MDO Newsletter - February 2016

Class Themes

  • Baby Class - Names of fruit 
  • Fall & Spring 2s - Shapes
  • Fall & Spring 3s - Hearts and shapes
  • Turning 4s & Pre-K - Wonderful world of animals

Important Dates

February 1: Tuition due & 2016-2017 Registration begins for current MDO families
February 8: PSP Celebrating Chinese New Year, 10:00am
February 8: 2016-2017 Registration opens to all families
February 12: Class Valentine's Day Parties, 12:15-1:00pm
February 15: School Closed for Presidents Day Holiday
February 19: Sensory Play-doh PSP
February 20: Pancake Breakfast, 9:00-10:30am

Director's Notes

It may be cold outside but the hallways and classrooms are warm and loving.   That’s what I love most about MDO and I hope your children feel the same.  I think they do because I am always greeted with happy feet and big smiles at the door! 

"Cheesy" Beads - a fine motor activity made from a recycled parmesan container

"Cheesy" Beads - a fine motor activity made from a recycled parmesan container

Cute sock snowmen made in the Spring 3s class

The classes have been having a great time with sensory play, creative art, and fine motor projects this winter.  They have been ice painting, water fishing, finger painting, playing Cheesy Beads, and Ms. Giselle’s class even made some adorable snowmen out of tube socks!

Water fishing - working on fine motor skills fishing for recycled caps with chopsticks

Ice Painting - the kids painted beautiful pictures using frozen paint cubes

Ice Painting - the kids painted beautiful pictures using frozen paint cubes

For this January's Parent Sharing Program, Myra Shaffer and Ann Pearman made fruit-scented play-doh with the kids.  Making play-doh is always a highlight and they love all the scents.   Thanks ladies for helping out!

Turning 4s Daddy Dinosaur Lunch! 

In January the Turning 4s also had their Daddy Dinosaur Lunch, which was a blast. One dad even came dressed up in costume!

In February we have a Chinese New Year Parent Sharing Program hosted by Ming Yuan and Ms. Kim.  Ms. Gretchen the Librarian will come to visit. We also have class Valentines Parties, play-doh making, and our Pancake Breakfast fundraiser on Saturday the 20th. It’s going to be a great month!

Registration for MDO families is going on now and the new online process is working fabulously!  A huge thanks to Melody and Tom Crowley for their hard work with the web system, and implementing the new online process.   Hopefully you have had a chance to register and try it out.   I am so excited to know so many current families will be returning to MDO and several new siblings will be joining our program. 

I would also like to extend a huge thanks to Meredith Kinney for blessing us with her time and talents to design the new MDO Logo!   Isn’t it fabulous?!!   LOVE IT!

I truly appreciate the collective work and support of the volunteers on the MDO Board.  These women are really passionate about MDO and volunteer tirelessly to keep us running smoothly.  Because they donate their talents and time, we are also able to improve our process and move forward as a non-profit business.  The best part is while all of this is happening, they (we) are having fun too!  MDO is a special place and I am grateful to work with such an awesome team of Directors.


I have also really enjoyed getting to know the other parent volunteers who are giving their time and talents to MDO.  Whether you are a committee coordinator, a room rep, help in the class with PSPs, or sign up to work in the library and help with special events, you are appreciated and are making a difference!   What a cool group of parents!  Your kiddos are awesome too.  It’s been so fun to learn their personalities and to watch them change and grow.  


I love our wonderful teachers and MDO’s office manager extraordinaire.  They welcomed me so warmly when I started at MDO.  They were patient when I was learning the ropes and have been very supportive of my new ideas and changes.  The teachers who have been here for a while were helpful to the new ones who started this year and the new teachers caught on quickly and have been a great addition to the team. MDO teachers share ideas, work together, and most of all care deeply about taking care of and teaching your little ones.  I love working with these ladies!

Happy Valentine's Everyone!

- Patty

Letter from the Chair

Greetings, All! This is one of my favorite months at MDO, when the halls are decorated with hearts and the kiddos get to have a sweet Valentine's Day party. It's the time of the year when you - shockingly - already have to start thinking about next year. My son will be graduating MDO's Pre-K program and moving on to Kindergarten, and my daughter will be moving down the hall to the newly-named Twos program. It will be a bittersweet transition, but I'm so happy that I get to have a few more years at MDO with my daughter. I love seeing all our wonderful kids and families year after year; nothing can compare to the comfort you feel when you have a kind, known, and supportive community surrounding you and your children.

