October 12th, 2019
What a wonderful season to begin our sixth year at Prep to Step-Up! For some of us a new school year begins the year officially. With fresh, crisp air, the vibrancy on a visual canvas of the colours nature paints for us and a holiday that reminds us to be grateful for all we have, the Fall season has us stepping forward anticipating all that is new yet to come!
With a full roster of 25 Clients, we welcome everyone to all that is new, including the four Clients beginning their communication journey with us! Everyone is settling in well and looking forward to a Semester filled with learning new paths toward self-awareness and independence!
Mindfulness is the main
theme for our Fall Semester
based on four Disney Pixar
films, Monsters, Inc., Toy Story,
A Bug’s Life and Finding Nemo.
The knowledge prompted from
these popular movies
encourages an awareness
toward how we feel and what
we are thinking within our own personal journey throughout our day. How we understand and cope with those feelings and thoughts in any given moment is called Mindfulness.
This newsletter is filled with information on what we are learning toward being Mindful. We would encourage that you read it together with the Client to have them explain more. It is printable for sharing.
The thread of any conversation here at Prep to Step-Up is based on the 5Ws; Who, What, When, Where, Why and then we throw in How as an extra sixth lead to talking about anything new. Ask the Clients about breathing methods, I Spy Jars, Mindful Keys, Laughter Yoga and the Word Wall. Practice them together for a shared Mindful approach for understanding anxieties and a comfortable way to ease away from them.
Being grateful is also an
important part of Mindfulness.
The Prep to Step-Up Staff and
our Funding Team Volunteers
have worked together over the
summer with a continued
passion toward securing a
fresh future for the program.
An Awareness Campaign,
the GoFundMe Page, the
Press for Prep approach,
applications for grants have
all felt that passion from
hearts and minds that
believe in our motto,
Never Ignore a Possible!
We encourage you to volunteer
your own voice to our journey together! As you scroll through the Reminders, become mindful of how you can speak up! We will always be ever so grateful!
Did you know? 80% of all the food stored by squirrels to prepare for the winter is lost!? All that foraging and scurrying, all the time taken to ensure a food supply for surviving the winter is whittled down to 20% stored for actual consumption. Squirrels prepare for this. It's a reality to them that they must work 80% harder to sustain themselves throughout the winter season then greet the Spring with new-found energies. Anything worthwhile is worth the hard work to sustain it! Putting the hard work behind ‘being the best that you can be’ every day is worthwhile! We are grateful for the lesson the squirrel teaches us! We are grateful to each and every Client, each and every person at Prep to Step-Up that educates and communicates with each other to be the best they can be by the end of the day!
As part of our philosophy at Prep to Step-Up, we offer our
unique Clients opportunities to define their independence,
explore their personalities, use the skills they already have
learned in becoming more self-empowered and to become part of a community that embraces them. We have been offered such an opportunity by selling water at the fundraiser for #stopthequarry, see ACTIONMilton.ca where, Clients can take the skills they’ve learned at The Bank and The Store and practice them outside of the program to The Gambrel Barn on Oct. 27th. Please see under Reminders
for further details for Clients to sign up or watch for a flyer
coming home with each Client next week. This will also be an opportunity to practice Mindfulness as well as learning about an environmental cause that is worthwhile to support.
On this Thanksgiving Weekend, we celebrate the positivity at Prep to Step-Up! We are grateful for being able to spend time learning together! Thank You for all your support and Welcome to a new, mindful year!"
“Never Ignore a Possible!”
~ Doreen McCall ~
Winter Semester Registration is now Open
January 7th - March 12th, 2020
Due to Increased Enrolment, Registration is Limited!
Secure Your Spot! A Deposit of $150.00 is required by Nov. 28th. Cash, Cheque or e-Transfer
You are our best ambassadors for Prep to Step-Up! If you promote the program to someone new who definitely signs up, there will be a 10% deduction from your fee.
Listening is just as important as Talking!
Literacy has started out well with the excitement of the Library opening! Clients will be able to bring home a listing of the books they have read over the semester this year. The Library remains a great source of conversation and everyone is welcome to reserve as many books as they like since “A Book is Dream that you hold in your hands”.
With the Monsters, Inc theme, we have been practicing writing with questions about what makes them laugh and who makes them laugh the hardest which should generate great conversations outside of Prep. Reading is twofold this semester with a quick review of Monsters Inc and how important “laughter” is to Life and Mindfulness.
The other books that are being read cater to each client individually which allows the groups to be mindful of each other. Listening is just as important as Talking.
Thank you to those of you who share your stories of taking clients to the Milton Library or Indigo and especially for those of you who are helping with their reading and writing at home on a regular basis.
Math / DPA:
Doors Open to Monster Math
For the first couples of weeks, the Math Rotation has been transformed into a scene from Monsters, Inc. We have started a Monster Math board, with various doors from the movie leading to different math concepts to explore. We have been brushing up on our number recognition with a few groups, by utilizing standard sheets progressing from 1-5 and playing number recognition games and activities.
For other groups, we have worked on simple addition, working our way up to harder problems. We played an addition snowball activity to help make it more exciting and solidifying some concepts. We are working on our calendars throughout, as usual, and looking forward at learning what is behind our other doors moving into Woody and Buzz's Toy Story.
Science and Geography:
Energy is Everywhere!
Science is off to an energetic start this semester! Inspired by the Monsters, Inc. plot in which screams and laughs are used as a power source, we have been learning about energy and its applications in our everyday life. Using critical thinking and classification skills, we have defined and found examples of various types of energy including light, heat, and sound energy. Science is a great way to practice mindfulness; being aware of our surroundings allows us to recognize that energy is everywhere! At Prep to Step-Up, cooking activities and drum circle are just some of the ways that we experience 'energy'.
In the next couple weeks, we will be exploring electrical energy with some hands-on activities and utilizing our problem solving skills to build circuits. Our goal is not only to identify the energy sources around us, but also develop a deeper understanding of how things work.
During Week #1, we started our Fall Semester by organizing our rotation dividers in our binders. Clients chose words and pictures to illustrate the different rotation subjects.
We also started on our Art Portfolios. Clients were given free rein to show visually what Fall/Autumn means to each of them. During Electives, I Spy Jars were made using rice and assorted small charms. The idea is to focus on finding the hidden items and practice mindfulness in the process.
Week #2 became a celebration of our theme, Monsters, Inc. Clients created incredible one-of-a-kind paper bag monster puppets. Thursday morning they performed a puppet show with roles depicting mindfulness, our primary theme for this Semester.
Week #3 continued with Monsters, Inc. Clients learned how to draw Mike Wazowski, with step-by-step instructions. On Electives Day, we created some unique art work with the beautiful Fall leaves we had gathered on the day’s DPA walk in the glorious sunshine!
The Power of Laughter!
The semester has started off with Skills-at-Will taking a deeper look at the power of laughter! Clients had discussions about what people, places, or things spark happiness and laughter in their lives and how they can use these aspects in their mindfulness practices when unhappy things may occur.
We also had a session of laughter yoga. This concept can be a bit ‘out of the ordinary’ at first but Clients had a great time engaging in a variety of activities surrounding laughter while using their bodies as well. We also had the opportunity to reflect after our yoga session on how we felt and what we would take away from the session to use in our every day lives along with the breathing and stretching techniques that we practice at Prep to Step-Up daily.
In the next couple of weeks, we will be discussing friendship - what makes a good friend? We will explore how to make new friends and problem solve through dilemmas we may face in our friendships and relationships.