Dear Learning Brooke Family,

As Week One of Wave One comes to a close, I am filled with so much pride and thanks.

Miss Tashi, Miss Melissa, Miss Joselin, Mr. Jamie and Ms. Lia you have made the difference. I could not be more proud of the way you prepared, carried out and adjusted to all the new operations, protocols and guidelines this week. It was very different and we are making changes as we go but you all bravely showed up to do what is natural to you and be there for children. This week I heard words recognizing children’s fears and feelings. I heard validations as small voices shared their perspective and asked for comfort in these new times. I heard laughter and music and words of wonder from both children and adults. I saw hugs, dancing, hand holding, HAND WASHING, drawing, painting, temperature taking, jumping, climbing, resting, dramatic play, block play, HAND WASHING, sliding, skipping, crying, comforting, reading, filling up and dumping out, HAND WASHING, bike riding, crib riding, arms reaching and teachers meeting children where they are. You are wonderful teachers who deserve to feel the pride of your work and dedication. We are all very proud of you and look forward to another week of joy and wonder with you.

To the children and families who returned this week, we are so grateful and proud of you as well. You and your pioneer children brought joy and happy energy back into our school and to our lives. These were emotionally packed days spanning from fear and shyness to joy and connection. As one little girl entered each day, she and her mom would talk about how important it was to be brave and give it a try. Some days this was easier than others but she came in each day, wiped the tears and met the challenge. Full of trepidation and uncertainty, she hugged her mom goodbye for now and bravely walked to her classroom with her teacher. Once inside the classroom greeted by friends feeling similar emotions, her words let us know that while she missed her mom, it was good to be back and to be playing in her school again. She had times of laughter and dancing and moments of thinking about family and shedding a tear. Her mom and her teachers reassured her, it is ok to cry. The purity of her real feelings and ups and downs of the day are a perfect reflection of how we are all feeling these days. She and all of the children who returned this week are so inspiring. What sources of power and strength they embody. These characteristics of resiliency, bravery and perseverance are there and were beautifully demonstrated this week, further proof that children are born with all they need inside. It is our job as the adults in their lives to partner with them and help bring out those strengths, questions and theories and explore them, make meaning of the world together. Children asked so many questions, some answered by experience this week and some left to be figured out in the days to come, questions asked by words or with expression, gestures, babbling, crying and cooing. We are all slowly figuring it out together.

THANK YOU, to returning families for continuing to trust us to share this journey with you. Thank you for jumping in to be pioneers with us this week as we construct a new reality together. We hope you share the pride you deserve for being such intentional, thoughtful, loving and brave parents. We look forward to continuing to forge ahead and welcoming in more friends and teachers together.

To children, families and teachers who will join us in the coming Waves, we look forward to seeing you and sharing our days with you. We hope you can take comfort in knowing that though it is different and though it is uncertain, we will be waiting for you with kindness, open hearts and minds. We are ready to share the ups and downs and to brave it together. Our relationships with one another make our community strong. We can’t wait to reconnect and build on the foundation we all share. With so much unrest in our world today, it is important now more than ever to stand together, stand up for each other and pave the way to a future bright for all. Just as we are brave pioneers as one of the first schools to re-open, together we can be an example of the change we want to see.

With warmth and respect,

Brooke Brown