I have a lot of plans for next year, and I'll be needing a new batch of volunteers to join me in carrying them to fruition, as some of our current Board members and coordinators will be graduating. If you are interested in taking on - or continuing in - a volunteer role next year, please email me and let me know. Not only is it deeply satisfying to be involved in your child's school, it's also ridiculously fun to hang out with other moms and dads who are in the same (sometimes wild and frustrating) boat as you. There are a lot of openings to fill, so if you're curious about what might be a good fit, I'll be happy to talk to you in person, over email or phone - or over fries after the kids are in bed! (Side Note: Leon's in Decatur has a menu item called "beef cheek poutine" and it's amazing. If you ever need to tempt me out to discuss school business, just whisper the words "cheese curd" in my ear and I'll be there.)

Next weekend, on February 20th, we have our annual Pancake Breakfast fundraiser, and I can't wait! It was SO fun last year. I'll be making my pumpkin oat pancakes again and I'm really looking forward to seeing what our other volunteer chefs create. Tickets go on sale soon, so keep an eye out in the hallway!

I leave you with your Inspirational (Valentine's-themed) Parenting Quote of the month:

"The human heart was not designed to beat outside the human body and yet, each child represented just that – a parent’s heart bared, beating forever outside its chest.” - Debra Ginsberg

Melody Crowley
Chair, Board of Directors

Parent Volunteer Spotlight

Meredith Kinney is this month's spotlight.  Last year Meredith was on the Spring Festival Committee, and this year she served on the Auction Committee (both doing mainly the branding, graphics, and printing). This year, she is also helping develop the new MDO Preschool brand identity.

Meredith's daughter, McKay, started at MDO last year in Ms. Rosario's baby class and is in Ms. Catherine's Spring 2s class this year. 

What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?  My husband and I love hunting for antiques at estate sales, Scott's, yard sales, resale shops, etc! I love finding unique and artful pieces.

What is your favorite guilty pleasure?  Wine and anything sweet!

What is your favorite part of being a mom?  Making McKay happy! I love when I make her giggle, belly laugh, or smile. She melts my heart.

What do you do for a living?  I'm a Branded Environments Designer at Perkins+Will (a large architecture + design firm). My focus consists of brand design, strategy, communications, and experience design. I mainly work part-time from home.

Teacher Feature

Angie Brabson teaches the Pre-K class. She has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Master's degree in Early Childhood Education. She has been teaching preschool for over 10 years, and this is her third year at MDO. She loves teaching, especially the preschool age!

What do you like most about MDO? I love the small class sizes at MDO. As a teacher, I get to be creative and work closely with my class. As a parent, I love knowing my children are learning a lot from their teachers and also having lots of fun!

What made you choose to work at MDO? I chose MDO because of the play-based program and the feeling of community. I also like that it's a half day program. I get to spend the mornings with my students and the afternoons with my own kiddos.

What is your favorite...
- activity to do with the kids? 
Art! I love getting our hands dirty and creating in the classroom. I also enjoy show and tell. I like to watch the kids take over the class to tell us about their items and field questions from their peers.

- book to read to the kids? We read lots of books in our classroom it's hard to choose just one. The kids enjoy reading Dr. Seuss books. They are very silly but also give us a chance to explore words that rhyme.

- song to sing with the kids? The days of the week song. The kids like it because they get to shout really loud (whatever the day is) and I like it because we are learning. It's a win, win.

What is something fun about you that we may not know? I got an ATV for Christmas! I love getting dirty and riding around with my family.

What is your favorite thing to do in your free time? Now that I have two kids, free time is hard to come by, but if I find some I love to crochet. My grandmother taught me when I was a child and it helps me calm my mind after a stressful day.

Welcome to MDO

This month we welcome Annika T. and Charlotte Y. and their families to the Fall 3s class!

Laundry Fairies

The Baby Class are the Laundry Fairies for February. Please check the laundry calendar and make sure to take the laundry home on your assigned day. 

Keep the Bottle Caps Coming!

Thank you so much for your donations thus far! We are still collecting clean plastic caps in this bin outside the office. 


Pancake & PJs Breakfast 2/20 9:00-10:30

MDO will be hosting it's Annual Pancake & PJ's Breakfast on Saturday, February 20th from 9:00am - 10:30am. We hope as many of you as possible can attend - it's super fun for the kids to come to school on Saturday in their PJs and play with their friends (and eat lots of pancakes)!   

