MDO Newsletter - November 2015

Class Themes

  • Baby Class - ABCs
  • Fall & Spring 2s - Harvest Time  
  • Fall & Spring 3s - Giving Thanks & Family
  • Turning 4s & Pre-K - Explore Art & Culture From Around the World

Important Dates

  • November 1: Tuition Due
  • November 2: Board Meeting
  • November 3: Princess Elsa, 11:00am
  • November 12: Jeffini the Magician, 10:00am
  • November 13: PSP Fall Play-doh Making, 10:00am
  • November 19: Library Visit, 10:00am
  • November 19: MDO Fundraiser Auction at Park Tavern, 7:00-10:00pm
  • November 23-27: School Closed for Thanksgiving Break


Director's Notes

In November I always reflect on the things I am thankful for and this year, I am thinking about the MDO community.  I am so thankful for the wonderful teachers, children, and Susie, who make coming to work each day a pleasure.  I am also thankful for the parents who volunteer time to help with business functions, project coordination, classroom activities, fundraising, and the newsletter.  You guys are awesome!

Also, I would like to thank Heather Grubman for coordinating the Original Works.  This is a small fundraiser for MDO and a great opportunity for parents to make keepsakes and gifts from child art work.  Thank you teachers, for coming up with such creative ideas and parents, for all of the orders we received.

Fall weekends are always busy because of the beautiful weather and fun activities.  This October we had our fair share of rain but I hope everyone has had a chance to visit a pumpkin patch, corn maze, apple orchard, hay ride, or all of the above! 

October was a busy month during the week also.  We had a fire drill, a visit from the DeKalb Fire Department, a Moms’ Night at Venkmans, MDO Spirit Week, a visit from Ms. Gretchen the librarian,  and the class Halloween parties.  The children also had a great time making applesauce for our first “Parent Sharing Program” activity and a fun garden lesson with our Garden Coordinator, Max Mendel.  Max has a lot of gardening plans in the works this year, so many in fact, MDO Gardening warrants its own spot in the newsletter which you will see below!

We are only in school for three weeks in November but we have a lot on the schedule. We have three enrichment activities planned:  The movie Frozen’s Princess Elsa at 11am on Tuesday the 3rd, Jeffini the Magician at 10am on Thursday the 12th; and another PSP Activity “Fall Play-doh” on Friday the 13th.  We are looking for another volunteer to help Holly with the play-doh, so please send me an email if you are able to help on the 13th from 10-12pm!!  We try to sprinkle enrichment events around on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays so that most students may easily participate.  However, if your child doesn’t go to school on the day of an event, you are welcome to come in for the activity, but please send me an email in advance so I know you are coming. You will need to stay with your child through the activity.  Most enrichment events are best suited for children ages 3-5, however the 2s also attend (and sometimes babies) if it’s their day at school.

I can’t talk about MDO events without mentioning the biggest MDO event of the year – our fundraising Auction on November 19th at The Park Tavern Piedmont Room.  If you haven’t purchased your tickets or booked your sitter, you should do it soon because this event is not to be missed!   Katrina Burton, Chaffraix Rowles, and the auction team have lined up a fabulous evening and there are TONS of great auction items for bid.  The money raised is vital to the success of MDO.  I hope to see you there!

Also, few reminders....

The November Laundry Fairies are the Fall 3s.  Parents please check Ms. Kim’s laundry calendar and remember to take home the laundry on your specific day. 

Lastly, we are closed for the week of Thanksgiving, November 23rd through November 27, and we will be back in school on Monday, November 30th.

I hope everyone has a great month and a Happy Thanksgiving!

Letter from the Chair

Greetings, all! November is a busy month at MDO, so strap in and get ready for a heady dose of awesome. First, THE AUCTION. Thank you to all of you who have purchased your tickets - we are going to have a packed house! If you haven't yet bought your tickets, you may do so in the office. They are $25 a piece and *cough* all parents are strongly encouraged to buy two *cough*. Even if you can't come, you can donate your tickets to a teacher or friend.

