a few weeks away, and with it resolutions. I have decided that this year I am going to resolve to focus on my blessings instead of what I want to change – “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change” (Wayne Dyer). After all, it’s just a matter of perspective.