May 2017 Updates

No one ardently welcomes the arrival of warmer temperatures like those who spend their days inside a daycare. Months of cooped-up indoor activities impose a hibernation of sorts for staff and students alike, all of whom eagerly anticipate the spring thaw. “It’s tough being confined indoors so much,” says CCC’s Assistant Director Alane Todd. “We just don’t have as many options during the winter months.” However, when the hats and mittens do finally take their turn in hibernation, CCC’s staff is poised to make the most of the summer months, adding a variety of weekly community experiences to the kids’ educational goals. From wading pools to The Outdoor Campus to the children’s theater at McKennan Park, CCC’s preschool students reap th benefits of an impressive cross-section of the finest recreational and enrichment opportunities that Sioux Falls has to offer. They even take in downtown’s SculptureWalk, complete with a stop at The Cookie Jar. “We make those short summer months count!” says Todd, who is responsible for planning and coordinating each outing. A plethora of summer outings gives a welcome boost to the hands-on aspects of CCC’s preschool curriculum. Kids and staff booth look forward to getting out into their community. One of the summer’s most educational experiences is also the simplest. Director Marty Merriman and husband Larry own a home just a few blocks from
CCC, and they set aside space in their yard for the preschool classes to plant a garden. The kids visit the Merriman backyard weekly to care for — and eventually begin harvesting — their produce. “It’s been such a great hands-on lesson,” says Merriman. “And not just in terms of education and life skills, but also for our Bible lessons as we thank God for His provision and wisdom in creating and growing these plants.” While Todd strives to keep costs minimal
by taking advantage of as many free resources as possible, there are some outings such as the zoo and Canaries baseball games that do require CCC to cover admission fees. The board and staff of CCC consider it money well-spent. “We could strictly schedule only free outings,
but the kids are constantly gushing about how great their day was when we go somewhere
really special,” explains Todd. “The families we serve don’t tend to experience many of the amenities of this community so the opportunity to visit places that would normally be out of the question for our kids is a neat gift to give.” Providing those great days requires more than
just funding. The daycare’s staff has to recruit additional volunteers — all of whom must
undergo a brief screening — to accompany the kids and staff, a measure meant to ensure everyone’s safety and enjoyment. “We feel more comfortable with a 1:3 adult to child ratio when we’re outside of the daycare walls,” says Todd.