MDO Newsletter - December 2015

Class Themes

  • Baby Class - Celebrations
  • Fall & Spring 2s - Holidays Around the World
  • Fall & Spring 3s - Winter Wonderland
  • Turning 4s & Pre-K - Exploring Art & Culture Around the World

Important Dates

  • December 1: Tuition Due
  • December 3-4: MDO Book Fair
  • December 4: Parent Sharing Program - Yoga, 10:00am
  • December 7: FREE Barre3 Class for Parents - 9:30-10:30am
  • December 11: Parent Sharing Program - Korean Culture, 10:00am
  • December14: Librarian Visit, 10:00am
  • December 18: Class Winter Parties, 12:15pm
  • December - January 4: School Closed for Winter Break

Director's Notes

Despite all the rain, it has been a fun fall at MDO!  Painting with corn, making stone soup, thankful turkeys, and corn music shakers were just some of the November activities.   The teachers had fun too!  They enjoyed a free exercise class hosted by Barre3, a new studio in Brighton Park.  MDO parents will also enjoy a free Barre3 class on December 7th at 9:30am.  So mark your calendars.  It’s coming up soon!

MDO hosted two fabulous events in November - the MDO auction and a visit from Jeffini the Magician.  Wow!  Both of these were awesome and I wanted to mention them together because your generous support of MDO’s fundraising helps pay for enrichment like Jeffini.  MDO thanks you and most of all the children thank you!  I am pretty sure Jeffini kept the kids laughing for a solid 30 minutes!  The auction was a huge success.  Bravo Auction Team! 

We also had the first “Sensory Play-doh Making” hosted by Holly Kurtz and Ming Yuan.  The children had a blast getting their hands into the cinnamon play-doh!  Thank you to Holly and Ming and thank you parents for donating supplies.  Each month two parent volunteers will travel to the classrooms and make sensory play-doh with the children. Please consider volunteering for this.  The kids LOVE it and the parents have fun too!  We give you the recipe, the ingredients, and the rotation schedule.  All you have to do is show up and make play-doh!

In November Ms. Gretchen the Librarian read stories about Doggies and Dinosaurs and the children presented her with a beautiful Thanksgiving card made by Ann Pearman and personalized with handprints by Ms. Kim’s Fall 3s.  It was so sweet!  We love Ms. Gretchen.  This month her visit will be Monday, December 14th.

We have a lot going on in December before Winter Break.  The teachers will make a worm compost bin to create compost for the MDO Garden. Children will be able to bring food and paper donations throughout the school year to “feed the worms.”    We are collecting newspapers now and you may drop them in the office.  If you love to garden, aren’t afraid of worms, and would like to help out with this project let me know. 

We also have two Parent Sharing Program activities this month:  Yoga on December 4th hosted by Zoe Mayers, and a Korean Culture activity hosted by Hojung Ho and Jungtae Choi on December 11th.  Parent involvement at MDO adds depth and warmth to our community and the children love having their parents participate.  Thank you!

Winter doesn't officially start until the end of December, but around MDO, it certainly has arrived! Be sure to check out the adorable winter bulletin board in the hall created by the Fall and Spring 2s. And you can't miss our festive entry boards, this month in winter and holiday themes. Our entry boards are designed and implemented by parent volunteer, Ann Pearman. They always look so fabulous! Thank you Ann for helping to make MDO look so fun and inviting! 

I also want to mention how awesome the newsletter looks. We changed our format this year to an online newsletter. Melody Crowley worked behind the scenes to set it up and each month, our Newsletter Editor, Janna Charoenlap, puts it together. We are so fortunate to have the talents of these two parents volunteering for MDO!

Thanks for all you do for MDO and have a great holiday season!


Letter from the Chair

Greetings, all! Let me begin by thanking everyone for attending the Auction last month. It was a smashing success, and we owe it all to our tireless Auction Committee, the generosity of our donors, and YOU - the lovely parents who bid, bought, and supported this sweet little school of ours. Every dollar spent goes to helping our kids to have the most exciting, advanced, and richest experiences and education possible. Thank you!

Speaking of the erstwhile Auction Committee, I'd be remiss if I didn't embarrass all its members with a shout-out and heartfelt thank-you. These parent volunteers donated their time, energy, and creativity in amounts above and beyond expectations. If you spot one in the hallway, there's no need to voice your gratitude - simply connect gazes and nod somberly, your thoughts written in your eyes, and you'll both know that the appreciation is real and enduring.

The 2015-2016 MDO Auction Committee
Katrina Burton (Co-Chair)
Chaffraix Rowles (Co-Chair)
Mea Matsuoka
Ali English
Sarah Beddington
Bill & Valorie Sonnemaker
Meredith Kinney
Melody Crowley
Maria Arraiza
Keyana McGlathery
Carrie Haight
Elisabeth Pearson
Kendall Stowell
Zoe Mayers
Heather Grubman
Lauren Reynolds
Alison Dye
Kristen Melvin

Looking forward, December is always a brief month, with MDO being closed December 21st - January 4th for Winter Break. During this time of chilly retreat (and lack of childcare), I encourage parents to coordinate play-dates to keep the kiddos active and familiar with one another. Looking for something to do as a group? Check these out!

