Compassion and Creativity Describe Child Care Centers
By MICHELLE LePOIVDEN
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times
The sky is the limit for creative and enthusiastic young minds and child care programs in the Westfield, Scotch Plains and Fanwood areas promote the mission that there is no limit to learning.
The Westfield “Y,” Westfield Day Care Center, Westfield Neighborhood Council, Jewish Community Center of Central New Jersey (JCC) and The Scotch Plains-Fanwood YMCA are examples.
The Early Childhood Program at The Westfield “Y” has been accredited by the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs (NAEYC) which requires them to meet several stringent criteria for accreditation.
The curriculum for the Early Childhood Program includes special weekly themes and the children are not graded for their performance. Parents are always informed by a monthly newsletter and a bulletin board that is packed with activities and programs.
Programs at the Westfield “Y” also include a half-day preschool; all day child care for children 12 months to 5 years of age; full-day kindergarten, before and after school care with transportation provided; a KinderCare wrap-around program; Tamaques After School Program for children from kindergarten age to 5 years old and Extended Care from 6 to 6:30 p.m.
The Westfield “Y” maintains several teen programs such as Club Mid for middle school youth; The Leader’s Club which enables students to learn leadership and service to the community; and eight summer camp programs which may include nature studies, field trips, arts and crafts, singing, swimming and games. Counselor-in-training programs are also offered.
According to Public Relations Coordinator, Bona Weiland, the Westfield “Y” fosters values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility.
“We really care about family and values that build good character. I believe that is a Westfield value,” she said.
The Westfield “Y,” which serves the Westfield, Cranford, Garwood and Mountainside areas, encourages children in the program to give something to the community through book drives, food drives and the Coats for Kids program.
Ms. Weiland concluded, “Everything we do is more than just giving children a safe place to play. It’s geared toward building their self-esteem so that each person can fulfill his or her potential. We think children are a part of that. Children require and deserve respect.”
Preschool Age Child Director Susan Beelitz added, “We strive to make the child’s life as happy and stress
free as we can. It’s a positive stepping stone for their education. It is a family-oriented environment where children come first with a staff of sincerely loving, caring people. They are ‘child-people.’”
The Westfield Day Care Center, a non-profit organization celebrating its 30th anniversary, is housed in the Christian Education Building of the Westfield Presbyterian Church on Mountain Avenue. The center is also accredited by NAEYC. Sixty percent of their students are from Westfield and 40 percent are from surrounding communities or work in Westfield but live in different towns.
It is the mission of the center to address each child’s social, emotional, physical and intellectual skills. There is a special emphasis on encouraging children to learn and to be intellectually stimulated through play.
Linnea W. Rhodes, Director for The Westfield Day Care Center, stressed that “children need to be interactive, feeling good about themselves and respecting the needs and rights of others.”
The center offers a full-day program for infants and toddlers and a full-day kindergarten which allows children a “hands on” approach to learning and eventually helping the child develop concepts of science, math, language arts, health, music, art and fine and gross motor skills. There is also a part-time program, and features children of varied age groups.
Each classroom is fully equipped with areas and materials for reading, writing, dramatic play, music, cooking and art. Enrichment programs are also offered, bringing special visitors, presentations and a Rhythm and Movement program into the classrooms.
According to Ms. Rhodes, parents are always active in their child’s care through bi-monthly newsletters, menus of activities, bulletin board postings, daily reports from teachers and parent-teacher meetings. Parents also become involved through pizza parties, family days, fundraisers, spaghetti dinners and Parent Work Days.
Parent Work Days allow the parents to be involved in activities from working on the playgrounds to repainting the cafeteria.
Ms. Rhodes said the center has a sliding scale for tuition fees. The center will analyze a family’s finances and match whatever the family can afford to pay. She said this makes possible an environment of diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds.
The center has a Day Care Auxiliary that helps to raise money for scholarship funds.
The Westfield Neighborhood Council provides a Student Tutorial Enrichment Program (STEP) after
CONTINUED ON PAGE 18
Volunteers are Sought For Fanny Wood Day
FANWOOD — The Fanny Wood Day Committee is looking for volunteers for the third annual Fanny Wood Day celebration on Sunday, September 27, from noon to 5 p.m.
“This is a great opportunity to get involved with the community and meet new people,” said a committee spokeswoman. Please call Linda at 889-4935 for more information.
New attractions at this year’s festival will include a pie baking contest sponsored by the Florida Fruit Shoppe of Fanwood. For more information on this event, please call Tricia Scarlata at (908) 322-7606.
Helen Ling of Enchantments will sponsor a Little Miss Fanny Wood
contest. She may be reached at (908) 322-6161 for more information.
