Lamorinda Preschool Fair Pulls it All Together for Parents

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    Lamorinda Moms (LM) 21st annual preschool fair Thursday, Nov. 8, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Oakwood Athletic Club Gym is expected to buzz with excitement as littles and their parents meet area preschool personnel face to face. This nonprofit organization has sponsored the event, free to the public, each year since 1998 to help parents choose just the right preschool.
    Parents who want to talk about teaching philosophies, child-to-teacher ratios and pricing will get answers to their questions from preschool teachers and directors from more than 30 schools. A comprehensive booklet is provided for each family to take home; it will also be available as a PDF on the Lamorinda Moms website, www.lamorindamoms.org, after
Nov. 13.
    According to the U.S. Dept. of Education, “Children who attend high-quality preschool programs are less likely to utilize special education services or be retained in their grade, and are more likely to graduate from high school, go on to college, and succeed in their careers than those who have not attended high-quality preschool programs.” (Center for Public Education 2008, quoted in A Matter of Equity, U.S. Dept. of Education, 2015.)

LM suggests the following basic information questions:
    Is the preschool accredited?
    When did the preschool last go through the accreditation process?
    How is the preschool organized (one room, multiple rooms, centers)?
    Does the preschool have lunch bunch, drop off or reduced participation programs?
    What is the process for dropping off and picking up a child?
    What is the admission policy?
    When are admission decisions made?
    Is toilet training required?
    What happens if my child has separation anxiety?
    How does the preschool resolve conflicts between children?

LM suggests the following curriculum questions:
    What is the preschool’s philosophy?
    Describe the preschool’s typical daily schedule.
    Is the preschool’s program more structured or more open play?
    What is the curriculum for a given month?
    What does the outdoor play yard look like?
    Is there an outside curriculum?
    Are there any field trips?
    Is there a focus upon specific areas of development?

    Local sponsors of the event who offer supplemental programs for preschool children such as East Bay Music Together, Gymboree, the Tutu School of Walnut Creek and others will also be present. Attendees will be able to take a chance on a raffle ticket to benefit The Mosaic Project, a nonprofit organization whose mission is uniting children of diverse backgrounds by providing community building skills.
    LM is a social and support group for moms with children age six and younger within the greater Lamorinda area and strives to help members enrich their lives through cultivating new friendships, personal and professional growth and community involvement.  Since its inception in 1995, Lamorinda Moms has evolved to become one of the largest parenting organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area.  
    In addition to a variety of age, neighborhood and interest based play groups, LM hosts events for its members throughout the year as well as events open to the greater community, including non-members, such as the preschool fair. Linda Lathrop, co-chair of the preschool fair event, encourages moms to ask questions about the event via email at preschoolfair@lamorindamoms.org. The event is held at the Oakwood Athletic Club, 4000 Mt. Diablo Blvd., in Lafayette.
    Orindans Katie Thomson and Kendall Glynn met through LM and, although their children are older, they are still obsessed with baby food. That’s because they are partners in Square Baby, a business they launched in August. Their Square Meal System™ provides 100 percent of a baby’s daily recommended servings of fruit, veggies, proteins and grains with customized meal plans delivered right to your door. Boring is not on the menu; you’ll find healthy fats like avocado oil and coconut milk as well as sprouted grains, lentils and Salba chia. Protein sources include salmon, egg and bone broth – rarely found in existing baby foods. Everything is made fresh in small batches in a local commercial-certified organic kitchen. Visit them at 2 Orinda Theatre Square #112 or online at www.squarebaby.com.

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