And why would you want to attend said auction? Well, I'm glad you asked. The answer is lengthy, fascinating, and multifaceted. However, in the interest of time, I'll just drop some enticing word teases for you:

BAM. Obviously, missing the social event of the season would be a travesty, so book your babysitter now to be sure you can come. For details on the date, time, and location, see the Upcoming Events section below.

In other news, a big THANK YOU goes out to Kim Wise for organizing the Teacher Appreciation Breakfast last month, and for all the help provided by Cyndi Dieker, Seema Lakhiani, Kristen Melvin, Alison Dye, Greg Durgin, Monica Szalma, and Katie Baddour. You guys did a fabulous job, and I know the teachers felt all that appreciation wrap around them like a cozy blanket on a cold Autumn night.

I have to tell you, I've been extremely impressed with our parent volunteers this year. You guys rock! With such enthusiasm wafting about the hallways, MDO is more fun than ever. All the smiling faces make drop-off and pick-up a pleasure, rather than a chore. And hey, if you've been too booked to find a way to volunteer and socialize, it's not too late! We are always looking for helping hands; email me at and I'll ease you in gently.

I leave you with your Inspirational Parenting Quote of the month:

" A two-year old is kind of like having a blender, but you don’t have a top for it.” - Jerry Seinfeld

Melody Crowley
Chair, Board of Directors

Teacher Feature

Kim Duong, Fall 3s Teacher
Kim received her bachelor's degree in Child & Family Development from the University of Georgia. While there, she interned and worked at the Child Development Lab at the McPhaul Center. She is currently studying Communication Sciences & Disorders at Georgia State University. Kim has been teaching for 4 years, and this is her first year at MDO. 

What do you love most about being a part of MDO? I love the people at MDO! From the teachers to the families, everyone is such a joy to work with. 

What made you choose to be a teacher at MDO? The nurturing and easy-going environment. 

What's your favorite...

  • Activity to do with the kids? "Show & Share" is my favorite activity to do with the kids because they say the funniest things about their prized possessions.
  • Book to read to the kids? I love reading Elephant & Piggie books to the kids.
  • Song to sing with the kids? Five Little Monkeys

What's something fun we might not know about you? I'm allergic to bananas!

What's your favorite thing to do in your free time? Netflix/Amazon Prime-a-thon! I love re-watching Gilmore Girls and catching up on episodes of Suits.

Parent Volunteer of the Month

Carrie H. - her daughter is in Ms. Giselle's Spring 3s class. This is their second year at MDO. Carrie is currently the Treasurer of the MDO Board & Financial Chair. She will also be participating in the auction fundraiser and the pancake breakfast. Last year she volunteered as Room Rep for the Spring 2s, served on the Chili Cook-Off Committee and helped run the MDO Toy Sale in August. 

What's your favorite thing to do in your free time? I love to cook and spend time with family and friends.

What's your favorite guilty pleasure? Morelli's salted caramel ice cream

What's your favorite part of being a mom? Hearing my daughter laugh - it is pure happiness!

What do you do for a living? I am a French teacher. I earned my Ph.D. in French and Educational Studies from Emory in 2008 and was trained to train foreign language teachers. My husband is based in Atlanta and after a year of working at Clemson University I started teaching High School French in DeKalb County. Currently I am teaching French for an online school in Georgia.

Upcoming Event: Our Fall Fundraiser!


Lights, Camera, Auction!
A Night on the Red Carpet

Thursday, November 19th, 7-10 pm
The Piedmont Room at Park Tavern
$25 / person

Join us for a night to remember! The Auction is MDO's biggest fundraiser of the year, raising money for the extra special activities that enhance our children's education and exhilarate their minds. Keep an eye on Facebook for a sneak peak at the program - and all the items that will be up for bid!

