October 2015
University Child 
Development Center

635 Clyde Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
(P) 412.383.2100
(F) 412.383.2120

Director's Corner

This month I want to make it uncomplicated and leave you with a simple, yet powerful quote. It's my favorite and it's what we teach children all day long in every nose wipe, smile, and gentle redirection...
Be kind 
Be thoughtful 
Be genuine 
But most of all 
Be thankful

I believe if you let that lead your actions it makes for a more peaceful place for everyone.

Mary Beth
Curriculum in the Classroom 
Preschool Four

Pizza Shop Play: Encouraging cooperative and creative play
"When a teacher brought in a felt pizza game for a sorting activity it quickly became clear that the children enjoyed using the pieces for cooking and making pretend pizza."
If you came by PS4 the last couple of weeks you may have been asked to buy a pretend slice of pizza from our big block area pizza shop.  The children have often put pizza high on their list when it comes to favorite lunches at UCDC.  When a teacher brought in a felt pizza game for a sorting activity it quickly became clear that the children enjoyed using the pieces for cooking and making pretend pizza.
"...the children problem solved and worked together to build their shops out of blocks."
The teachers brainstormed with the children at group time what kinds of things would be needed to open a pizza shop in the big block area.  The list included pizza pieces, pizza cutters, aprons, boxes, paper and pencils to take orders, and plates, napkins and forks.  A cash register and money were also included.  The children talked about how the ovens and tables and chairs could all be made out of blocks.  A sign was added to show when the shop was opened or closed. 
"The children then assigned each other the roles of baker, waiter and waitresses, cashier and customers."
The children set out to work with enthusiasm.   The teachers used this time to incorporate social studies and talk about the types of job roles that people who work at a pizza shop can have.  The children then assigned each other the roles of baker, waiter and waitresses, cashier and customers. Once the pizza shop play was encouraged the teachers have been happy to see a high level of cooperation and a lot of collaboration as the children problem solved and worked together to build their shops out of blocks.  The pizza play has been both creative and delicious!
School Choice
St. Rosalia
Navigating the number of school choices that are available in the Pittsburgh area for your child can be a daunting task. There are so many private, magnet, and charter school choices out there. In our newsletter, we plan to highlight one school a month in order to help inform families. UCDC does not endorse the schools that are highlighted in this section - we are only offering the vast choices that are available. A great resource for finding options is the website - Great Schools 
Saint Rosalia Academy celebrated their annual welcome back picnic and Open House in September and as always, it was enjoyed by all.  This free event, sponsored by Saint Rosalia Academy's Parent Teacher Guild, warmly welcomes new and returning families to Saint Rosalia's "Tradition of Academic Excellence."  Parents remarked while touring the school and visiting their children's classrooms that they enjoy the individual attention that the small class sizes bring, and the safe, family feeling of the school.  If you are interested in a quality education in a safe, caring, community setting, please give us a call at 412-521-3005, or visit our website at saintrosalia.org
Spotlight on Staff

This month, read on to find out what the UCDC teachers and staff love about this season!

  • "What I love about Fall is walking through the leaves, hearing them crunch under my feet and going for nice long drives in the country to see the leaves changing from green into beautiful fall colors." - Joanne Stiller, Infant Four
  • "I love taking fall walks to look at the lovely leaves and all of the beautiful fall decorations put out by my neighbors." - Claudia Geisler, Preschool Four
  • "Fall is my favorite time of year!  I love beautiful fall leaves (which are why I got married on October 1st).  I love going to the pumpkin patch with my kiddos and to haunted houses with friends.  I love the cool, crisp air so that I can wear a hoodie and sit by a bonfire making S'mores.  I also really enjoy the tradition in my family that my mum always made my Halloween costumes when I was younger and she continues to do so with my children (this year my almost 8 year old son with be a Ninja Turtle, and my 4 year old daughter is going to be Maleficent)." - Jen DeJulio, Preschool Three
  • "Tearing out the garden I've failed at all summer to plant garlic (always successful!) and dream about next year's crop!" - Shelley Martin, Infant Three
  • "Not sweating as much." - Emily Marsh, Infant Two
  • "Fall is the time the weather gets cool enough to enjoy a long walk.  I am not a fan of the summer heat.  The scenery changes as the leaves are so colorful in PA.  Trips along route 79 and the surrounding areas are beautiful."  - Maureen Sahr, Toddler Two
  • "Hillsides full of color, crisp apples, cooler temperatures, farmer's markets with BUSHELS of butternut squash, trip to Mississippi to visit my daughter and son-in-law." - Marlene Schenck, Business Manager
  • "I love the fall because the crunchy leaves, beautiful colors and cooler temperature make my running more fun and because I know if fall is here, ski season can't be too far behind." - Wendy Colbert, Toddler Two
  • "The crisp, cool weather and trees full of yellow leaves!" - Cathy Baier, Preschool Three

In and Around Pittsburgh:
Shenot Farm and Market

There are many fun places to go with a young family in Pittsburgh. Parks, museums, events, and many other opportunities!

Have you ever taken your family to Shenot Farm and Market in Wexford? It is a sustainable farm that is about 20 minutes from Pittsburgh. The farm grows apples, peaches, nectarines, plums, blueberries, pumpkins, corn and many other fruits and vegetables. Read more about Shenot Farm here and learn about all of the family friendly activities offered.
UCDC Philosophy Explained
Question: How is UCDC prepared for emergencies at the Center?

Answer: With the sheer number of children and adults in the building, we have to be prepared for any emergency. Some of them are hard to think about, but we want our children and teachers to be prepared for anything. So, we have four emergency plans at UCDC. One plan is for cases when children need to be kept away from a certain area (e.g., a hazardous spill that needs to be cleaned, an accident, etc.), one for emergencies that require a lockdown/containment away from windows (e.g. outside threat), one for evacuation (e.g., in case of a fire) and one for an intruder situation. We have also updated our security system at the center allowing for security at the front door as well as classroom door locks that can be engaged with a fob in order to allow classrooms to be secured.

We hope to never have to use any of these, but we practice them on a regular basis in order for the staff and children to be comfortable with the routine which will allow them to remain calm in the case of a real emergency.
Did You Know?

Did you know that you are able to join your child for lunch at UCDC? All you have to do is ask your child's teacher and we will order you a lunch for that day (we have a vegan version of all of our meals, if necessary).  
Preschool Wisdoms:
Preschool One
Since we are working with an intern from the Nutrition Department at Pitt on our menu, we thought we would ask the preschoolers for their input. Here's the favorite foods of the children in Preschool One. How many of these items do you think will make it to our menu?
  • Honey and yogurt - Jules
    "Chocolate chip cookies!" - Finn
  • Fruit - Arkady
  • Pasta - Tudor, Cheryl and Alex
  • Jello - Hanling
  • Pizza - Justin
  • M&Ms - London
  • Ice cream, candy and fruit snacks - Emerson
  • Apples - Sullivan
  • Steak - Ammie
  • Ham - Molly
  • Tomato soup - Emmy
  • Chocolate chip cookies - Finn
  • Chocolate ice cream - Andrew
  • Pudding - Daniel
  • Chocolate chips - Ava