The Fanwood Junior Women’s Club will sponsor a Beautiful Baby Photo Contest. For further information, please call Carolyn at (908) 490-0130.
Craft vendors may apply for a 10-foot by 10-foot space for $75. There is a special fee of $65 for those who register before Tuesday, September 1.
For more information or an application, please call Neil Schembre at (908) 322-6066. All proceeds will go towards purchase of the Fanwood Millennium Clock.
1931 Ford Model ‘A’ Raffled By Local Red Cross Chapter
WESTFIELD — The Westfield and Mountainside Chapter of the American Red Cross will raffle a 1931 Ford Model “A” Coupe at $100-per-ticket as a fundraiser for the organization. Sales will be limited to 300 tickets.
The market value of the classic vehicle is $15,000. The automobile was completely restored in 1992.
BUY A CHANCE ON A FORD...Pictured is the 1931 tri-tone Model “A” Coupe to be raffled off on Sunday, September 20, by the Westfield and Mountainside Chapter of the American Red Cross, headquartered at 321 Elm Street in Westfield. Proceeds from the raffle, which is limited to 300 tickets, will benefit the chapter.
The drawing will be held at the American Red Cross, Westfield and Mountainside Chapter House, 321 Elm Street in Westfield, on Sunday, September 20, at 1 p.m.
To obtain a raffle ticket, please stop by the Chapter House or call (908) 2327090, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Linda Schneider Resigns From Mountainside BOE By KIMBERLY A. BROADWELL
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times
After serving 18 years on the Mountainside Board of Education, Linda Schneider officially announced her resignation, effective yesterday, August 26, during Tuesday’s school board meeting.
Mrs. Schneider stated that her family had recently bought a home in Watchung after a search for another house in Mountainside came up empty. She went on to say that she was very sad to be leaving a town where she had lived for 27 years.
She also reported that her family is currently living in Union Township because they already closed on the sale of their Mountainside home.
Mrs. Schneider stated she was proud of the Mountainside school district and that, “the district is in very capable hands.”
Fellow board member Richard Kress stated that “few board members have the type of ethics that Linda has; she will be missed.”
Board President Patricia Taeschler also said she would miss Mrs. Schneider, saying, “in the six years that I have served on this board, I have looked many times to Linda and
valued her experience and expertise.”
In related business, Chief School Administrator Dr. Gerard A. Schaller announced that he would be advertising in local newspapers and on Channel 35 to find a replacement for Mrs. Schneider, stating if the board did not find a replacement in 45 days, the County Superintendent would appoint someone to fill the void.
Dr. Schaller reported that interested candidates should submit a letter by Thursday, September 10, to board members stating their reasons for wanting to serve on the board. He said candidates, who must have lived in Mountainside for at least one year, should also submit background information on themselves, for example, a resume.
Mr. Kress added that whoever was appointed to the board would serve for the next six or seven months until school board elections were held next spring.
In other business, John Perrin of Foot Hill Way, who serves on the board’s Strategic Planning Committee, informed board members that in Westfield, the Roosevelt Intermediate School’s mission statement is displayed on a plaque just outside the school’s entrance, and asked if the same could be done for Deerfield School.
Members of the board and Dr. Schaller thought this was an excellent idea.
Currently, the mission statement, which reads as follows, can be found on the front page of every board meeting agenda.
The mission of the Mountainside school district is to develop selfconfident, independent, responsible, citizens by providing the highest quality education to all students through a school, family, and community partnership.
In other business, Dr. Schaller announced that Wayne Devicio, Deerfield’s Building and Grounds Supervisor, was working towards getting a new electric curtain for the gymnasium to separate physical education classes.
Mr. Devicio stated that because the gymnasium floor is constantly settling, the original door is currently broken.
Dr. Schaller reported that replacing the door would cost $60,517, while installing an electric curtain would cost $6,100. Dr. Schaller said that the curtain would not be fully in place until December.
Christina W. Cargile Recognized by MSU For Academic Work
WESTFIELD – Christina W. Cargile of Westfield was among those students at Mississippi State University’s (MSU) College of Veterinary Medicine in Mississippi State, Mississippi who recently received scholarships.
The scholarships were awarded based on academic achievement, clinical performance and/or financial need, according to the school.
Christina was recognized as a Wise Scholar and received the Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association Award. She was also among the students recently inducted into the MSU chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta, the honor society for agriculture.
PTO Welcomes WHS Parents
The Parent-Teacher Organization of Westfield High School will hold its welcoming meeting on Wednesday, September 9, at 7:45 p.m. in Cafeteria “B” of the school. Discussion topics will include parent and teacher relationships, clubs and sports.