  • Zoo Atlanta has a Holiday Fun weekend on December 5th and 6th
  • The Children's Museum of Atlanta has its grand reopening on December 12th
  • The Georgia Aquarium has a Festival of the Season going through December 25th, and a Breakfast with Santa on December 12th
  • Fernbank has a Winter Wonderland exhibit going through December 19th
  • "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" is performing at the Center for Puppetry Arts through December 27th
  • The Atlanta Botanical Garden is having its annual Garden Lights, Holiday Nights exhibit through January 9th
  • Stone Mountain hosts a Holly Jolly Christmas (including a special holiday Ice Age 4-D experience) through January 3rd
  • The World of Coca-Cola has Holiday Festivities with their famous polar bear available through January 3rd

I leave you with your Inspirational Parenting Quote of the month:
"When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice safe playpen. When they’re finished, I climb out." - Erma Bombeck

Melody Crowley
Chair, Board of Directors

Teacher Feature

Giselle Gilmore, Spring 3s Teacher

Giselle has been a teacher for eight years.  Most of that time she has taught ballet at Atlanta Ballet, and four out of the eight years, she has taught preschool.  Giselle has a degree in Ballet Education from the Royal Academy of Dance in London and a Certification in Child Development. This is her first year with MDO, and she is enjoying it immensely!

What do you love most about being a part of the school?
 I love the kids most of all, but I also love the openness and family like feeling within the faculty and parents.

What made you choose to be a teacher at MDO?  Finding MDO was just luck, choosing MDO was an easy choice.  I loved the size of the school and the idea that everyone was welcome; children are nurtured and well educated!

What's your favorite...
      Activity to do with the kids? My favorite thing to do is watch them play and engage with each other
      Book to read to the kids? Anything Dr. Seuss
      Song to sing with the kids? The wheels on the bus

What's something fun about you we might not know? When I was in high school I trained a seeing eye dog named Gilligan. He passed my training, but failed the second half and ended up being our dog until last year, when he passed away.

What's your favorite thing to do in your free time?  My favorite thing to do is spend time with my husband and our 5 month old son.  We like to spend time outside, watch movies and read books!

Holiday Book Fair - Dec. 3rd & 4th 

Still have some holiday shopping left? Barefoot Books Ambassador Brittany is hosting a book fair at MDO this month! Brittany will be taking orders at drop-off and pick-up on the 3rd and 4th. The online shop will be open through Dec. 18th

See this link for details and the online shop. 

Note: Books ordered by Friday, Dec. 4th will be delivered to MDO at no extra charge. Online orders will be shipped to your home for an extra charge of $3.99. 


Welcome to MDO

We are excited to have two new friends join MDO in the past month:

  • Eli M. - Fall 2s
  • Lucas H. - Spring 2s


Class Notes


Fall 2s

November was a fun month for our class. We teamed up with Ms. Catherine's class to make art for the bulletin board in the hallway. We made mittens and a big snowman with blue buttons! We always have fun getting messy with some paint. Speaking of messy, we also made Play-doh with Ms. Holly and Ms. Ming. They helped us make different colors and even let us add a bit of cinnamon to make it smell good. Thank you Ms. Holly and Ms. Ming!!

We've been working on learning our ABC's and 123's. We've even been learning some new songs. Right now, we really like "Little Rabbit Foo Foo" and "We are the Dinosaurs." We all grab a dinosaur and march around the room singing and roaring as loud as we can.

Also, thank you so much to the auction committee for wonderful evening! Your hard work certainly paid off. Great job everyone. I can't wait to see who signed up for my art party!

- Miss Evelyn   

Fall 3s

Happy Thanksgiving from the Fall 3s class! We are thankful for our parents, teachers, the MDO staff, friends, pets, and our healthy growing food. This month, we focused on "giving thanks" and "feelings." 

We love using glue sticks to create artwork. To celebrate the harvest season, we made cornucopias with various vegetables like squash, eggplant, and carrots. During circle time and lunch, our class discussed Thanksgiving traditions and food items. Yvette, Olivia, and Chris are drawing their Thanksgiving meals. Yvette exclaimed that she is having "a pink popsicle for Thanksgiving!"

From Jeffini the Magician to Elsa, we had many great visitors this month! We were super excited about Elsa's visit. We waited patiently for her while dancing to "Let It Go." Ms. Stefanie (Ms.Kim's friend from college) taught us colors and numbers in Portuguese. We also used a tin can, salt, ice, and lots of shaking to make frost. We made turkey handprints on a card Emmy and her mom, Ann, beautifully crafted for Ms. Gretchen the librarian. We are very thankful for her. Thank you for sharing your time and books with us!

Also during circle time, we read books about feelings and practiced facial expressions to express emotions such as "happy," "sad," "surprised," and "tired." Our friends are doing a great job at showing their emotions. 

Our class is looking forward to a December full of winter activities! 

- Ms. Kim


November has been a busy month for PreK! We had our first birthday, Happy 5th Birthday Lochlan! We have been working hard learning the letters of the alphabet. So far this year we have learned letters Aa-Hh. Each week the children work on one letter, learning what it sounds like and what it looks like. They also practice writing the letter. In addition, everyone is writing their name like a pro with little-to-no help from me. They are doing such a great job! I am very impressed with the progress they have made in just a few short weeks! 

We have also been busy with fun science projects! We made flubber and stone soup with the turning 4s and play-doh during PSP. We love getting our hands dirty making and experimenting and learning during these fun experiences. On top of all this, we had the visits from Elsa and Jeffini the magician. The magic show was a huge hit, the kids couldn't stop talking about it the rest of the day! 

Coming up in December, we will begin rehearsing for the Winter Program on Dec. 18th. The Program will be followed by the class party. Keep a look out for more details! Please remember to dress your child warmly. Winter is coming and our playground doesn't see the sun until well into the day, so it can be quite chilly out there during our playtime first thing in the morning. I would rather remove layers of clothing because they are too warm than for them to be cold. Thanks!

- Ms. Angie

Last Month at MDO

A visit from Princess Elsa!

Jeffini the Magician!

PSP Sensory Cinnamon Play-Doh Making

A few Red Carpet Moments from the Auction