We have a small committee for this event so we can use as many volunteers as possible to assist with griddles, toppings, activity set-up, and clean-up.  Most importantly, we need people to volunteer to be pancake chefs. If you have a special pancake recipe that you love and would like to share, please consider volunteering to cook that morning.  Please click on the link below to volunteer for this event.

Pancake Breakfast Volunteer Sign-Up

Please email Ann Pearman ( if you have any questions regarding this event.

Kroger Plus Card Fundraiser

If you shop at Kroger you can help raise money for MDO just by using your Kroger Plus Card! Through their Community Rewards program a percentage of our purchases will be donated back to MDO.  Enrollment is very simple. All you have to do is follow the simple steps below to add MDO as your community organization of choice!

  1. Log in at (if this is your first time on the site you will need to create a login)
  2. Click on your name at the upper right corner of the page. This will take you to "Account Settings: Account Summary"
  3. At the bottom of the "Account Summary" page you will see a section called "Community Rewards" - Click "Enroll"
  4. Search for "Morningside Day Out" (you don't have to spell the whole thing out)
  5. Check the button next to "MORNINGSIDE DAY OUT" and click "Enroll"
  6. You will be taken back to your Account Summary where you can verify enrollment at the bottom of the page. 

And that's all folks! Just keep swiping your card every time you go to Kroger and MDO will receive quarterly checks thanks to all of our grocery shopping! Thanks for helping us raise money for MDO! Feel free to reach out to Katrina Burton ( if you have questions! 

Class Notes

Fall 2s

Ice painting fun! 

January sure was a fun month for the 2s class. We made snowman necklaces and painted with ice! We froze different colored paint in an ice tray and waited for it to get super cold. We got to paint with the ice and watch it melt on the paper and even in our hands! We all said "brrr cold!" We liked this sensory project a lot.

Coming up in February we will be learning all about shapes. We will learn how to sort circles, squares, and triangles. We are very excited. 

Happy birthday everyone! We are all 2 now. Congratulations to Jackson and Camden who have been working really hard on using the potty and keeping their undies dry. Keep up the good work!

Thank you parents for all the laundry and toy washing you have done this month. You are a huge help. Also, thank you to all the parents who worked/work in the new library and who help keep our art closet organized. WE LOVE YOU PARENTS!

- Miss Evelyn

Fall 3s

In January, we focused on "polar animals" and "frosty." We moved our bodies like polar bears, penguins, and seals, and even made animal noises. Our friends also made "snow" with baking soda and Ivory soap. Our friends used sponges and lots of elbow grease to clean our dinosaurs. 

Performing with our puppets is a new class favorite! Our friends love using the alligator, pig, and penguin puppets to perform song and dance numbers for the class. 

We are looking forward to a fabulous February! Our theme this month is "hearts & shapes."


We've been so busy since returning to school from the holidays. We had so much fun making play dough with the parent volunteers. The students really enjoyed using the different flavors of Koolaid in the play dough. It not only turned it awesome colors but it smells so nice too! Our science projects in January were super fun too! We learned about camouflage and the water cycle. The students always seem to really enjoy exploring science through experimentation and examination. They ask such interesting and challenging questions! We continue to learn the letters of the alphabet each week. We are more than halfway through and the students are doing such a great job!

There are so many fun things coming up in the month of February! We begin the month with the letter P. On Friday the 5th we will have pajama day, students are invited to wear their pj's but please still wear tennis shoes. The students are so excited they are counting down the days. That day we will also make pizza as part of the science lesson. Then on the 12th we will celebrate Valentine's Day with a party. The students are welcome to bring valentines to exchange with their friends. On the 16th is the 100th Day of School! We have been counting the days since day 1 and the day is finally here. I have several fun projects planned for this day and the kids can't wait! Lastly, this year is a leap year. On the 29th, we will celebrate this special day by having Loony Leap Day! The students are encouraged to come dressed as loony as they would like on that day!

I would like to thank the Young 4 parents that came to the Pre-K Open House! I am excited about next year and look forward to teaching your children and watching them grow!!

- Ms. Angie

Last Month at MDO

January's sensory play-doh PSP featured fruit scented play-doh

The Turning 4s and Pre-K classes had a fun sensory science lesson

Everyone enjoyed Ms. Gretchen's monthly visit and story time!