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Fall Housekeeping Reminders

September 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

This post was written by Laura Griswold, Director of GH-Dhu-Varren. Her reminders are applicable to all the centers so we thought we’d share!


Fall brings a lot of exciting changes to our centers. We have returning families and new families joining our classrooms. Here are a few things we need you to know or be reminded of regarding health and safety at Gretchen’s House.


Recently we noticed that many children are finishing their breakfast from home as they arrive at the center. It is important that all food from home be eaten before your child comes in the door. This matters not only because of the many children attending with food allergies, but also it shows respect to the other children who may find what your child is eating desirable.

Snacks at pick up time can also be a problem. Please be sure to offer your child their afternoon snack after you are out of the building. Finally, please do not store the snacks intended for pick up in your child’s back pack or cubby. We have found some ‘sneaky cubby munchers’ that just couldn’t wait!

Parking Lot

It is dangerous:

– To leave your car running unattended in the parking lot

– To leave children in the car unattended (car running or not)

– To allow your child to ride in the car without a properly installed cars seat or booster in the back seat of the vehicle

The Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office has stated that if they are patrolling parking lots and see any of the above scenarios, they will ticket the driver.

Local authorities have also reported incidents of thieves targeting child care centers. They break into cars to steal purses, lap tops, etc. when parents are dropping off their children. There have been instances where children were in the car when the robbery happened. In some cases, where older children were involved, the police asked the child to describe the thief! That is scary. We want everyone to be safe.

Contracted Times

Upon enrollment, families choose their contracted times to have their child(ren) at the center. This 9 ½ hour time frame aids us in determining the teachers’ schedules. We need to maintain safe ratios that allows us to provide the quality care you should expect from Gretchen’s House. If there is an occasional situation that requires you to deviate from that schedule, please let the teacher know so we can make adjustments as necessary for that day.

Emergency Cards and Health Insurance info

Many of you have already filled out the new Emergency Cards required by the state of Michigan. Thank you. One of the things that they omitted on the new card that is still required for us to have is the Health Insurance Number. We are asking parents to bring a copy of their card to the front desk so we can make a quick copy. If you haven’t filled out the new Emergency Card or provided us the insurance card, please do so by the end of the month.

Thank you for partnering with us in our mission to keep children healthy and safe.

Visitors from High Scope and China

July 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The High Scope Foundation will be bringing a group from China to our center on Thursday, July 19th and Friday, July 20th.  Most of the visitors will be experiencing Michigan and the U.S. for the first time.  This group of educators will be visiting Oak Valley as well as Perry Nursery School in Ypsilanti.  They are here to learn about the High Scope curriculum model and see it demonstrated in the early childhood setting.  They will be accompanied by a High Scope representative and a translator.  In common areas throughout the center, you may see a group of 25, as I explain how our center operates and how High Scope is implemented in our classrooms.   When they observe in the actual classrooms, they will be entering in smaller groups. Their visits will last approximately 2 hours each day.

We are proud to share our center with the international early childhood community.


Gretchen’s House Food Donations

December 16, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

With all your food donations in the last two weeks we were able to donate a total of 173 pounds of food for families in the Washtenaw county!! Mary Schlitt of Food Gatherers (and a parent of a preschooler) visited all of our preschool students to read, “Carl the Super Carrot” and talk about donating food to those who are in need. The preschoolers really enjoyed the story and learned about helping others. Thank you Mary for volunteering your time and thank you to all the families who helped by making a donation.

From the Director: December Already?

December 5, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s hard to believe that 2011 is coming to a close.  To celebrate our GH families, we will be having our annual “Winter Wonderland” on Tuesday, December 13th, from 4:30-5:45.  We will have cookies and punch, facepainting, gingerbread house decorating, and necklace making.  In our gym, we will feature folk musician, Hilo Greg.  He will perform music from his CD,  “Little Songs for Big Kids”.   I hope you are able to join us for this fun celebration.

You may have noticed our Mitten Tree in our lobby.  We are collecting new hats, mittens and gloves for children in need.  We are also collecting non-perishable food items for Food Gatherers.  Thank you to GH parent, Mary Schlitt, who came and read Carl, the Super Carrot to the preschool children.  The book informs children what the organization does within our community.

Just a reminder that as we go through winter, please monitor the weather to allow additional driving time at pick-up, when needed.  Many staff have long distances to drive as well.  Also, we will be closed on December 23rd and reopen on Jaunuary 3rd.


