Summer is Here, what do I do with the kids?!

So, as I write this, I am looking at the calendar. We are COUNTING the days until the end of school..just eight more days for my second grader, and two more preK days left for my 5 year old. I’m suffering from mixed emotions—I have senioritis for sure (spelling tests, homework, making lunches and just getting out the door each day for 9 months takes its toll), but also an underlying fear of the days to come…what in the heck are we going to do for 11 weeks this summer??? 


Well, first off, especially with the bigger littles, I'm looking for Camps. These are good for working moms of course, and let’s be honest, since we all have the major job of being a mom, we are all working in my book. Thankfully, the children love them—you can find sport camps, art camps, lego camps, you name it, all sorts of children summer activities are available. Now, I will say, camps tend to be full at this point because the signups generally start back in February (Yes. I said February.) But one of our sponsors, St. John’s Episcopal School still has openings in their summer camps and if you mention LECPTA when you check out, they will give a percentage of your fee back to the LECPTA!!! This brings money back to our East Dallas community schools - Lakewood Elementary, J.L. Long Middle School, and Woodrow Wilson High School.  

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It’s always funny to consider that while we are pulling out our boots and long sleeves in anticipation of fall weather, someone out there is shooting the cover of a spring/summer catalogue. Likewise, when I feel like I’ve just established our family “back to school” routine I begin to see notices for open houses at schools and admission directors begin showing up at PTA meetings to discuss plans for next year. As a school director, I feel the same wave of early planning begin about this time each year at The Children’s Center as well. I’ve only just begun our new year when I turn my focus to plans for next year. Our calendar is booked almost daily with tours for prospective families.


Providing school tours is one of my favorite things to do, after greeting each child during morning arrival. The reason tours are so important to me is because they provides an opportunity to share a bit of insight into the “why” and “how” we teach young children. I find so often that parents feel overwhelmed with school choices and are unsure of the questions to ask or what to look for while walking the halls of prospective schools. We are so lucky in Dallas to have so many wonderful school choices. There is no one school that is a perfect fit for each family, or even each child within a family. Regardless of the differences in cost, location, ages served, or teaching method (play-based, Montessori, classical Christian,…), there are signs that all parents should look for when asking questions and touring.


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It’s that time of the year, when I wish I could avoid the signs that summer will soon come to a close.  It’s hard to wrap my mind around Halloween decorations when its 104 degrees outside — while at the same time, these sights remind me of another year of growth for my children, soon to be filled with opportunities for new experiences and friendships.  Each year I feel an equal sense of excitement and anxiety as the days of August slip past.  


For me, the first day of school marks my ew year”, filled with reflections of the year I’ve had and resolutions for the year to come.  Whether it was the first day I handed my ten-week old daughter into the welcoming and confident arms of her caregiver, or as I prepare this year to send our girls off to their last year of elementary and middle school — the first day is faced with mixed emotions.  I want my girls to soar.  I want them to have every opportunity to grow to love learning, establish a strong sense of confidence in their abilities, and to be prepared for that final day of school when they go out into the big, wide world.  I guess, honestly, I need to be prepared for that big day too. 


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Christy Tornelli lives in Hollywood/Santa Monica neighborhood with her husband, Carlos, and two daughters, Isabella (13) & Alessandra (10).  She serves the children of our community as the Director at The Children’s Center.  She received a degree in Child Development and Family Relations from The University of Texas in Austin and has taught 3’s and 4’s, served as Curriculum Director and as Admissions Director before accepting her current position.  



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90 minutes
Items needed for this section:

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The purpose of this section is to:

  • Evaluate the important of leadership behaviors to achieving Consistent Operational Excellence.
  • Show how our leadership philosophy is linked to our Six Ps.
  • Identify participant’s leadership strengths.


valentines crafts

String Heart Art

So, this week, I have gone back to Pinterest to come up with a fun and easy Valentines craft. I saw the heart string art pinned many times and thought this might be a fun and low cost project that would be a perfect gift for Grand Mom.
It was a beautiful day outside so we took our crafts to the front yard.  Here is what you need:

  • Scrap pieces of board
  • Stencil hearts
  • Paint
  • Hammer
  • 1-pound pack small nails
  • Foam paintbrush
  • Yarn
  • Scissors
  • Tape

Step 1: Paint the Board. Paint the entire surface of the board. Let it dry. Depending on the paint you may want to use two coats.  We used an old can of wall paint that we had around the house. You can also use your favorite spray paint color.


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