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Language Interactions with Infants

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Lisa Mulliken

Infants are born ready to communicate. Young infants cry to express their needs and, as they grow and develop, older infants use sounds, facial expressions and gestures to get their message across. Even very young infants engage in back and forth language exchanges with the adults who care for them. As these communication attempts can be easy to miss, it is up to teachers to be aware of and respond to these early conversations as they interact with the children in their care throughout routines and play.

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Happy Birthday Mr. Rogers!

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Stefanie Camoni 

“It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood!” I’m sure most of you sing a little when hearing that phrase. On March 20th, we remember Mr. Rogers as he would have been celebrating his 92nd birthday. This extraordinary man was a pioneer in the field of early childhood and continues to be even after his passing, as his legacy continues. As a child, I remember watching Mr. Rogers put on his cardigan and sneakers and take me to the Land of Make Believe. The lessons learned at the time seemed so small, but I now realize he was focused on the bigger picture. As an adult, I still watch clips and attempt to embrace his words and apply them to my current situations.  

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Why Hugs Are Important

Happy mother playing, having fun, hugging with her daughter at home

Angel Avery-Wright

Hugs help you feel connected to the people you care about but can also bring a host of health benefits to your mind and body.

Some experts attribute the stress reducing, health related benefits to the release of oxytocin, often referred to as the bonding hormone, love hormone, or cuddle hormone. Oxytocin is released into the blood stream but some stays in the brain influencing mood, behavior, and physiology. Oxytocin is believed to decrease stress the stress hormones cortisol and norepinephrine and known to increase the feel-good hormones such as serotonin and dopamine.

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Teaching Young Children Fire Prevention and Safety

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Natalie Grebe

Now that classrooms are settling into a new school year, many teachers will be planning Fall activities and themes. In Pennsylvania, October not only means chillier days on the playground and colored leaves in the Science Center, but also Fire Prevention Week. Many local fire departments host community events at their station and chances are your school has a day in October when the local fire company visits. Perhaps firefighters talk with the children as a class, show them some of their equipment and even allow them to sit in a firetruck. Of course, this is a great opportunity for the children. Seeing firefighters up close, in uniform, and learning from the experts about how to deal with fire is a valuable experience. However, even if these firefighters do an amazing presentation, there are multiple ways to extend the learning beyond that one visit.

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