Gretchen’s House is Helping to Make Strides Against Breast Cancer

October 28, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

On Saturday October 21st we had 29 walkers for the Making Strides Breast Cancer walk. The walk was held at Eagle Crest golf course and was just under 5 miles. Our Gretchen’s House team was able to raise approximately $1,700 to help find a cure for breast cancer. Thank you for all our donations and support on our journey for a great cause.

–Kimberly Jezowski

Gretchen’s House is helping make strides against Breast Cancer

October 5, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Gretchen’s House has a total of 29 walkers this year for the Making Strides Breast Cancer walk!! The walk will take place at the Eagle Crest Golf Course on Saturday October 22nd. If you are interested in supporting the cause, we invite you to join us on the walk. All families and children of team members are also welcome to join the walk.  Another way to support our team is by donating online at the making strides link. So far we have just passsed our halfway point to our goal of $2,000.00!! Thank you to all the families that have already donated. Your generosity is greatly appreciated. If you have any questions regarding the walk, signing up, or donating, please feel free to email me at

Thank You!

Gretchen’s House Staff is Walking for Breast Cancer

August 23, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Hello Gretchen’s House families!

Once again Some of the Gretchen’s House staff is walking on October 22, 2011 for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. The walk will take place at the Eagle Crest Golf Club in Ypsilanti. Each year we have been able to surpass our $2,000 fundraising goal and I look forward to seeing how much we can help raise this year for such a great cause. If you are interested in donating to an individual teacher or to Gretchen’s House as a whole you can do so by clicking on this breast cancer link. If you are planning on donating to an individual teacher please click on the link and then you can click on an individual teacher’s name to make a donation in their behalf. If you and your family would also like to join the walk we welcome you to join our team and walk with us.  Thank you in advance for your support this year as well as all the previous years.


From the Director

May 10, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

You may have noticed that a few classroom teachers and supervisors were missing for part of last week.  Many of us had the opportunity to attend part of the High Scope International Conference.  Sessions we attended included: Creating an Optimal Work Environment, Bullying,  Supporting Dual Language Learners, Building Partnerships, Math and Movement, Planning and Recall with Toddlers, Tender Care and Early Learning and Large Group Music and Movement.  Those of us that were able to attend came away with great new ideas!

We are now scheduling conferences for the week of May 16-20th.  Please see your child’s teacher if you have not yet reserved a time to meet.  We will also be having our annual Scholastic Book Fair.  You can check out our web page at


From The Director

April 26, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

I enjoyed seeing so many families at the Garden Potluck last week.  Everyone seemed to have a good time,the food was superb, and the weather cooperated with us for outdoor play.  Children love sharing their friends, teachers and space with their families.  I hope we have that  kind of turn out at the Lake Potluck (on Tuesday) and the Forest Potluck (on Wednesday). 

By now, many of you have seen our “growing lab”.  It has been a pleasure hearing the conversations you and your children are having about the seed growth.  Soon the new plants will be taken to the Growing Hope garden for planting.  Hopefully they will transplant well and in the end, feed those in need.  Other plants will be put in our own Children’s Garden for our children to tend.  Gardening provides a rich environment to learn new literacy, math and science skills.  Some children will be documenting growth and change through pictures and words.  They will be counting and measuring and predicting.  They will also learn new social skills, teaming with others in their gardening efforts.  The children are very excited about the process.  Those conversations you have with your child about the gardens show them that their work is important and relevant.  How exciting that is!


Like a post? Have a question? Please comment!

April 26, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Dear Oak Valley Parents,

Thank you for visiting MyHouse and/or subscribing to our email updates. We are excited about both the efficiency and the effectiveness of communicating electronically with you. We’ll all have less paper to manage, and you will have more impressions of what your child does during his or her time with us.

As the web editor, I wanted to take a minute to encourage parents (and staff!) to comment on any classroom posts you particularly like, and to let us know if you have a question about anything you see here. This will create a positive feedback loop for staff, who may sometimes wonder if their posts are being read! It’s a powerful motivator to know one has an eager audience.

Pick-up and drop-off are hectic times of day for parents and teachers. So while staff strive to connect with you face-to-face every day, the MyHouse blogs are another opportunity to connect.  Is there anything you want to see more of? Please let us know!

Please note: comments are held for approval to avoid spam, but they’re usually approved within one business day, often sooner…so you please continue to call with any urgent questions.

Hope Vestergaard
Web Editor, Former GH Teacher, Director, and Parent!

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