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For parents who have been looking for information about First Day School as well as Quaker resources we hope this site will not only provide a greater understanding of what is happening each week at Princeton Monthly Meeting's First Day School, but also easier access to additional resources which will help parents to carry these lessons on at home.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

December Plans for the K - 2nd Graders

December 7th we continued our work on Integrity by reading Dr. Seuss's Gertrude McFuzz and discussing being true to who we are even when what we see around us is different.  We continued this discussion in terms of being true to your thoughts and ideas, even when a larger group disagrees and how important this is to Quaker Process.  We then started to use Quaker Process in deciding what kind of drive we want to do for the children served by Mercer Street Friends.

On December 14th we will continue this work, as well as reading How the Grinch Stole Christmas and working on simple Christmas gifts. On December 21st we will discuss the Christmas Story, and further explore the true meaning of Christmas.  

December Plans for the 3rd - 5th Graders

December 7th we will be working on organization in support of the Mercer Street Friends book drive.  December 14th the older kids will be doing an interactive class with the 3rd – 5th graders on the lessons to be learned from the movie Wall-E.  On December 21st we will focus on the Christmas Story, and we may augment the lesson with some crafts to illustrate the story.  We plan to wrap up the month with a retrospective on Christmas – i.e., were we able to celebrate the birth of Christ in a Quakerly way?  We may encourage the kids to bring in their left-over wrapping paper from the holiday to make into cards to go with the homeless count lunches which will be prepared towards the end of January.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Monthly Potluck

Thanks to everyone who joined us for our first monthly potluck lunch.  It was so nice to enjoy a meal together after Meeting.  For everyone, remember that we will be having potlucks at the rise of Meeting on the last First Day of each month, and, of course, not having a dish to contribute is never a reason not to join in. 

Friday, October 3, 2008

Notes From our Family Meeting

While heavy rain and busy schedules kept some families away from our Family Meeting, parents who attended the meeting were eager to share their feedback and concerns about First Day School.  At the meeting parents shared their concerns about the annual play - particularly around ensuring that children who are not comfortable performing do have a way to stay involved and engaged during those weeks.  Parents also requested that the date of the play be publicized well in advance.  Parents also expressed concern about children sitting through announcements after sitting through ten minutes of Meeting for Worship each week.  The group discussed alternatives which would allow children to leave before announcements began.

The RE committee shared this year's plan to start each First Day class with children segregated in age appropriate classes (K-2nd, 3rd-5th, and 6th grade and above) with the groups coming together at 11:45 each First Day for shared silent worship before the children join the adults in the Meeting House.  The hope is that this gradual settling in after a lesson will help the children to be more centered down by the time they enter the Meeting House each week.

The committee also shared our plan to host a potluck meal at the rise of eleven o'clock meeting on the last First Day of each month.  On these days the RE committee will be responsible for Fellowship and as part of this invite all FDS families to contribute items for the potluck so that young families and other interested members of our community can share a meal together.  We are very excited about this opportunity and hope that many families and other members and attenders of PMM choose to join us each month.  

Thanks to all who attended, and to those who were unable to join us our survey is still available on-line.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Thanks For Coming to the Campout!

On the evening of September 20th a wonderful group of Meeting families joined  together to pitch our tents in the yard adjacent to the Meeting House.  In addition to a potluck dinner, we all enjoyed s'mores, stories, songs and plenty of fellowship as we kicked off a new year of First Day School.  This event ran concurrently with the Meeting's 24 hour Peace Vigil recognizing Peace Day, allowing the children to join with other members of the Members of the Meeting in giving reverence for peace.  This provided an added dimension of spirituality to the event, I noticed this particularly after dark as one four year old little girl walked by the Meeting House, and seeing it lit up from inside she began to sing As We Leave this Friendly Place.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Take the FDS Feedback Survey

The First Day School family feedback survey is now available on-line.  Please take a few moments to give us your feedback and comments.  Click here to complete the survey.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

New Structure for First Day School

We are excited to announce that this year we will be grouping children by grade level in order to better tailor our FDS lessons to various stages of development.  While each class will often engage in their own age-appropriate activities and curricula, the themes of these lessons will provide a common thread across grade levels.  For example, we will begin our year with two lessons on Meeting For Worship on October 5th and 12th, followed by two lessons on Service on October 19th and 26th.  Our first Service lesson will feature guests who have participated in international service projects, including the Princeton Friends School annual service trip to Guatemala, and our second Service lesson will focus on the work of UNICEF.   

PreK and under will continue to have "Nursery Care" in the Beginning School classroom.  Our K- 2nd graders will meet in the Heaven Room, 3rd through 5th graders will meet in the Big Room, and 6th Graders and above will meet in the Meeting Library.  

We will have two or three teachers dedicated to each of these groups and these teachers will teach on a rotating basis.  In addition, we are asking parents to assist in "Helping Parent" roles in all but our 6th Grade and above groups.  Sign up for these slots will be available starting at our 11:00 September 28th "Family Meeting."  

At this Family Meeting we will also work to ensure that we have up to date contact information for all of our families and get feedback from parents on various issues related to FDS.   We look forward to seeing all of you then!