*Includes hors d'oeuvres & 2 drink tickets

Welcome to MDO

We are so glad to have three new students and their families join MDO this month:  

  • Colt S. in the Baby class,
  • Kimoni W. in the Turning 4s class, and
  • Shaneil W. (Kimoni's sister) in the Pre-K class



Teacher Notes

Spring 2s

In October the Spring 2s looked to the pumpkins for their sensory activities.  They helped open the pumpkin, look inside, and smell and touch the seeds and inside of the pumpkin. We also used the pumpkin seeds to create some art projects. The class was also hard at work finishing our fundraising project Original Works. All the children participated in creating a cute landscape scene with elephants and fish. We have been reading Halloween books and learning the song "Five Little Pumpkins Sitting on a Gate." We also listen to different records throughout the day - vintage, calming music, blues, jazz and even Latin jazz. 

The children love to throw all their toys on the floor, so I thought it would be a great idea to try a sensory board where everything is attached to the board. It helps them interact with the toy instead of just testing gravity ;). We also had a great time seeing the fire truck that came to visit and enjoyed helping make applesauce!

The spring 2s have also just been learning to make friends in the classroom know that they are comfortable showing up in the morning and saying goodbye to their family members. It is cute to see them hug each other and began to interact.

- Ms. Catherine


Spring 3s

Spring 3’s had a great October!! We had so much fun with our Fall/Halloween theme.  All of our friends are continuing to get to know one another and enjoying our time with each other.  We are all doing so well in the morning putting our things up and being little independent kiddos.  They have enjoyed working with new table games, focusing on fine motor skills and some color matching.  I think the most fun we had this month had to be when the fire truck came and when we carved our pumpkins with the Fall 3s.  They were almost all willing to touch the inside of the pumpkins and those who weren’t still enjoyed looking inside the pumpkins. We ended the month with a fun Halloween party with the Fall 3s and all the kiddos helped with decorating!

Next month we will be focusing on “Giving Thanks,” Family and Feelings.  We are looking forward to a Thanksgiving feast with the Fall 3s.  As always we will continue learning our days of the week, months of the year, numbers and letters.  See if you can get your little one to sing the days of the week song….ask them how many days are in the week!!

- Ms. Giselle


Turning 4s

Can you believe the holidays are here already?  Seems like we were just having our Parent Night!  We have had a good time getting to know one another, and getting settled in.  Parents please take the time and pat yourselves on the back, you’ve done an awesome job getting your children geared up and ready for school on time.

In September and October we learned all about ourselves, and our bodies.  Go ahead and ask your child(ren) about their 5 senses.  This age is a wonderful time of discovery, Claudia and I love to explore with them. Thanks to all of the parents, we had a fun Halloween party! Victoria joined our Four Year Old Club Oct. 20th, and Nina’s mom Zoe Mayers was our Mystery Reader! We had fun learning about the garden and making applesauce too!

In November, we have our annual Stone Soup event in class – details will be posted soon outside the classroom! Hang Hang will be turning 4 on Nov. 21st, and we look forward to our Nov. Mystery Readers! Our theme for November and December is art and culture from around the world. This is a wonderful time for parents to come in and share different holidays and traditions such as games or foods from your culture/country/ancestry.  If you are unsure of how to apply your tradition into a classroom event/lesson, please see me and we can work together to help bring knowledge from around the world to our children; what great fun and exploration!

Thank you to all of you for being such wonderful and supportive parents, we couldn’t do it without all of your involvement in the school!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

MDO Garden Grows!

In early October we prepared a planting bed with compost and planted some winter vegetables including lettuce and kale. The children had a great time with this. We talked about roots; how they are like the plant's stomach, how they will absorb the nutrients from the soil we make for them, and how we must prepare them so they will good contact with the earth.

In the coming months, we are planning indoor activities focused on sprouting seeds and using bulbs. We are planning to start composting on a small scale using worms the kids wrestle up during our worm hunt in November! Stay tuned for more garden news and how you can help.  We will be soliciting a few donations for our projects through email.

- Max Mendel, MDO Garden Coordinator



Last Month at MDO

Halloween fun!

Ms. Gretchen's visit and story time

The first PSP event, Applesauce making (and enjoying)!

Recognizing Fire Safety Month with a visit from the DeKalb Co. Fire Department!

Showing our teachers how much we care at the Teacher Appreciation Breakfast!