Today we had a special visitor join our preschool family . Senator Jim Hendren stopped by to see what we do. This was Senator Hendren’s first visit at Bright Beginnings. To make him feel welcome and to help him understand a large part of what we use to help our littles – we waited to have family time with him . He joined hands with us and sang our songs. He did the pledge of allegiance with us. ( Did you know he flies planes for the Air Force ? He protects us and our flag. Thanks Sir ! ) Senator Hendren practiced using the Conscious Discipline calm down technique called ” The Drain ” with us. He jokingly said maybe he could use this technique in Little Rock. In addition to our weekly commitment we ended with our connection piece. He partnered with Vallie to do an ” I love you ritual .”
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
What a special friend you are .
The Way you smile and shake my hand
You’re the best friend in all the land.
After family time Vallie , who is our ambassador this week , showed Senator Hendren around. First she showed him her cubby where her classroom job ” The Ambassador ” was proudly displayed. She grabbed his hand with her little hand and with all the sassiness she could muster she showed him around our playrooms. She was perfect for this job !
Pax’s mom , Rochelle , stopped by to say hello and help out while Senator Hendren was here. She talked about Pax’s adoption and said some really amazing things about our little school. I was very humbled to hear her talk to the Senator about how much we mean to her even in the short amount of time she has been here. Thanks Rochelle ! You rocked talking to the Senator and advocating for littles on your birthday. I am humbled and grateful for your kind words.
( Do you know how hard it is to pack everything that you believe is important for him to know in a short amount of time ? I told him how we teach without worksheets and why that is important . I told him how we are learning self regulation and conflict resolution. We talked about parent education and field trips. There was so much more that after he left I realized I didn’t tell him . I didn’t tell him that we have the educational cooperative come out to give speech and developmental services at no charge in our home. I didn’t tell him that we serve mainly fresh whole foods. I didn’t explain how we make observations and take notes for assessment so we can individualize a child’s curriculum needs. Oh yeah ! We do have lesson plans and goals and very intentional teaching . There’s so much more… )
Senator Hendren said that he had never been to a preschool like ours. I hear that often. I’ll take that is a compliment.
The newspaper was here. When we have a visitor here I always invite the Herald Leader. Its a great opportunity to let our community know the good things our legislators are doing for us.
Before he left Senator Hendren said ” What can I do for you in Little Rock ?” Loaded question. Can I make a wish list ?
Can we help children all over Arkansas experience quality Pre-K ?
Can we make sure that ” any willing provider ” is always part of the verbiage so that homes like I have can offer state funded Pre-k ?
Can you be a champion for using developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood classrooms?
Can you tell everyone you see about the amazing things that are happening at Bright Beginnings ?
Can you help me stand up and ” Make Childhood Great Again ? ”
Oh yeah… ABC funding has been flat lined for 8 years… a raise would be nice. 🙂
As Senator Hendren left I said ” Thank you for all you do. ” His reply was ” No, thank you . You guys deserve it for all you do. ”
He was observant . He was attentive . He was curious . He was humble. He was kind.
He is a wonderful public servant .