Dear Park’s Edge Preschool Families:

“Love and Friendship” is the reason for the season at Park’s Edge Preschool. The month of February, the Park’s Edge Preschool children will be busy making valentines for exchanging with their peers. In addition, the preschool children will also be creating extra-special valentines for the ‘sheltered in place’ residents at Hales Corners Care Center, friends at Forest Ridge Senior Community, veterans at Zablocki VA Medical Center and some Emanuel Church friends too. It is a very special time for everyone to celebrate love and friendship, especially this year, when so many people have been deprived of love and friendship due to COVID-19.

PEP’s classrooms are also buzzing with special valentine activities planned throughout the week of February 8-12. The whole center will celebrate Valentine’s Day on Friday, February 12th with safe, social distant, Valentine’s Day Parade (s). Infant/toddlers (upper-level groups) parade time is at 9:30 and preschoolers (lower-level groups) at 10 am in Kurth Hall. Children and staff are asked to dress in red, pink, purple and/or hearts for the day. Heart healthy snacks and valentines are on the top of the day’s agenda. Be sure to check your child’s classroom communication for specific celebration details. Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you and your loved ones too!

Speaking of pink…Friday, January 15th, pink exhaust fumed from the tail pipe of the Park’s Edge Preschool bus, revealing Mr. Cody’s baby’s gender. The entire PEP school shrilled with delight…’It is a girl!’ A practice fire drill preceded the event to have everyone outdoors to find out the gender of the next generation for the Tess family to come to PEP. Cody and his wife Taylor are expecting ‘baby Matilda’ in June. Pink cupcakes were also served to celebrate ‘sugar and spice, and everything nice’. Cody started at PEP as a toddler and grew-up here through age 12. At age 16 he returned to PEP as a dishwasher. Upon completion of high school, he went on to college in Madison. A few years later he returned to PEP to teach and drive PEP’s minibus. Congratulations to the entire Tess family!

Speaking of baby girls…Ms. Tori has recently returned to PEP after spending time on her maternity leave with baby Naomi. Naomi is spending time with Nate, her daddy, on paternity leave. She will join the Love Bugs in March. We are excited to have her join the Love Bugs soon…speaking of the Love Bugs, infants, Park’s Edge Preschool is welcoming 5 new infants in February. COVID -19 has brought many blessings this year too. Remember, you will receive a $100 credit on your account with a family referral after 90 days attendance. Word of mouth is our best advertising. Thank you!

Sunday, January 31, the United Church of Christ celebrates CHHSM Sunday. CHHSM is the acronym for the national United Church of Christ’s Council for Health and Human Service Ministries. CHHSM Ministries serve diverse populations ranging from early childhood programs (such as PEP) to senior living communities. PEP has been a CHHSM member since 1999. In honor of our CHHSM ministry at Park’s Edge Preschool, staff will participate in the ’blessing of the hands’ ceremony. The ritual will be performed by Pastor Dale Stohre, a PEP Board member, at our next staff meeting on Tuesday, February 9. The ‘blessing of the hands’ reminds staff of God’s hands bringing His gentleness, His compassion, and His love through our hands of faithful service to others.

Jenele Baldwin and I will be attending the Council for Health and Human Service Ministries (CHHSM) 83rd Annual Meeting for free. ‘Together in Hope’, held virtually this year, is ‘free for all attending’ and is to be held from Tuesday, March 2nd through Thursday, March 4th. CHHSM reminds us to love and serve one another. Here at Park’s Edge Preschool/Emanuel Church we are blessed to be able to share God’s message with the children we care for…‘Faith, hope, and love abide…and the greatest of these is love’

Happy Valentine’s Day,

Ellen M. Kvalheim